Personal Interests, Attitudes 
                               and Values Motivators

Motivation Insights™ Characteristics

Utilitarian (Economic)
Individualistic (Political)
Traditional (Regulatory)

Values interact with one another. Most of our studies show that two or three values will be dominant and impel action. The very lack of importance of the other values is significant in itself when placed into its context against the dominant motivations.

Values can and do change over a period of time. Some eclipse others as needs and wants are satisfied. Values are also affected by interactions with family, friends, teachers, religious issues, geographic location, the media, leaders, and so on.


Learned positively for oneself, and responded to with satisfaction from within one’s self.


Learned responses to outside influences; not as strong or enduring. True motivations not strongly addressed.


Values whose time has not yet come. This may be either a negative response in light of life's present demands or a lack of interest in this area.

Personal values very rarely remain constant. Some practitioners believe we can have as many as seven definite values shifts in our lifetime.

A note on Gender and the Management Position:

Male managers tend to score higher on theoretical values. Female managers tend to score higher on social and aesthetic values. However, the value patterns of male and female managers are more similar than dissimilar. Managers with high altruistic (social) values will favor people in their decisions. Managers (women and men) with similar value clusters will make similar decisions even if they live in different countries.

High Theoretical

People whose primary value drive is theoretical have a tremendous need to know, to learn, to understand.

The bottom line is the accumulation of knowledge, and the logical pursuit of this knowledge is where it's at for them. The primary drive with this value is the discovery of truth. Since the interests of the theoretical person are empirical, critical and rational, he/she is necessarily an intellectualist. The chief aim in life is to order and systematize knowledge: Knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

High theoretical people are not always interested in using this knowledge, however, and we do find some so-called smart damn fools, absent-minded professors, etc. As far as the theoretically inclined person is concerned, he or she will learn well but not always do. One of the tools for helping abstract thinkers perform is a strong standards of performance system which can be monitored. Again, there is no interest in changing people but rather in improving performance.

General Characteristics:

Feeling for the purity of the cognitive process.

Intertwines past and present.

High interest level in solving problems, asking questions or formulating theory.

Enjoys people with convictions (knowledge) held in common.

Possible Limitations

May have trouble dealing with practical problems.

Little time for people who see things differently - especially emotional ones with few facts.

Single mindedness at the expense of everything else.

May get bogged down in the quest for details - can lead to procrastination.

The questions one might ask regarding a person with a high theoretical value are: How will the high theoretically inclined person plan, organize, direct, control and even sell? How will such a person recruit, select, train, motivate and communicate? How will they get along with others? In private life how will he or she handle social situations, play games, manage money and perform as a spouse, parent, etc.? And more importantly, what does he or she need from a manager, spouse or friend to be more effective? These same questions can and should be asked for each of the value drives.

Very Low Practical application for the use of knowledge.

Low Knowledge to gain results, or an advantage. Could be an avid reader regarding their needs or hobby.

Average Need for knowledge-for-knowledge's sake is based on individual situations. If interested in a specific area, or if required for success, they will want to know everything there is to know. If not, intuition or practical information will be relied on.

High Wants knowledge-for-knowledge's sake. Wants to become an expert. Quest for knowledge-need to know.

High Utilitarian (Economic)

As impractical as some high theoretical people are, that is just how practical and tangible-results oriented those with a high materialistic or economic value system are. Their goal is utility and what is useful. People driven by this value are achievers and want rewards and results now. Their basic interest in knowledge (theoretical) is restricted not to how much they can accumulate, but rather how they can use it. Money and possessions are the measuring tools or yardstick by which the high materialistically motivated keep track of their accomplishments. These people respond mostly to on-the-job training and a compensation system based on monetary incentives. The materialistically motivated person should not be seen as selfish but rather as practical and goal-oriented.

Outstanding Characteristics

Very practical, can be a spender or saver.

Future oriented.

Motivated by the satisfying of needs.

Seldom or never reaches their wants, continually motivated by wants and needs.

Possible Limitations

May be a workaholic.


May have a visible greed factor.

Rationalizes giving of time or resources will result in some future economic gain.

Very Low Not overly concerned with material things or money. Wants to make sure they can keep body and soul together. Motivated toward achievement relating to their internal beliefs. Money is not a score to impress others.

