Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers on the Reiss Profile® with just one click
Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions. If you would like further details, we invite you to browse our website where there is more to be found. If then you still have questions please feel free to contact us directly.
What is the Reiss Profile®?
The Reiss Profile® is a new personality-based approach in motivational research developed and publicised by Prof. Steven Reiss, who was Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Ohio State University (USA). He died in October 2016 at the age of 69.
The Reiss Profile® depicts the fundamental values, goals and motivations of human personality. By identifying 16 Basic Desires it shows which permanent aspects of an individual’s make-up determine behaviour from within. These 16 Basic Desires are part of all of our personalities, but their relative strengths vary from person to person. The possible combinations could produce 6,000,000,000 different personality profiles. At all times the priority is on identifying and depicting the individuality of a person, rather than creating typologies.
Example of personality profile according to Steven Reiss:
What new insights does the Reiss Profile® offer?
The Reiss Profile® identifies and depicts a person’s individual motivational and impulse structure. It gives each individual a personal insight into what is important in their life, what they ‘really’ want, and what their real performance level is. These insights form the basis of a person’s self-acceptance and their respect for, and tolerance of, others.
Knowledge of one's own personality is crucially important to all decisions related to sustainable performance. Sustained efficiency and achievement are only possible by working within the limits of one’s own personality. The greater the harmony between day-to-day life and this personality, the easier it is to attain and sustain a high level of achievement.
What makes the Reiss Profile® unique?
Traditional testing processes focus on analysing ways of thinking and behaviour. By contrast, the Reiss Profile® identifies the causes of human behaviour. It is a new and – because of its precision – unique diagnostic tool for the analysis of personal motivation. Professor Steven Reiss' approach is based on a scientific theory which embraces and develops ideas conceived by Gordon Allport and Abraham Maslow. In his research, Abraham Maslow, took as a starting point his personal experiences and the biographies of important people. Professor Reiss took a consistently empirical approach. Using more than 10,000 interviews from around the world, he developed a method for identifying the values, goals and motivations of human personality, which is currently superior to all other scientifically validated methods.
Instead of providing yet another approach based on human typology, the Reiss Profile® emphasises the individuality of each person. This is what makes the Reiss Profile® unique.
What does the Reiss Profile® consist of?
Compiling a Reiss Profile® is a simple process and easy to understand. The participant/client has to respond to 128 statements in an online or paper questionnaire. Filling in this form takes approximately 15–20 minutes. The results are collated with the help of a computer program, and discussed and analysed in the company of a certified Reiss Profile® Master. The profile remains anonymous.
The client receives a unique, personal motivation profile, together with an analysis and accompanying literature.
Reiss Profile® Europe B.V. also offers related services, including advice, coaching and life balance.
What is the use of personality analyses?
The aim of personality analyses is to identify and depict the fundamental dimensions by which people differ. A desire to reduce the complexity of the human personality also plays a role here. The most usual way of doing this is by categorising people into different types.
The Reiss Profile®, on the other hand, depicts each person as an individual, and on the basis of the individual seeks to reduce the complexity in a comprehensible manner.
The vast array of tests on offer range from the ‘Answer 10 questions and we’ll tell you who you are’ psychological tests you can find in any magazine, to the more scientifically based analyses used in psychological counselling, research and business.
Why these particular 16 Basic Desires?
On the basis of more than 10,000 open and anonymous interviews, Steven Reiss and his team succeeded in empirically identifying the 16 Basic Desires which are common to all cultures. The American psychologist also identified more than 400 different goals that could be allocated to the 16 Basic Desires. These 16 Basic Desires were tested for their thoroughness and validity across cultures, with the help of thousands of participants in the USA, Canada and Japan.
Who was Steven Reiss?
Prof. Steven Reiss was Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Ohio State University (USA), and the Director of the Nisonger Center for Mental Retardation. According to the Social Science Citation Index he was one of the leading psychology professors In the world today.
He has published over 100 scientific studies and is the author and editor of a number of books.
Steven Reiss died in October 2016 at the age of 69. His wife Maggi Reiss will continue the IDS Publishing Corporation , the company he founded to market the Reiss Profile®.
Who uses the Reiss Profile®?
The Reiss Profile® is used wherever there is a need to improve human efficiency. People who recognise and harness their individual drives can work efficiently in the long term. This core assumption is the starting point for the professional application of the Reiss Profile® in the fields of:
- Human resources management
- Business management and personnel management
- Coaching, advising and training
- Life balance
- Professional sport
The Reiss Profile® is also used in the fields of psychological counselling, business management, marketing, and communication. Other areas where the Reiss Profile® can be applied are currently being developed.
What is the Reiss Profile®'s market penetration?
Since May 2001 the Reiss Profile® has been used in the USA and Canada in the fields of clinical services and business management. Several American universities, including the renowned Harvard University (Massachusetts), are currently researching and testing the Reiss Profile®.
The Reiss Profile® has been used professionally in Europe since 2003. At the beginning of 2007 Reiss Profile® Europe B.V. became the representative of Reiss Profile® for the whole of Europe, as a business partner of Steven Reiss' IDS Publishing Corporation.
Do ideal profiles exist for specific professions?
For specific positions and professions, job profiles can be developed to facilitate professional success. The idea that an ideal motivational structure exists, however, is pure nonsense. The real issue is to know one’s own motivational strengths and weaknesses and to work with these appropriately.
In principle, the better the personal profile fits the motivational demands of a profession or position, the greater the likelihood of professional success, providing the candidate has the necessary skills.
Have all the Basic Desires really been covered?
All the Basic Desires have so far shown themselves to be absolutely distinct with no significant overlap. Should this ever work out differently in the future, Basic Desires will be combined to form one. If one Basic Desire should show a higher than average number of variants, this will produce a new Basic Desire.
Neither of these tendencies has emerged in the development of the Reiss Profile® so far. Empirical research is an ongoing process, and every Reiss Profile® test carried out contributes anonymously to this research.
We cannot rule out the possibility that the number of Basic Desires developed by Steven Reiss will change.
How do you write Reiss Profile® correctly?
The name ‘Reiss Profile®’ is protected. Unfortunately, many variant spellings have been publicised. We therefore ask all journalists, editors, Masters, scientists etc. who write about the Reiss Profile® to stick to the spelling authorised by Professor Steven Reiss: Reiss Profile® (singular).