Can the MDNA assessment be manipulated for results?
We are often asked if the MDNA assessment can be manipulated for a certain result. And the answer is yes it can, to a certain degree. For example, if you are familiar with the MDNA gifts you can answer the assessment to show any results you need. With that being said, however, there are some considerations that generally prevent "gaming" the assessment.
All Questions are Neutral
MDNA focuses on intrinsic motivation versus temperament or strengths. Whereas other assessments may show positive and negative traits, intrinsic motivations are primarily neutral. You will be motivated by something or you will not. Because of this, there tends to be less desire to manipulate ones answers.
Motivated for Self Awareness
Once again, because we focus on intrinsic motivation, there is generally a desire for self-discovery. Many times, we receive feedback that the questions actually caused an individual to think about how they occur to themselves and others. This tends to focus the individual on being authentic as possible.
We have experimented with the number of questions, testing to see if the length of assessment can be reduced. What we found, however, was that having more questions reduced the margin of error should an individual misunderstand or couldn't choose which answer best fit them. This also works to limit manipulation as it is difficult to sway the results across all ninety one questions.
As a final safeguard, should it be necessary, we have provided MDNA training for leaders to recognize when somebody has assessed improperly. This is more involved but can be helpful depending upon the situation. But typically, we find people assess improperly for different reasons other than manipulation. Generally, this boils down to self-awareness, confidence and willingness to answer authentically. In most cases, some upfront encouragement and coaching from a trained MDNA leader rectifies this quickly.