Not driven by a tremendous need to have great sums of money. Wants to be able to achieve the survival needs at an acceptable level as perceived by their perception of social standing. Independence is a long-term project. Will profit from economic goal-setting. Needs to meet with a mentor regularly.

In specific situations they feel compelled to make the acquisition of money a very important aspect of decision-making.

Internally motivated by the need to have economic rewards in terms of money for security or freedom. Money in and of itself is not the end but a means to achieve that end.

Very High
Money in terms of what it can do is extremely important. Very practical. At times will be overwhelmed by the advantage that money or materialistic things can bring.

High Aesthetic

The aesthetic score indicates the relative interest in form and harmony. Each experience is judged from the standpoint of grace, symmetry or fitness. The high aesthetically motivated are, most of all, very sensitive persons with an artistic flair for things harmonious and beautiful. While not necessarily performers or artists, per se, they do personalize beauty (as perceived by them) in the world around them. They would rather see something more charming than useful and more beautiful than practical. Finding it difficult to gain aesthetic value satisfaction in a rough and tough business climate, the high aesthetic person will usually gravitate to a nicer environment. They will also perform best in a pleasant, harmonious setting. Their goal is to experience their inner vision.

General Characteristics

Seek self-realization, self-fulfillment and self-enjoyment.

Sensitive to inner feelings.

Humorist if view of life is positive.

Sarcastic if view of life is negative.

Possible Limitations

Attempts to influence others by aesthetic beauty.

No feeling for the practical.

Perceives the world only from their inner reality.

Minimum use of logical reflections.

Very Low Not worried about form, nor sensitive to the pleasing aspects of the environment. Very practical people. They know the sun has gone down mainly because it's dark.

Does not require harmony of nature to feel fulfilled. Practically overrides sensitivity. The awareness of fine things and fine relationships is secondary. Creative problem solving vs. creative sensory pleasure. World is black and white vs. world is a colorful rainbow.

Need for aesthetics (appreciation of beauty) determined on an individual basis. Specific areas could be of great interest (i.e., desiring fine things for family members, but not concerned with the depth of relationships with others).

High Needs fine things and fine relationships. Wants a harmony that relates to enjoyment and appreciation of things that have intrinsic beauty. Internalized creative feelings. Creative designs to problem solving as they relate to the sensitivity of the relationship.

Very High Tremendous need for a sense of balance and harmony within their environment. Desires fine things and fine relationships. More concerned with the part than the whole. Can be very creative.

High Social

Those who score very high in this value have an inherent love of people. They prize other persons and are, therefore, kind, sympathetic and unselfish. Those with a high humanitarian value system are more concerned with the welfare of others than they are for self. The humanitarian or social value drive places helping others very high on the list of personal priorities. The Social person regards love as the only suitable form for human relationships. Research into this value indicates that in its pristine form the Social interest is selfless. Many times this value drive rises to the top of an individual's set of values after the materialistic is satisfied. The goal of very high social value people is to eliminate hate and conflict in the world.

General Characteristics

See their own value in helping others.

Real concern for others.

Ability to be empathetic.

Generous with time, talent and resources.

Possible Limitations

Self-sacrifice at times and may override self-preservation.

Have difficulty saying no.

Help others even to their own detriment.

Will avoid confrontation if there is an unbearable truth that will harm a relationship.

Very Low Concerned about the needs of others. Will help others to better themselves, but out of pity. Compassionate only for those who have either physical or mental disability. Winning is the most important necessity. Does not appreciate weakness. Strangers are strangers.

Willing to help others if they are working as hard as possible to achieve their goals. Won't help others if it would be detrimental to themselves. Does not promote a welfare state. Hard work and example can motivate others.

Desire to help others or not is reviewed on an individual basis. If an internal chord has been touched they would definitely attempt to help.

Very concerned about the welfare of others, even to their own detriment. Wants others to have the opportunity to succeed. Sometimes people become projects for saving. More evident when money needs are met.

Very High
May neglect own family and friends. Interested in humankind in general. Truly unselfish. Good team player. Gives others many chances for success and then still gives more. Efforts are sufficient proof of worth. Social concerns are of the highest value. Will be a leader of social reform.

