Initforlife.com Media Kit

This document is also available in PDF version.

Contents

About PSS

Contact Information

PSS Executives

About Initforlife

Products and Services

Affiliate Program

Press Releases

Testimonials

Artwork

Top 10 FAQs

Site Map


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About PSS

Founded in 1987 and based in Newport News, Virginia, Performance Support Systems, Inc. (PSS) publishes state-of-the-art feedback and self-development tools. The company’s aim is to create personal growth products that are so engaging, versatile, easy to use and affordable that people everywhere will use them to achieve their full potential. Our product development and customer service efforts are driven by the following corporate vision:

To give success-minded individuals the resources they need to grow stronger for work and life.

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-development
  • Encouragement

The two co-founders, Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D. and Meredith M. Bell, M.A., have over sixty years combined experience in the fields of assessment and personal, professional and human resource development. Together, they’ve helped thousands of organizations present programs to well over 100,000 managers and professionals. To date, over a million people have used PSS products.

Our website for personal development, www.initforlife.com, features the MindFrames personality assessment and reports. We are also the publisher of the award-winning 20/20® Insight GOLD, a uniquely flexible, affordable, and customizable 360 feedback and development system.


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Contact Information

Performance Support Systems, Inc.
11838 Rock Landing Drive, Suite 130
Newport News, VA 23606
Phone: 757-873-3700
Fax: 757-873-3288

Send email


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PSS Executives

Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D. – CEO
Denny Coates

Co-founder of PSS, Denny coordinates research and development and provides strategic direction for the company. He is the author of 20/20 Insight GOLD, an award-winning multi-source feedback system (www.2020insight.net). Denny is also the original author of MindFrames and all of the MindFrames reports on Initforlife.

A graduate of West Point, Denny has over 35 years’ experience as a manager and leader. His military assignments focused on training development and personnel management and included service in Vietnam and Germany. He earned his Ph.D. at Duke University and has served on the faculties of the United States Military Academy, the Armed Forces Staff College, the College of William and Mary, and Thomas Nelson Community College. In addition, he was an adjunct lecturer at the Center for Creative Leadership for ten years. Hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies have benefited from his work in assessment, self-awareness, leadership and team development. He is the author of numerous articles, booklets, and manuals in the areas of cognitive style, leadership, management, training, and creativity.

Meredith M. Bell, M.A. – President
Meredith Bell

Meredith is also a co-founder of PSS, in charge of operations and marketing. Meredith co-developed the MindFrames questionnaire and other MindFrames materials. In addition, she co-authored program and training materials for 20/20 Insight GOLD.

Meredith received her B.A. in Education and M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from Virginia Tech and spent nine years in public education, including six years designing, developing, and delivering training programs for teachers and administrators. During her years as a management consultant, Meredith assisted organizations in the areas of team and leadership development, sales, and customer service.

Paula Y. Schlauch – Vice President
Paula Schlauch

Paula has been Vice President of Performance Support Systems for 18 years, and she has over 30 years’ experience in banking and business management. Her executive responsibilities include administration of financial, legal, personnel and resource programs within PSS.

Paula graduated magna cum laude from The College of William and Mary, where she received a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Marketing.


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About Initforlife

The purpose of Initforlife.com is to provide self-development resources for people who want to improve themselves and their relationships, both personal and professional. We offer these valuable tools to assist visitors in these areas:

MindFrames is a state-of-the-art personality test. Based on forty years of research in cognitive neuroscience, it’s the most revealing brain-based assessment in existence. MindFrames reports give people greater self-knowledge, which can enhance personal and professional effectiveness and improve relationships. Visitors register to take MindFrames free and receive a free personalized introductory report. Initforlife features advanced, specialized MindFrames reports, which are also available free.
GroupFrames GroupFrames lets everyone who has taken MindFrames set up their own personal groups and compare the personalities of people they know. People can create any kind of group: friends, teams, work units, families, couples relationships, e-pals, chat-room, communities, clubs—whatever they like. A group can be as small as two people, making it easy to compare two profiles side-by-side and see how a couple or two friends are similar and different. It’s fun, easy and safe because people give permission before others can include them in a group.

