‘When using Personal Talent Explorer one gains insight in 72 different aspects of Personality’


Personal Talent Explorer reveals why people do what they do; what really invigorates an individual. An extensive and in-depth theoretical and empirical study – called ‘the Human being as an open system’ by W.V.M de Roy – forms the basis of this instrument to determine one’s personality. This theory implies a number of principles, which have been summarized below.


The work of Allport (1967) proves that human beings are open systems who are learning continuously. This theory implies a great interaction between human being and his direct environment which he uses to develop, maintain his balance and influence his surroundings.

This ‘open human being’ is continuously improving himself and is able to direct himself towards goals he can choose from free will.


People’s behaviour is determined by their process of taking decisions in which Lievegoed B.C.J. has identified four main phases:

  1. Conceptualizing. In this phase one is mainly focused on information. Gathering information, verifying if all information is correct and studying information are enclosed in this area.
  2. Judging, in which desires of the individual, the team and its surroundings are taken into account. Understanding what is important to others, inspiring others for ideas and Presenting new perspectives are enclosed in this part.
  3. Deciding. Confronting decisions with hard facts is the main subject of this area. Differentiating major and minor issues, delivering high-quality work and achieving tangible results are key.
  4. Executing. This part is all about taking action. Performing tasks without delay, Finding new solutions and Preventing reckless actions are enclosed in this area.

These insights mean more than a rational process of taking decisions. Because of the principle ‘what one thinks leads to what one feels’, the by Lievegoed identified process is not only a rational one, but implies powerful emotions and preferences. When we take into account that emotions are far stronger drivers than rationale when it comes to day-to-day decisions, then this process of decision making becomes essential in determining one’s motivation and enthusiasm – or even passion.


The work of L.S. Vygotski has become the foundation of much research and theory in cognitive development over the past several decades, particularly of what has become known as Social Development.

Vygotsky wrote that “Scientific concepts grow downward through spontaneous concepts; spontaneous concepts grow upward through scientific concepts “(Vygotsky, 1986, p.194).

In Personal Talent Explorer, this process is used in defining intelligence strategies.

Upward thinking is used as building a concept towards a higher level of abstraction. The term upward refers to its starting point: current reality. Studying information or facts and the creative process of generating new ideas and finding solutions are examples of upward thinking.

Downward thinking is directly opposite to upward thinking: the starting point of this process is at a theoretical concept which is then confronted with – or checked in relation to – current reality. Checking validity of information, reassuring one’s capabilities to a task, realizing a vision and achieving measurable results are examples of downward thinking.


Lievegoed has identified four main focus areas in the process of taking decisions:

  1. Conceptualizing
  2. Judging
  3. Deciding
  4. Executing

Three separate intelligence strategies for each of the four focus areas as defined by the work of Lievegoed have been identified.

  1. One intelligence strategy upward,
  2. One upward and downward,
  3. One intelligence strategy downward.

In total, twelve intelligence strategies have been identified. Every human being has a unique combination of preferences for these intelligence strategies. This combination defines what invigorates an individual – why people do what they do.

The twelve intelligence strategies are:

Conceptualizing; INFORMATION
1. Info verifying
2. Info gathering
3. Info cognitive

Deciding; FACTS:
4. Fact cognitive
5. Fact distinguishing
6. Fact realizing

Judging; DESIRES:
7. Desire realizing
8. Desire receptive
9. Desire creative

Executing; ACTION:
10. Action creative
11. Action executive
12. Action verifying


The idea of the existence of three areas in our day-to-day life originates at the work of Otto Rank; ‘Das Trauma der Geburt’. This idea has been supported by many others amongst whom Malinowski B. In his work “Argonauts of the Western Pacific”.

These areas of life have been defined as:

  1. Material area: What do you like to do?
    Tangible goods, money, possessions and knowledge play an important role in this area as well as the way you want to influence your current reality. Mastering your material surroundings describes best the emotion which is attached to this area of life.
  2. Relational area: How do you relate to others?
    This area refers to your (working-) relations, how you relate to other people including colleagues, friends and family. The emotion that is attached to this area is the will to connect to others.
  3. Spiritual area: What is it that drives you?In this area it is all about how you express your need to give meaning to your life – or in other words: Why do you do what you do? The need to grow and to contribute to a greater good can be expressed in many ways varying from a religion to a club membership. The need to know why describes best the emotion attached to this area of life.


The work of psychologist C.E. Osgood (1952, 1977) identifies three criteria in the visibility of human behaviour:

  1. Potential: strong – weak
  2. Activity: extrovert – introvert
  3. Evaluation: effective – ineffective

Personal Talent Explorer takes these criteria into account.


The usage of Personal Talent Explorer results in an in-depth insight in the background of human drivers. These drivers are directly related to the combination of preferences for specific intelligence strategies. The report contains a complete overview of the intrinsic motivation of the attendant because the work of Lievegoed is combined with the works of Vygotski, Rank and Osgood.

Both attendant and professional benefit from the insight as it is an individual result which is by no means a judgement or comparison with other individuals. This unique approach makes Personal Talent Explorer extremely suitable for selection, development and coaching purposes.