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About Insight

About Us
Patrick Handley, Ph.D.
Message from Dr. Handley

Founder & Director of the Insight Institute, Inc.

Author & Publisher of the INSIGHT Inventory

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Over 25 Years of Experience in Personality Assessments & Team Building

Thank you for your interest in the INSIGHT Inventory product line and congratulations on your desire to help people improve their interpersonal skills.

My own interest in personality assessment began over 25 years ago while I was completing my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri. I specialized in personality assessment and wrote my dissertation on the use of the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. Later I taught courses in personality assessment and counseling at the University of Missouri and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

When I began providing management and team leadership skill training to businesses, I—perhaps like many of you—tried most of the style instruments available. Unfortunately, each of them left me somewhat dissatisfied. Some categorized people into narrowly defined types and were full of psychological jargon that people had to struggle to apply. Others used codes, colors, and animal names and labels that prevented untrained employees from understanding what was being discussed. Counterproductive we (the trained) vs. they (the untrained) groups formed. Still others, while creatively designed and beautifully packaged, simply promised more than they delivered. Most importantly, many lacked the sufficient statistical reliability and validity for me, as a licensed psychologist, to feel comfortable using.

In 1984 I developed a new assessment, the INSIGHT Inventory that would avoid these short comings. My criteria was that it needed to be:

  1. Statistically solid with reliability and validity data that would stand up to the most intense scrutiny of training professionals and university researchers.
  2. Based on a well researched and accepted personality theory that was practical and could be easily applied to the workplace. I selected the 1942 Field Theory of Dr. Kurt Lewin which holds that observable behavior is the result of the interaction between personality and the environment.
  3. Easy to administer, short, and self-scoreable so trainers could use it while the participants interest was high.
  4. Practical, the INSIGHT Inventory was designed to make sense to the user and doesn't have any psychological jargon such as "types," "shadow sides," "masks," or "personas" that must be to learn in order to understand and apply their results.
  5. Conversational in language. I wanted people to be able to discuss their results both with others who have taken the INSIGHT Inventory and with people who hadn’t. For that reason the scales and descriptions are in everyday language – no colors, codes or labels that exclude those who aren’t familiar with the instrument.

In short, the INSIGHT Inventory was designed as an easy-to-use, statistically valid personality assessment which can be used to help participants learn more about themselves and improve teamwork, leadership, and communications.

I'm excited about the many possible uses of the INSIGHT Inventory and believe that you will be too. As you review the materials note that all descriptive information is worded positively. Since one of the objectives is to help people develop both a positive image of themselves and a positive image of others, extra effort was taken to select descriptions that people feel good about using.