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Products and Services

At Initforlife.com, we feature these free offerings:

Free MindFrames personality test. Most people love to find out more about their personality, and MindFrames is one of the most accurate assessments available today.

Free introductory MindFrames report. "The Framicon and Your Comfort Zone" provides a rich orientation to the individual’s personality and an introduction of the MindFrames model. People learn about their most comfortable patterns—what’s in their comfort zone and what’s not.

Free GroupFrames service. People like to learn about the personalities of their family, friends and coworkers. GroupFrames makes it easy to set up groups of people and see how the members of each group are similar and different.

In addition, advanced, specialized MindFrames reports are available free. All reports are stand-alone, self-explanatory products. Each report focuses on a specific application topic and provides extensive interpretation generated by complex algorithms using a person’s mindframe scores. Reports may be viewed online, printed or downloaded as a PDF file. The presentation is friendly, interesting and easy to understand. Four reports are available.

compatibility report "Compatibility Forecast" is a 20-page match-up report that compares the personalities of dating partners and predicts the likelihood of sunny skies or stormy weather for the relationship. The information can help them identify potential compatibility issues in just a few minutes instead of the months or years that such discoveries can often take.
Revelations report "Revelations: Your Advanced MindFrames Analysis" is for people who want in-depth information about their personality. The report presents the eight mindframe scores and over a dozen pages of completely personalized interpretation.
Thin from Within report "Thin from Within: Your Personality Guide to Weight Loss" helps people choose the diet or fitness program that’s right for their personality. They discover the easiest way to get on track and stay on track as they learn new eating and exercise habits.
Communicating report The "Communicating" match-up report compares the personalities of two people with regard to how they talk and listen to each other. It explains the best approaches for getting your point across to the other person and hearing what he or she has to say.

These four reports are available FREE in our online store.


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Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Finding a Soul Mate Just Got Easier

Newport News, VA, March 15, 2004—The quest for love has never been stronger. Millions of people flocked to online dating services in 2003 and paid in excess of $313,000,000 searching for suitable partners, according to Jupiter Research. But finding a possible match is just the first step. Getting to know the person can take a long time—a high cost if the love match turns out to be incompatible.

The Compatibility Forecast, a 20-page report created by Performance Support Systems, Inc. (PSS), compares the personalities of both dating partners and predicts the likelihood of sunny skies or stormy weather for the relationship.

First, the couple takes the free online personality test, MindFrames. The "Compatibility Forecast" uses their responses to describe areas of common ground and potential conflict. The insights help dating partners decide if they want to move forward. Important points revealed in the report:

  • An "overall" forecast for the relationship, based on shared personality traits
  • A "local" forecast about each personality trait that impacts the relationship
  • Traits that contribute to HARMONY
  • The potential for ENRICHMENT
  • Significant differences and the potential for CONFLICT
  • Tips on making the most of similarities AND differences

"At last people have a way to discover potential compatibility and incompatibility issues in the early stages of a relationship," says Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., CEO of PSS. "With 'Compatibility Forecast,' they’ll gain insights into someone else’s personality in a matter of minutes, instead of the usual months or even years. And for couples who’ve been dating for a while, the information will help them move forward with a greater understanding and appreciation for the strengths each brings to the relationship."

"Compatibility Forecast" is one of several personal development and encouragement tools available on Initforlife.com. Anyone can learn about this report and the MindFrames personality test at www.initforlife.com.

A complete media kit about PSS and its web-based products is available at: www.initforlife.com/home/media1.asp

Founded in 1987 and based in Newport News, Virginia, Performance Support Systems, Inc. (PSS) publishes state-of-the-art feedback and self-development tools, including MindFrames and 20/20 Insight GOLD, a flexible survey instrument. The company’s aim is to create personal and professional growth products that are so engaging, versatile, easy to use and affordable that people everywhere will use them to achieve their full potential.

