My HBDI Profile

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI®) is a system to measure and describe thinking preferences in people, developed by William "Ned" Herrmann.

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI®) is a system to measure and describe thinking preferences in people, developed by William “Ned” Herrmann. It is a type of cognitive style measurement and model and is often compared to psychological assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), Learning Orientation Questionnaire (LOQ 25), DISC Assessment and others.

Brain Dominance Model

In his brain dominance model, Herrmann identifies four different modes of thinking:

  • Analytical thinking -> Key words: logical, factual, critical, technical, quantitative.Preferred activities: collecting data, analysis, understanding how things work, judging ideas based on facts, criteria and logical reasoning.
  • Sequential thinking -> Key words: safekeeping, structured, organized, complexity or detailed, planned.Preferred activities: following directions, detail-oriented work, step-by-step problem solving, organization, implementation.
  • Interpersonal thinking -> Key words: kinesthetic, emotional, spiritual, sensory, feeling.Preferred activities: listening to and expressing ideas, looking for personal meaning, sensory input, group interaction.
  • Imaginative thinking -> Key words: visual, holistic, intuitive, innovative, conceptual.Preferred activities: looking at the big picture, taking initiative, challenging assumptions, visuals, metaphoric thinking, creative problem solving, long-term thinking.

The format of the instrument is a 116-question online assessment, which determines the degree of preference for each of the model’s four styles of thinking. More than one style may be dominant (or a primary preference) at once in this model. For example, in Herrmann’s presentation a person may have strong preferences in both analytical and sequential styles of thinking but lesser preferences in interpersonal or imaginative modes, though he asserts all people use all styles to varying degrees.

Whole Brain® Model

The Whole Brain® Model is a metaphorical model that describes one’s thinking preferences. There are four quadrants of thinking – (A) Analytical, (B) Practical, (C) Relational, and (D) Experimental. Each of us has the ability to use all four quadrants, but we clearly have preferences for some over others. Those preferences, based on the dominance of specialized thinking processes, form the basis of the Whole Brain® model, which in turn serves as the foundation of the HBDI®.

The left brain is associated with logic, analytical thinking, and language processing, while the right brain is linked with creativity, intuition, and holistic thinking.

Whole Brain® Model

Eric’s HBDI® Profile

This explanation page will describe each of the four quadrants in the descending order of Eric’s preferences and will point out his choices of Key Descriptors which represent a general overview of his mental preferences in day-to-day life, and the Work Elements he strongly relates to. The Work Elements reflect Eric’s mental preferences at work. Work preferences may align completely with general preferences, or they may stem from situations unique to one’s working environment. This report will also review Eric’s forced choices from the Adjective Pairs section of the HBDI®. Eric’s forced choices in this section will often represent how his thinking is impacted in “Under Pressure” situations.


Left vs Right Modes Upper vs Lower Modes

HBDI® Profile – Left vs Right Modes
Eric’s Right Mode

Thought Processes: The right mode includes intuitive (C) and perceptive (D) thinking, as well as idealistic (D), expressive (C) and open (D) approaches.
Key Phrases: Typical phrases you might hear from a person with preferences for this mode might be:

“I just like to go with the flow, learn new concepts and get engaged with interesting people. I enjoy exploring the future with others and coming up with something we would have never expected.”

HBDI® Profile – Upper vs Lower Modes
Eric’s Upper Mode

Thought Processes: The Upper Mode is more cognitive (A) and intellectual (A), preferring abstract (D) and conceptual (D) thinking.
Key Phrases: Typical phrases you might hear from a person with preferences for this mode might be:

“I am always interested in well thought through ideas, concepts and research. Experimentation is a great way to explore those ideas and put them to the test.”


Basic Profile Under Pressure Profile Most / Least Preferred

How I See Myself At Work Energy Level Intro / Extroversion


Looking at the outcome of Eric’s HBDI® Profile above, his mentally preferred “flows” of thinking relate to him as:

Most preferred being intuitive, creative, and holistic with work elements relating to innovation, integration, and conceptualization. Then, next preferred being factual, logical, critical, rational, and analytical with work elements relating to analysis and problem solving. Followed by next preferred being intuitive (again) with work elements relating to expressing ideas and teaching / training. And finally the last preferred with work elements relating to organization.

→ Personality traits summary: Combined conclusion