What is this Good&Co science of which you speak? Surely nothing this fun can say anything meaningful! It’s just for laughs, right?

Fun and science aren’t mutually exclusive. We’ve all seen that photo of Einstein sticking his tongue out. At Good&Co, we’re like Einstein’s tongue: fun, quirky, surprising, fiercely intelligent, brilliantly scientific, and possibly a little bit sticky, depending on what we’ve been eating. Now for an experiment: try really hard not to think about Einstein’s tongue while you read the rest of this.

Okay then, wow me – what are you actually measuring?

We measure eight personality factors, including the academic, clinical, and organizational psychology gold standard ‘Big Five’ – the five basic building blocks of personality, supported by a wealth of empirical research reaching back many decades. Drawing on cutting edge developments in psychometrics, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience, we also assess a further three factors, bringing Good&Co in line with the most recent scientific thinking in personality modeling. We incorporate elements of personality that conventional Big Five scales don’t assess – such as emotional intelligence – which are highly relevant to the workplace, and invaluable in helping us understand the fit between people and organizations – and between people and people!

Most personality assessments will tell you whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert – ours aims to tell you what type of extrovert or introvert you are. Are you warm and friendly, or bold and assertive? Maybe both? Our model of organizational culture is comparable in its research and data-driven background, and we aim for that same level of subtlety. It’s maybe not that hard to tell you that you prefer to work in an innovative organization, but there are lots of ways to be innovative – are you artistically creative? Scientifically curious? A logical genius? An enterprising entrepreneur? It’s easy to say ‘innovative’ – but the wrong kind of innovative can mean the difference between a perfect match and a terrible one. Try forcing Richard Dawkins to design tutus and see how happy he is!

You say that, but then you reduce me to a persona! You can’t possibly capture all the nuances of human personality that way.

Good&Co’s model has sixteen personas and eight company personas, because there are only sixteen types of people and eight types of teams or organizations in the world. We’ve counted. …Did we have you going for a minute there? Fortunately, at Good&Co we’re more than aware of the complexity of human (and companies!) personality. In fact, we revel in its shadows and subtleties. There’s no one way to be a good Caretaker or Inventor, and just one persona can never fully describe a single unique individual. That’s why we give you a trio of personas – we’ve determined that blending three personas gives you the most detailed information in the most concise and accurate way. Three out of sixteen may not sound like much, but it works out to a heck of a lot of permutations. 560 to be exact. Which is 3200% more than our competitors, who only rely on single types.

Speaking of permutations… we don’t stop at personas – we generate insights dynamically, based on your unique pattern of scores. With persona blends alone, we can generate a very large number of completely different personality profiles. But with every possible permutation of our model and sensitive slider bars, the theoretical largest number of unique personality profiles grows to a figure so big you can’t actually say it. Well, you can, but it would take a long time – here it is: 16122260776824643661620637215805604379588397845435231244069. If you’re curious how to pronounce that large of a number, it goes a little something like this: sixteen octodecillion, one hundred twenty two septendecillion, two hundred sixty sexdecillion, seven hundred seventy six quindecillion, eight hundred twenty four quattuordecillion, six hundred forty three tredecillion, six hundred sixty one duodecillion, six hundred twenty undecillion… and so on and so forth until you get into good ol’ familiar double digits.

That’s a lot of theoretically different personalities – a heck of a lot more than the 7,222,242,571 people currently living in the world! In fact, it’s a lot more than the number of stars in the galaxy, multiplied by the number of grains of sand on all the world’s beaches, multiplied by all the cells in the human body. Of course, we don’t actually produce insights for every possible variation…

So how does it actually work?

We explore the complex interactions between individual and individual, individual and team/organization, and individual and job. Our intelligent, scientifically derived and probability-driven algorithms take your answers to our fun questions and transform them into the building blocks of our FitScore equations. The process is so mysterious that even we don’t know how it works. Well, we do, but if we told you, we’d have to hire you

About those fun questions. Do they have a purpose, or are you just being cute?

Most psychometric assessments ask a lot more questions, much more directly. It’s true. But they don’t cover any more ground. The key to the validity and reliability of conventional psychometric scales is repetition and redundancy. They ask you the same thing, over and over, with slightly different phrasing. Some repetition is essential for accuracy, and we incorporate that into our system. But we don’t think questions have to be boring in order to be valid. In fact, we more than just don’t think it– we’ve tested it. To ensure the accuracy of our funky questions, we’ve painstakingly compared them to conventional reference questions so boring we almost fell asleep in the process. There’s another advantage to those funky questions: most psychometric assessments are easy to game. Want to appear creative? Answer “Are you creative?” with a yes. Congrats, you sneak! You’ve gamed the system.

Good&Co’s quirky questions make answers much harder to fake. Most people have a tendency to “fake good” (social desirability bias, to be technical) without even realizing they’re doing it. What this means is that unlike conventional assessments, we actually have a shot at telling you something you don’t already know about yourself

If you’re so good, what am I thinking right now? No, I’m not picturing Boy George drinking lemonade in a hot air balloon with Richard Bran-son! I knew it, you’re making this up as you go along…

We’re good, but we’re not psychic! You won’t find any horoscopes or crystal balls here. Good&Co’s personas, insights, and FitScores are all based on solid science – drawing on decades of research synthesized across half a dozen theoretical and applied branches of psychology. The science of individual differences (jargon for measuring personality and skills) is combined with industrial/organizational psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and psychobiology to create the theoretical framework on which our system is based. We didn’t stop at theory. Over time and through numerous painstaking iterations, we’ve evolved our model using methodical data collection, advanced inferential statistical techniques, and probabilistic modeling. Not to mention valuable feedback from users, advisers, experts, even people who throw bricks through the window with post-it notes pinned to them.

Try Googling principal components analysis, Promax rotation, product moment correlation, multiple linear regression, item response theory, multidimensional scaling, Monte Carlo simulation, even a little pioneering statistical whizzery of our own… fascinating stuff, right? Well, it is to us, at least. And, since we’re twisted enough to actually enjoy this kind of thing, we do it so you don’t have to! The bottom line is that we lovingly (read: painstakingly) test every question in our system to evaluate its validity, reliability, and overall ability to accurately evaluate personality, fit and organizational values. By the way… you’re thinking about Einstein’s tongue, aren’t you? Our work here is done.