Contact Information:
Meredith Bell
Performance Support Systems, Inc.
11838 Rock Landing Drive, Suite 130
Newport News, VA 23606
757-873-3700, ext. 201
Send email
http://www.initforlife.com


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Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"GETTING TO KNOW YOU" JUST GOT EASIER
New Online Service Lets People Compare Each Other’s Personalities

Newport News, VA, September 11, 2003—It’s a well-known fact that compatibility is vital for a successful relationship. But it can take weeks, months or even years to discover common ground and differences. Now, there’s a helpful, entertaining way for people to learn more about the personalities of those they care about.

Performance Support Systems has introduced a new kind of service called GroupFrames on Initforlife.com. Everyone who takes the free MindFrames personality test can now use GroupFrames to set up groups and compare the personalities of people they know. A group can be as small as two people, making it easy to see how a couple or two friends are similar and different. It’s fun, easy and safe because people give permission for others to include them in a group. GroupFrames is a totally new concept in personality assessment. There’s nothing quite like it on the Internet.

"GroupFrames can help strengthen both personal and professional relationships," explains Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., CEO of PSS. "People can set up any kind of group: friends, team members, coworkers, families, couples relationships, e-pals, chat-room, communities, clubs—whatever they like. It reveals aspects of group chemistry and relationship chemistry that before you could only guess at."

Anyone can learn about GroupFrames and MindFrames at http://www.initforlife.com.

A complete media kit about PSS and its web-based products is available at:

http://www.initforlife.com/home/media1.asp

Founded in 1987 and based in Newport News, Virginia, Performance Support Systems, Inc. (PSS) publishes state-of-the-art feedback and self-development tools, including MindFrames and 20/20 Insight GOLD, a flexible survey instrument. The vision of PSS is to create personal and professional growth products that are so engaging, versatile, easy to use and affordable that people everywhere will use them to achieve their full potential

Contact Information:
Meredith Bell
Performance Support Systems, Inc.
11838 Rock Landing Drive, Suite 130
Newport News, VA 23606
757-873-3700, ext. 201
Send email
http://www.initforlife.com


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Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Don’t Get Fat—Get Thin from Within!

June 23, 2003, Newport News, VA—Most weight loss programs don’t take personality into account—they have a "one size fits all" approach. But your personality has a huge impact on your approach to losing weight. "Thin from Within" from Initforlife.com helps you understand this critical component, increasing your chances for success. It explains why you favor certain weight loss activities while avoiding others that could also be beneficial.

"Thin from Within" is a highly dynamic, personalized way to kick-start a weight loss program. The report, powered by the free online personality test MindFrames, is packed with detailed, practical information:

  • Identify successful weight loss strategies based on your personality
  • Find the easiest way to get on track to lose weight
  • Discover your most likely diet derailers and how to avoid them
  • Learn how to develop a plan to get going—your way
  • Avoid failure by knowing what to watch out for
  • Explore many rich resources, both on- and off-line

According to Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D. and CEO of Performance Support Systems, "’Thin from Within’ is for people who are ready to begin—or begin again—losing weight. They’re beyond denial, beyond just wishing. They’re ready to do something about it. ‘Thin from Within’ helps people select a program that’s right for their personality—to get on track and stay on track to achieve healthy, permanent weight loss."

"Thin from Within" is one of several personal development and encouragement tools available on Initforlife.com.

A complete media kit about PSS and its web-based products is available at:
http://www.initforlife.com/home/media1.asp

Founded in 1987 and based in Newport News, Virginia, Performance Support Systems, Inc. (PSS) publishes state-of-the-art feedback and self-development tools, including MindFrames and 20/20 Insight GOLD, a flexible survey instrument. The company’s aim is to create personal and professional growth products that are so engaging, versatile, easy to use and affordable that people everywhere will use them to achieve their full potential.

