Brain Dominance According To The Herrmann Quadrant

Brain dominance according to the Herrmann quadrant

Herrmann’s test of brain dominance is a 120-question test used to find out how we process information and what our learning style is. This interesting instrument suggests that there are four areas in the brain, and generally speaking, we all have certain tendencies.

It may be that you have already passed this test, although it is not very common. Why? For the  “Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument ”  (HBDI) is not a valid instrument from a neurological point of view. In fact, many scientists say it is a popular psychology.

The issue of brain dominance and lateralization is truly controversial. Let’s give an example. According to this instrument, creativity is located in the completely right hemisphere of the brain. But this is not quite right, assuming that creative processes use all parts of the brain with its amazing and its complex neuroactivity.

Does this mean that the Herrmann dominance test is completely useless? Of course not. There is one aspect that makes it valuable, and that is why we are talking about it today. This test begins with an important assumption: each person has their own specific way of processing information, changing it, receiving and interpreting information.

We just have to look at the students we study and even ourselves as we work. Some people are more careful and conservative, while others are innovative. Some are more visual, and some process information better through hearing… All of this fits the assumption of the Herrmann test.

the brain at the woman's head glows

Brain dominance in the Herrmann test

Before we talk about this test developed in the 1990s, let’s talk a little bit about its creator, Ned Herrmann. He was president of the American Creativity Association and a pioneer in the field of creative thinking and reasoning. He specialized in physics and music. As a young man, he worked for General Electric, a conglomerate, to develop the productivity, motivation and creativity of its employees.

In this company, Herrmann  analyzes the different ways of thinking and learning of employees. Based on this, he drew a brain map. He then developed a theory of brain quadrants, or blocks, and outlined four typologies of them. These are the four different ways people tend to think, learn, create, interact, and understand life.

Herrmann’s conception of brain dominance goes like this:

Type A: analytical people

Ned Herrmann called them experts. They are characterized by a logical, analytical and technical way of thinking.

  • They are really rational people who gather information about concrete facts.
  • Analytical people also tend to be competitive and individualistic, as well as intelligent and ironic. They also often have a good sense of humor.
  • The most suitable professions for these brain domains are those that have to do with math, physics, engineering, or chemistry.
the man's brain is pounding

Type B: organizing style

As the name suggests, this is a person of the organizing type who loves order and diligence.

  • They won’t do anything if they haven’t planned it first. They like everything that is predictable, conservative, and controllable.
  • In general, the people  in this “systematic” quadrant would be good business leaders, supervisors, accountants, etc.

Type C: interpersonal style

Type C refers to a type of brain dominance that tends to be emotional and the need to connect with others. They can identify with others and they enjoy social connections where they feel useful, giving and receiving. They are good at communicating, they are spontaneous and extroverted. In general, they prefer fields such as journalism, nursing, social work and law.

Type D: experimental

The fourth profile of this brain dominance test suggests holistic personalities. They are visual, spontaneous and truly creative people. These people like trying and inventing new things, even if those things have their own risks. These people always keep their eyes on the future, but they also try to learn something from the present. So we can see D-type people in professions like architect, writer, musician, painter, designer, etc.

woman writing in diary outdoors

Now that we’ve gone through these four typologies of Herrmann’s brain dominance test, we may not be recognizing ourselves in any of these four areas. This is normal. In fact, it is  estimated that  almost 60% of people have characteristics in more than one of these areas.

It is also important to make it clear that none of these dominances are better than the other. In addition, they also do not specify or predict anything. They just show what kind of orientations we tend to have when we interact with our environment. They tell us about the way we process information about our environment. This is a simple way to get to know ourselves a little better… why not give this a chance?

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