Frequently Asked Questions

What is the HBDI®?

The HBDI® is a thinking preference profile. It identifies your degree of preference for emotional, analytical, structural or strategic thinking as defined by Ned Herrmann’s Whole Brain® Thinking Model. Our database studies suggest 5% of our population have a single preference for one of these styles, 58% have a preference for two styles, 34% have a preference for three styles and 3% prefer all 4 styles equally. Every person utilises all four of these thinking styles, what differs is the degree to which they prefer each.

What is the Whole Brain® Thinking Model (WBTM)?

The Whole Brain® Thinking Model is a framework or metaphor for the way our brain thinks. It was developed based on a physiological understanding of how the brain works (e.g. Roger Sperry left and right brain theory and Paul McLean’s Triune brain theory). It defines four quadrants labelled A (blue), B (green), C (red) and D (yellow). The model itself is not a physiological map of how our brain works, rather a model for how our thinking brain works.


How is the HBDI® used?

The HBDI® indicates your preferences for thinking. How we think affects everything we do; how we make decisions, communicate, solve problems, manage and work with others. The insight that comes from an HBDI® profile can be used for greater self awareness, coaching, change management as well as developing agility and flexibility in the ways we can approach work. The HBDI® can help us identify areas of lesser preference to develop as well as help us harness our preferred thinking styles to maximise our success.

How does the HBDI® compare to other tools?

One way to understand the difference between tools is to understand the different constructs they measure. HBDI® measures our thinking preferences, MBTI measures personality preferences, DISC measures behavioural styles, GENOS emotional intelligence. For a more in depth comparison between tools contact us to find out more. Understanding how different  tools measure different constructs enables you to choose the best tool for the issue at hand. The power of the HBDI®, compared to other tools, is that thinking can be universally applied to many different contexts, decision making, working in teams, communication, strategic planning, decision making. It can also be continuously applied long after the initial session as it is not a diagnostic or evaluative tool.

Can my HBDI® profile change and it is valid or accurate?

Thinking is not a static construct and thinking can change as preferences change and develop. This is thought to occur as a result of nature and nurture, as well as synaptic changes in the brain that enable us to develop preferences over time. The increased understanding of brain plasticity has led the way to support the notion that preferences can change and develop. Test-retest reliability estimates when controlling for time and other variables indicate the reliability of the HBDI® is high. The validity of the HBDI® is also strong with over 2 million HBDI®’s completed, and 1.5 in our active database.  The HBDI® is found to provide a valid and reliable measure of human mental preferences when applied in a professional way, interpreted in conformity with the four-quadrant model and scored with the approved scoring method. For the full validation article please contact us.

Do you have a question?

If you would like to find out more about these FAQ’s, or if you have any other questions about the application of the HBDI® and Whole Brain® Thinking please complete the short form below and we will get right back to you.