Contact Information:
Meredith Bell
Performance Support Systems, Inc.
11838 Rock Landing Drive, Suite 130
Newport News, VA 23606
757-873-3700, ext. 201
Send email
http://www.initforlife.com


Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Get One-of-a-Kind Match-up Report, a Breakthrough in Interpersonal Communication

March 10, 2003, Newport News, VA—Have you ever had relationship problems because of a breakdown in communication? Has it ever seemed as if other people are on a different frequency? Initforlife.com has introduced a new Communicating Match-up report (www.initforlife.com/home/gr_Communicate.asp) that shows you how to connect with someone important to you—the first time, every time. You’ll get insights that aren’t available anywhere else on the Web.

You have your own way of communicating, but this can lead to problems if the other person communicates differently. The Communicating Match-up Report, powered by the brain-based personality assessment MindFrames, helps you “get inside the other person’s head” to understand his or her preferred way of talking and listening. The report is filled with detailed, practical information and easy-to-follow suggestions, so you can apply what you learn immediately:

  • How you and the other person are similar and how you’re different
  • Personality traits that may have contributed to misunderstandings in the past
  • The kind of approach and information the other person is looking for
  • How to talk so the person understands you
  • How to listen when you really need to hear the person

According to Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D. and CEO of Performance Support Systems, “The Communicating Match-up Report can help you be a lot more effective. When you understand how the other person talks and listens, you have the power to connect.”

The Communicating Match-up Report is just one of the personal development and encouragement tools available on www.initforlife.com. This report, along with others on the site, is based on MindFrames—a free online personality assessment.

A complete media kit about PSS and its web-based products is available at:
http://www.initforlife.com/home/media1.asp

Founded in 1987 and based in Newport News, Virginia, Performance Support Systems, Inc. (PSS) publishes state-of-the-art feedback and self-development tools, including MindFrames and 20/20 Insight GOLD, a flexible survey instrument. The company’s aim is to create personal and professional growth products that are so engaging, versatile, easy to use and affordable that people everywhere will use them to achieve their full potential.

Contact Information:
Meredith Bell
Performance Support Systems, Inc.
11838 Rock Landing Drive, Suite 130
Newport News, VA 23606
757-873-3700, ext. 201
Send email
http://www.initforlife.com
 


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Artwork

These images are designed to accompany any articles or stories you publish pertaining to Initforlife.com, MindFrames, or Performance Support Systems, Inc.

Initforlife media images

Click on the image to view your download options.
All images are available in 72, 150 and 300 DPI resolutions.

Each image measures 3" x 3"


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Top 10 FAQs

The following FAQs will help you understand the MindFrames system.

What is MindFrames?

What’s the scientific basis for MindFrames?

Where does the MindFrames theory come from?

What research went into the development of MindFrames?

How is MindFrames different from other personality tests?

What will MindFrames do for me?

What’s a mindframe?

What’s a framicon?

Why do you let people take MindFrames free?

What extra information does the "Revelations" report give me?


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What is MindFrames?

MindFrames is a 10-question personality assessment that calculates your eight mindframe scores, creates your personal framicon and analyzes how you think and act—all of which are presented in a variety of helpful report formats.

The MindFrames system was co-developed by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., and Meredith M. Bell. Dr. Coates is the originator of the Success Style Profile® (SSP), an earlier version of MindFrames.

Like MindFrames, the SSP was a brain-based survey, which was researched and developed during the middle 1980s, published in 1988 and validated by numerous independent research studies. During 2000-2001, Coates and Bell used this research and a database of over 50,000 SSP subjects to develop the next-generation survey known as MindFrames. MindFrames was introduced in 2002.

