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FAQ about Human Patterns

How did you come up with a score to reflect my "pressure" or "reactive" responses?

The "most" column allows the subject to select those describers he has been trained to select as "good" ways to be through socialization or consciously chosen preference patterns. The "least" column is reflective of describers that call for a less socialized response. The subject has some difficulty keeping track of his internal consistency in selecting "most" and "least". The "least" column, therefore, is more reflective of natural or unedited behavior, and is more likely to be demonstrated when there is pressure or a context that encourages uninhibited exhibition of preferences.

What do the numbers at the side of the graph mean?

These are standard deviation scores. They show how your choices differed from the most "typical" choices. Each graph is self-adjusting to give you what we call "granularity". This means that you can see a "picture" of your pattern even if your answers were close to "typical". Greater standard deviations than .5 will begin to be features that others might notice in you.

I was having a bad day or was in a bad situation when I completed Human Patterns®. Will my scores change much if I'm having a "good" day?

Scores do change depending on the context in which the test is administered. If the subject is under pressure to produce a "pattern" that he may believe the "boss" would want or is in some doubt as to how he should be in his present life circumstances, his "most" responses would tend to more strongly reflect those expectations or conclusions. The "least" column is a more consistent reflection of preferences over time. When Human Patterns® has been administered to individuals at different times or under different circumstances, the pattern or rank order remains rather consistent across a category, but individual standard deviation scores can shift by as much as .4 standard deviations.

Can I change my scores by getting training, therapy, or by force of will?

Yes. When Human Patterns® has been administered to an individual who has undergone psychotherapy or has chosen to work on a particular feature through training or changing a work context, scores do reflect change in one to four areas within a three year period. More than four changes within a three year period is rare. Most people change only one or two preferences within three years.

Is it bad to be _____________________?

Human Patterns® believes that differences between people are part of a human ecology and that it is positive and marvelous that we differ in preferences and interests. Any feature can be an asset, just as any feature can be a liability. The mission of a Human Patterns consultant is to empower people through knowledge of themselves and their patterns...thus the individual can rationally configure his working and interpersonal environment to achieve maximum benefit on a personal and professional basis. The employer and the employee can use this information to enhance placement and assignment and management processes.

Will this information be used against me?

If it is, (and it is possible that some organizations or individuals will not be responsible with this information) please call Human Patterns® at 1-800-967-5675 so we can take corrective action and discontinue providing outputs to that person or organization.

What if I think the test is wrong?

It might well be wrong. The areas that people challenge are often areas that they want badly to be "good" at or do not want employers or others to find that it is not a natural preference of theirs. In this case, the defensive response is more reflective of a need to be perceived in a given fashion, rather than a problem with a scored output. Trust of others or of management may be low, or a need to be perfect may be part of the energy behind the disagreement. Human Patterns® administrators will report these differences to Human Patterns for us to evaluate further and they are encouraged to support any person who has completed Human Patterns in such a fashion as to maintain their self-esteem. Because Human Patterns is a reflection of statistical information that is self-reported, the resulting output is reflective of that individual as compared with the self-reports of others. It is conceivable that all others taking Human Patterns have mistaken themselves in their self-reporting, but it is not likely.

Others will challenge the results on the basis of extensive training and skill development to compensate for an area of disinterest. These are often legitimate challenges, because these people can do the task or activity or behavior through training or force of will. Human Patterns® still registers their rejection of the area as an interest or preference. In these cases, the test still accurately reflects preferences, but misses the mark in reflecting skills.

How is this going to be used?

The purpose of an administration is to enhance communication between people and increase self-understanding. Business applications are directed at determining the best way to maximize employee satisfaction, communication, and work assignments.

When I was completing Human Patterns®, none of the choices in many of the questions seemed right to me, but I was forced to choose a "most" and "least" anyway. So, how can the result reflect me?

Because over 2000 people have been presented with the same set of confusing choices, the output reflects patterns of choice across many people. Those questions that seemed to have no "true" answer for you are blended into the mix of all your responses as well as compared with all those other people. Even if you were confused, your scores will still provide you with useful information; especially if there are rank ordered categories with numbers greater than a .5 standard deviation between them internally.

I took another instrument and the results differ from Human Patterns®. Which one is right?

Both may be right. Both may be wrong. Both may be partially right. People who worry about measuring preferences are called psychometricians. They have standards for determining whether an instrument is statistically sound and therefore potentially "right". Human Patterns® compares well against standards that psychometricians have discussed in their literature. There is much argument in this field, however. Human Patterns is probably at least as right as any competitive instrument. If you are aware of an instrument that seems much more correct, please send Human Patterns information about that instrument so that we can compare it with Human Patterns.

What should happen from here between my manager and myself?

Your consultant can prepare a paired comparison of you with your manager. Both of you can discuss your differences with the consultant as a mediator and interpreter. The benefit of such a discussion is to enable you and your manager to plan for filling in "gaps" in preferences and expectations of the job as well as to prepare strategies to handle differences in style before an event turns these differences into a "problem". Both you and your manager should leave the meeting with a comfortable sense of mutual expectations.