Argument within the psychometric community has been intense as psychometricians have learned to adjust axioms of classical test theory and combine item response theory with ipsative measurement. The latest prizes in psychometrics have been given, not for innovations in the application of classical test theory, but for innovations in item construction, hybridization of tools for getting at validity and reliability, and revisiting the logical and semantic problems of constructs or theories about personality itself. Ipsative measurement methods are gaining ground while likert scales and polarized items are losing ground.

For those who have constructed and marketed instruments tightly tied to single constructs, this is a time of transition. They are challenged by instruments like those evolved by Sullivan and Human Patterns. However, the next 5 years are going to be a time of even more rapid transition that will result in the reconfiguration of the entire psychometric marketplace. We have been issued 6 patents thus far that might be able to enable some of the infrastructure and monetization of the human data supply chain – but there are few guarantees and actors like Apple and Google and GE and IBM are already occupying this space and generating tools for it.

Here is how the marketplace will be radically transformed:
1. The data that feeds algorithms for psychometric measurement will be gathered by "scrubbing" verbal and other artifacts that reside in distributed data that can be reliably linked to an individual. Medical data, emails sent, text files, SMS messages, career and other decisions reflected by resume entries, self descriptions and profiles for social media sites, responses and evaluations of books or media events, and so forth will all be processed through algorithms that will evolve a personality and preference and interest profile. A formally administered instrument will be obsolete.
2. The algorithms will calculate changes from prior work products and other data artifacts in real time and will proactively inform a person of changes when they reach a threshold level.
3. Suggestions and what we commonly think of as "coaching notes" will be a service that a person can sign up for and enable to link to their data for mining and analysis.

We are already seeing much of the prototyping being done via dating sites and employee selection sites. Real time collection, processing, analysis, and redistribution of the processed data is around the corner. Human Patterns may not be able to keep up with these changes, but that is not a bad thing. We hope we will continue to be able to provide our administrators with supplemental tools that add value to the coaching, selection, and training process. We may even be able to participate via our Intellectual Property in how this revolution gets played out. Even if we enter obsolescence, our exposure to the elegance and beauty of well formed algorithms and systems to leverage them will continue to provide satisfaction and joy.


A. Laffoley

Academic Program Director Raleigh- Durham, NC

I used the Human Patterns Inventory in the development program for high potential senior leaders and recommend it as an effective tool as part of any comprehensive employee development program. In my opinion an important differentiator of this tool is the light it shines on the switches that may occur in our behavior when we are in reaction mode (e.g. in a stressful situation). Bringing awareness to where this occurs is invaluable to an individual’s personal development.

K. Jobe

Executive Recruiter Charlotte, North Carolina Area

I have used the Human Patterns as an internal recruiter as well as during client “coaching” engagements. It is the most comprehensive psychometric test that I have ever worked with. I highly recommend this tool to any organization that is committed to talent optimization.

F. Christian

Managing Director Chicago, IL

Human Patterns is a rare exception among assessment tools. Most are simplistic and slipshod, more mirrors of their creators' craniums than windows into one's own. Human Patterns has a richness that allows me to start meaningful conversations with the hidden high potentials I work with, who after years of severe underemployment have lost sight of themselves and their unique ways of working with the world. I'm so enthusiastic I now require it for new clients to shortcut to solutions.