MindFrames gives you a thorough, highly personalized description of how you use the eight mindframes, which are universal patterns of thought and action. These patterns are related to the four main areas of the brain, which every healthy human being uses countless times each day. Every individual uses the mindframes differently. Your preferences are the foundation of your unique personality.

The purpose of MindFrames is to increase your self-awareness, so that you can consciously do what's most effective in your life.

"The Framicon and Your Comfort Zone" reports both strength areas and under-emphasized areas of thought and action. It explains how to use this knowledge to succeed in specific aspects of life.

The "Revelations" report gives you an in-depth analysis of your personality, complete with your MindFrames scores and recommendations for making the most of your strengths.

The "Thin from Within" report helps you choose the diet or fitness plan that's right for your personality.

MindFrames also features a variety of relationship "match-up" reports, which compare your patterns with the patterns of another person. A match-up report describes your common ground with this individual, along with potential areas of conflict and suggests ways of interacting more successfully.

All MindFrames reports are available online and as a downloadable PDF file.


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What's the scientific basis for MindFrames?

All thought, as well as the behavior and personality patterns that result from thought, takes place in the human brain. That's why MindFrames is based on decades of research into how the brain does its work.

Like a computer, your brain processes information. Think of the brain as the "hardware." The "software" programs are the skills, habits and coping mechanisms you've acquired throughout life. These programs process the "data," such as facts, sights, sounds, memories and other input. The results of all this processing are your decisions and actions—your thought and behavior patterns.

Physically, the thinking part of your brain is the outer layer. It has four regions. The two back regions collect and store data—images, perceptions, experiences, details and facts. The two front regions relate the data to understand what it means. The left side is language-based and organizes knowledge logically. The right side is nonverbal and associates impressions intuitively.

As a result, each of the four regions of the brain performs a special kind of thinking. In turn, each region triggers a special kind of action. That's a total of four thought patterns and four action patterns. We call these eight distinct patterns "mindframes," because you experience them as frames of mind.

The MindFrames self-assessment measures how often you use each of the eight mindframes. While you probably use all of them every day, you depend on some more than others. These preferences define the style of your personality and help make you a unique individual.

This is the MindFrames Framicon. It represents the eight mindframes a person uses to deal with the everyday challenges of life and work.


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Where does the MindFrames theory come from?

There’s no short answer to this question. Even a summary explanation must deal with some of the complexity of brain science.

The MindFrames model is not derived from the work of a single creative genius, but the research of hundreds of scientists. MindFrames is derived from cognitive neuroscience—what some of the most respected scientists of our time have to say about the architecture and functioning of the human brain. This research has been reported in thousands of books, texts and articles.

The MindFrames model is based on brain science for a simple reason. The processes of the brain trigger every aspect of human thought, behavior, communication, style and personality. Personality originates from the brain and from nowhere else. Therefore, the most logical, useful and realistic model for personality must be based on how the brain actually works.

Learning how the brain works is challenging. With hundreds of interconnected areas and components, the brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Many parts may contribute to a single function such as emotion or memory; and interactions take place hundreds of times per second. The brain is also the most difficult organ to study. Unlike other organs, when a part of the brain is damaged or destroyed, it changes who you are. For this reason, scientists only rarely get to examine a living brain. Components of the brain are surrounded by other components and are hard to reach, even during surgery. The brains of deceased persons are less useful to research because they no longer function. The brains of other mammals may be similar to the human brain, but they have important differences, and there are ethical limitations to studying animal brains.

Formal brain research, which has been going on for about 150 years, began as the study of the effects of brain injury. Recent advances in sensing technology and computers have created breakthroughs, leading to advances in medicine and psychology. The current scientific consensus about how the brain works is widely published and discussed. These findings are the basic insights that shape the MindFrames model.

The part of the brain that produces the most striking differences in personality is the cortex, the outermost layer of brain matter. This is the thinking part of the brain, where perception, language, learning, planning, problem solving and most high-level functions are processed.

