General FAQs

What is the difference between MDNA and other assessments? 

The most distinguishing difference is that MDNA is based upon the social science of intrinsic motivation, or more specifically, the research of Self-Determination Theory. All other assessments measure other psychometric data such as strengths, temperament and personality.

The most commonly popular personality tests, such as Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI), are designed to determine psychological preferences in how we perceive the world which then determines our decisions. Additional tests expand psychographic questioning to measure personality temperaments and traits. One of the major criticisms about this type of personality testing is accuracy. To address this, psychologists have developed advanced techniques to improve this.

The other popular form of psychographic assessment is based on strengths and talents. StrengthsFinder is one of the more popular versions of this. These are excellent for helping an individual gain a better understanding of how to be successful, by focusing on strengths rather than working on weaknesses, especially in the workplace.

While we wholeheartedly support strengths and talents assessment, the obvious drawback is that unless an individual is motivated to use them, strengths and talents represent very little value. This is precisely why intrinsic motivation becomes increasingly vital.

MDNA is designed to take inventory of the Motivational Value System. In essence, what we value motivates us and determines how we act. While there is a strong correlation between this and personalities, we believe Motivational Value Systems can be organized into major themes, much like many other psychographic profile systems available on the market.

Second, we believe in the existence of social DNA. Think of it like genetics. Your DNA determines your traits such as whether you are male or female, have red hair or the potential to be a world-class athlete. We believe in social genetics. This is how the MDNA of an individual—specifically the leadership—determines the social dynamics of a group of people.

Just like our physical traits however, social DNA needs to be nurtured. You don’t get to the Olympics without doing what it takes to unlock your potential. Beyond genetics there is the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of how genes are turned on or off because of various factors such as our environment. Using the MDNA framework, we are constantly researching how to unlock the social DNA of an organization by tapping into the individual and collective Motivational Value Systems.

Intrinsic motivation and social DNA is why we believe MDNA is special. Almost daily we learn something new about MDNA’s potential and receive a testimonial from a user to validate our core beliefs.

The MDNA methodology is supported by social psychology research called Self-Determination Theory which was made mainstream by the best-selling book Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.

We have composed a chart that compares MDNA to other popular assessments including:

  • StrengthsFinder
  • DiSC
  • True Colors
  • Enneagram

The comparison chart can be downloaded here.