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Forced-Choice Scoring

Removing Situational Bias for Optimal Results


The Theory

Hugh Massie founded DNA Behavior International in 2001 on the premise that every person has a unique Natural DNA Behavior style that is "hard-wired" from early in life. This natural behavior is the core of who a person is and always shows up under pressure or stress.

Hugh believed that reliably predicting a person's natural behavior would help uncover their identity, inherent strengths, and approach to money so they could be aligned more ideally with the situations they encounter each day. This type of "identity alignment" could help those people to stress less, do more, and be well for longer.

Hugh also believed that knowing a person's natural behavior would facilitate the delivery of customized employee and client experiences based on their inherent strengths and motivations.


The Innovation

Hugh and his team of independent researchers with over 150 combined years of academic and professional experience in the fields of psychology, behavior and money worked to develop ground-breaking technology to prove his theory and accurately predict natural behavior. They ultimately created the DNA Natural Behavior Discovery process which was designed to give participants science-based data on how they inherently work, live, interact, decide, and relate to money. It is essentially a personality inventory providing insight into a person's instincts, needs, motivations, and temperament as evidenced in their natural behaviors related to life, workplace, business, and financial decision-making.

Today, the DNA Behavior Discovery Process is the world’s only scientifically validated system which provides both behavior and money insights for use in all facets of life and business. Further, it is the only behavioral discovery system which provides a customized solution designed for businesses and financial advisors to know, engage and grow their clients.


The Methodology

DNA Behavior adopted a "Right Data In, Right Data Out" mindset in determining how to measure Natural DNA Behavior. Given that natural behavior is inherently not situational, the structure of the assessment methodology needs to reflect that.

For this reason, after extensive research, DNA Behavior selected the Forced Choice Scoring Methodology as it has been proven resistant to faking and is less influenced by social desirability. Therefore, it is a very effective method for predicting behavior in all types of life environments with a high degree of consistency over long periods.

The model was designed with each question having three choices (triads) of single words or short phrases to mitigate situational, gender, cultural, and educational bias. The Forced Choice Scoring Methodology inherently puts the participant under pressure requiring them to instinctively choose "Most Like Me" and "Least Like Me" out of the three choices.

Given that DNA Behavior measures 8 primary factors of behavior and 23 sub-factors, the assessment requires 46 questions using 138 non-situational rating items. The 138 rating items are required to produce sufficient reliability in measuring the Natural DNA Behavior across a wider range of behavioral factors and sub-factors, including how people make decisions, interact and build relationships, achieve results, handle information and complete tasks, develop trust, set and achieve goals, take and live with risks, and approach innovation. 

The bottom-line outcome of measuring a greater breadth and depth of behaviors is that DNA Behavior can measure over 4,000 behavior and money insights and over 4 trillion combinations of behavior that support people.

The average completion time of the Natural DNA Behavior Discovery is 10.5 minutes because of the way DNA Behavior has designed the questions and through the effective use of technology.

Most other comparative personality systems only measure 4 factors of behavior, making them far more limited. Further, because their design uses traditional scoring methods involving more choices and longer situational-based sentences, these systems typically measure learned behaviors making them less reliable in measuring the more permanent hard-wired behavior.

Given that Learned Behaviors are inherently situationally focused, DNA Behavior uses a separate set of assessment tools for measuring them. These tools are more specific in terms of the situational types of behaviors they address like learned behaviors in leadership, work, career, quality of life, and financial behavior.

Read More About the Science Behind Our Systems