High Individualistic (Political)

Persons with high power-seeking value drive are very easily spotted and understood. What they want is power and control and an arena in which to play where there is ample opportunity for public ego-satisfaction. The climb up the so-called corporate ladder in terms of title, recognition and power is quite symptomatic of the need for power-seeking value drive satisfaction. The attitude here tends to be move me up or watch me move on. The leaders in most fields have high power value. The goal of this value is to assert self and have their causes victorious. A person motivated by the individualistic value drive will primarily be interested in independence. The individualistic seeks personal expression and demonstrates disdain for rules and authority per se.

General Characteristics

The effect of power upon others appears in the form of determination.

Control their own destiny and the destiny of others.

Power and control will usually be expressed in some other form or value -- Theoretical (superiority), Economic (wealth) or Regulatory (religious).

Possible Limitations

The end justifies the means.

May break rules in order to rule or control.

May be Machiavellian in their approach to others.

Need for self assertion. Can come across as feeling superior.

Very Low Does not need to be in the limelight. Does not need to be seen as a leader. Does not need to control others. Keeps conflict and hostility at a minimum. Ego satisfaction and praise are not necessarily success measurements. Needs stability.

Low Positions of power and control are not an intrinsic motivating factor. Willing to allow others to set the tone and direction of their destiny. Much more patient and less ego-involved than others may be. Will participate as a team member for the team's sake, not their own sake. Does not attempt to control the destiny of others, but wants to achieve within the framework of their own area of specialty.

Average Will evaluate each situation individually and determine how much or how little control they want to exercise. If there are strong feelings about issues, control increases.

High Tremendous need to show that they can take charge and be the leader. Competition and struggle are part of daily routine. Wants to be the person in the forefront and seen as a mover and shaker.

Very High Wants to control situations, as well as the destiny of themself and the destiny of others. Being in the limelight will have them work extremely hard and for long hours. Perks and strokes are important. Titles are important. Being in charge is important. Wants to be seen as a winner and they won't play if there is not a chance to win.

High Traditional (Regulatory)

This value reflects a spiritual commitment (religious-spiritual), and/or a preference for rules and authority (religious-ritualistic). When the religious value appears low, we are seeing individuality. Those who are motivated by a high spiritual value system are primarily concerned with unity or order. They are deeply committed to belief in supreme being. Their goal is to search for the highest value of life. The spiritually motivated literally are faith oriented. Those who evidence a high ritualistic value drive, on the other hand, may or may not be religious in the formal sense of the word. They will demonstrate, however, a need for a dependence on authority and a clearly defined career path. They may be niche seekers. These people will be comfortable in highly structured, well defined environments and generally will be more comfortable in large companies as opposed to smaller, more entrepreneurial situations.

General Characteristics

Mental structure to create the most important or satisfying value experience.

May view life positive, negative or mixed.

Will seek power on a big scale, if political is very high.

Will seek the richest revelations of beauty, if aesthetic is very high.

Belief in their belief is so great they will champion their beliefs.

Possible Limitations

Overly rigid.

Comes across as always right.

Rarely changes mind even if logic dictates they are wrong.

Very Low Tradition won't place limits or boundaries. Many things to see and many to try. Will experiment with different belief systems. Hard to manipulate when it comes to setting guidelines-they have very few to begin with. In many cases they want to set their own rules and allow their own intuition to guide and direct them. Can be highly organized in a very unstructured approach to any rules and procedures set by others. Can be very creative. Does not rebel-just ignores.

Low Not bound by traditions and customs. The way things have been done before are not necessarily dismissed, but they are always exploring new ideas and new methods of doing things.

Average Need to be able to pick and choose the traditions and set of beliefs to which they will adhere. Strong beliefs within a system that feels comfortable. Will not be so strong in beliefs if there is a lack of interest. Pick and choose whether they follow traditional ideas or deviate. Interest in the subject matter will determine following or breaking with tradition.

High Driven by need for a traditional approach to their lifestyle. Attempts to find the guideline or the rulebook which will allow for the long-term direction. Internally driven to discover their place in the scheme of things.

Very High Believes in doing things the traditional way. Wants the rules and regulations of society to be a closed loop. There is only one way to do things, and that is by the rule book they have chosen to follow. Can become quite determined about their beliefs. See themselves as becoming very moralistic, with discipline and conviction. Little need to experiment with other ways of doing things. When they find a leader in whom they can believe, they will follow that leader almost absolutely.


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