This page is written for HR consultants, answering several frequently asked questions concerning the comparison of iWAM and NLP metaprograms with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or DISC respectively. For more in-depth answers detailing various advantages of iWAM, we have added links to several other pages on our web site.

why iWAM is better than MBTI

The first major difference between these assessments is their age. Since iWAM was developped as recently as 2000, it incorporates the latest findings in cognitive science to measure work attitude and motivation, while the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) dates back to 1943. MBTI is inspired on the old theory of personality types introduced by Jung in 1922 (even if Jung himself pointed out several flaws in the questionnaire).

Another difference is their philosophical foundation. MBTI was created to measure a person's personality. However, the concept of "Personality" presupposes that a person will react the same way in every situation, an idea that has been proven to wrong by cognitive psychologists in the 1980s. iWAM, on the other hand, measures a person's preferences and motivations in the context of work. It describes what factors influence and motivate people the most, while allowing for individual circumstances.

As you can read in books such as "Gifts Differing" (Briggs Myers, 1980), MBTI only measures for 4 pairs of patterns: Perception VS Judgement; Extraversion VS Introversion; Thinking VS Feeling and Sensing VS Intuitive. By combining these 4 traits, people are then categorized into 1 of just 16 groups. iWAM is specific to the work context, measures 48 patterns, and describes a person's preferences, without putting them into a category. While MBTI might be useful to teach people that not everybody is the same, iWAM will show you exactly how 2 people differ, and will be precise at explaining what are the consequences at work. Hence iWAM is much better suited when it comes to pre-employment testing, coaching or team-building applications

We recommend reading "The Cult of Personality" by Annie Murphy Paul (2004) for a more comprehensive discussion of MBTI.

why iWAM is better than DISC

DISC is based on the book "Emotions of Normal People" by William Multon Marston, which was publihed around 1928. Essentially, DISC only distinguishes between 4 patterns considered "primary emotions", called Dominance, Influence (or Inducement), Compliance (or Conscientiousness) and Steadiness (or Submission) (hence DISC). It uses the Thinking-Feeling and Sention-Intiuting scales from the MBTI and doesn't take the context into account. Because copyrights on the initial questionnaire have experied, DISC is now offered by several vendors, including Thomas International, Inscape, Extended Disc, ect.

iWAM takes into account that every person is unique, so instead of putting people into one of these 4 categories, iWAM distinquishes between 48 NLP metaprogram patterns, in the specific context of work, and can explain how these patterns help to cause emotions and are influenced by emotions. The result is that iWAM is much better at predicting work performance, and there are more possible combinations of results than there are people on Earth!

More on iWAM

last modified: 2013/Dec/10 00:00 UTC