The human brain is vastly more complex than an electronic computer. However, there are similarities, and comparing the brain to a computer helps us understand how the cortex contributes to personality. Think of the brain as "hardware." The brain is a physical organ—a part of the body; and every healthy brain has the same structure, with only subtle physical variations. Over time, we use this brain-computer to figure out how to learn, communicate, create ideas, solve problems and make decisions. These and other mental skills are like "software" programs which process "data"—names, visual images, sounds and other detailed information stored in memory.

Both your brain and the thinking programs you acquire over a lifetime influence the thought patterns and behavior patterns we call "personality." Since our brains aren’t exactly alike and we don’t all learn the same things, we think differently, act differently and have different personalities. In this regard, every human being is completely unique.

Scientists have learned that stored information and thinking programs reside in different regions of the cortex. Functionally, the cortex has four main regions, each of which processes a special kind of information in a special way. The four regions are: left-front, left-back, right-front and right-back. To understand how these four cortical regions contribute to mind and personality, we must consider the differences between the left and right sides of the brain, along with the differences in purpose and function of the front and back lobes.

Left-brain and right-brain. All language functions—hearing, understanding, forming and speaking language—are clustered on one side of the brain. For the vast majority of people, this is the left side. The presence of language processing on the left side of the brain has a profound impact on the thinking that goes on there. The act of naming things is unique to humans. The categorization of experience, using the names of things, creates a mechanism for order and structure that is the foundation of logical thought. Reason is essential to understanding cause and effect, analysis, problem solving objective, evaluation and decision-making. It’s the primary tool of science itself.

Logical thought may be distinctly human, but it isn’t the only effective way of thinking. The right brain thinks by associating images. This highly useful way of sorting experience and creating meaning is how the right side of the brain processes information, learns, imagines, makes decisions and triggers action. It’s the basis for human creativity, artistic judgment, value judgment, intuitive judgment, interpreting behavior and recognizing complex patterns.

Neither left-brain nor right-brain thinking is superior to the other. Both are essential to survival and work together to help us make our way in the world. If a person had only one of these ways of thinking, he or she would be radically disabled and unable to function in society.

Back-brain and front-brain. In simple terms, the back part of the brain processes sight, sound and physical sensation. This gives us perceptual awareness—the ability to experience the world directly, to have real-time concrete information such as specific images, feelings, names, facts, data and other practical details.

The front brain and the back brain are physically separated by the motor strip, a band of cortex that goes from ear to ear across the top of the brain. The motor strip sends movement (behavioral) commands from the cortex to every part of the body. Thinking in both the front cortex and the back cortex informs these commands, although the processing in both areas is profoundly different.

The back cortex has three main regions: occipital (visual/sight), temporal (auditory/sound) and parietal (kinesthetic/feel and touch). Each of these perceptual regions has a primary area that receives raw input via the thalamus from the sense organ, a secondary area that translates these sensations into a pattern, and a tertiary area that associates the pattern with other perceptions in long-term memory to produce a meaningful image. The central region touching these three main regions coordinates the different types of perceptions into a total experience.

While the back brain produces instinctive stimulus-response reactions, the front brain produces decisions based on association and analysis. The front brain also receives input to create patterns, but the patterns are conceptual, not perceptual. The prefrontal lobes receive information from the back cortex and other parts of the brain in order to make sense of specific information. In short, images, facts, emotions and other perceptual input are related to each other. These associations are stored in long-term memory as meaningful conceptual patterns and processing skills.

While other mammals have some front-brain tissue, the human front-brain cortex is much more extensively developed, giving us dramatically advanced learning, imagining, reasoning, problem solving and planning ability. Still, this wonderful capacity is not more important to survival than the products of the back brain, which produces perceptual awareness—the essential input for the front brain.

The four brain regions. The qualitative differences between left and right, along with the differences between front and back, contribute to the four distinct regions of the cortex: left-front, left-back, right-front and right-back. These four physical regions of the cortex produce the four patterns of thought and the four patterns of action that are the foundation of the MindFrames personality model.

Left-back. Thinking in this region produces language-based information. It identifies, sorts and stores specific information that is the product of language: names, definitions, dates, times, quantities, categories, rules and other data that define experience. In the MindFrames system we call this precise, practical, structured thinking ORDER. When translated into behavior, the result is disciplined effort, instruction, and rule-based compliance—the action patterns of the mindframe CONTROL.

Left-front. Thinking in this region produces language-based concepts. The left-front region uses reason and objective analysis to make sense of the information received from the left-back region. Left-front thinking produces logical understanding, objective judgment, critical analysis, rational problem solving, structured decision-making, forecasting and planning, and it’s represented by the mindframe we call LOGIC. When translated into behavior, the result is organization, rational explanation and goal-directed effort—the action patterns of the mindframe PROACTIVITY.

Right-back Thinking in this region involves sense-based perceptions. It forms and stores specific images: sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, body awareness and emotion—the very essence of here-and-now awareness. In the MindFrames system we call this sense- and emotion-based thinking SENSITIVITY. When translated into behavior, the result is hands-on activity, spontaneous interaction and expression of feelings—the action patterns of the mindframe SOCIABILITY.

Right-front. Thinking in this region produces sense-based associations. The right-front region relates images holistically to make sense of input from the right-back region. Right-front thinking produces intuitive judgment, imagination, personal values and beliefs; and it’s represented by the mindframe we call INSIGHT. When this kind of thinking is translated into behavior, the result is dramatic expression, artistic performance and persuasive communication—the action patterns of the mindframe CHARISMA.

The larger answer about the research basis for MindFrames fills over a thousand volumes. When MindFrames was originally developed, neuroscience (the medical study of the brain—how it functions) and cognitive psychology (the psychological study of mind—how the brain thinks) were separate disciplines. Even though both were aspects of brain science, the two types of research only rarely cross-referenced each other. Today, the two branches of science have merged into one: cognitive neuroscience.

For the ambitious inquirer, here’s a partial list of the books that informed the development of the MindFrames model:

General Introduction
Gazzaniga, Michael S. Mind Matters. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.
Gazzaniga, Michael S. The Social Brain. New York: Basic Books, 1985.
Hart, Leslie. How the Brain Works. New York: Basic Books, 1975.
Hunt, Morton. The Universe Within. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982.
Ornstein, Robert, and Thompson, Richard F. The Amazing Brain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
Restak, Richard. The Brain. New York: Bantam Books, 1984.
Restak, Richard. The Brain Has a Mind of its Own. New York: Harmony Books, 1991.
Restak, Richard. The Mind. New York: Bantam Books, 1988.
Sagan, Carl. The Dragons of Eden. New York: Random House, 1977.
Smith, Anthony. The Mind. New York: Viking Press, 1984.

Cognitive Psychology
Anderson, John R. Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications, 3rd Ed. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1990.
Baddeley, Alan. Human Memory: Theory and Practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1990.
Best, John B. Cognitive Psychology. New York: West, 1986.
Howard, Darlene V. Cognitive Psychology. New York: Macmillan, 1983.
Martindale, Colin. Cognitive Psychology: A Neural-Network Approach. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1991.

Perception
Gregory, R. L. Eye and Brain, 2nd Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973.
Kaufman, Lloyd. Perception. New York: Oxford U. Press, 1979.

Neuropsychology
Andreason, Nancy C. The Broken Brain. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.
Beaumont, J. Graham. Understanding Neuropsychology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988.
Bridgeman, Bruce. The Biology of Behavior and Mind. New York: John Wiley, 1988.
Dimon, Stuart J. Neuropsychology. London: Butterworths, 1980.
Gazzaniga, Michael S., and LeDoux, Joseph E. The Integrated Mind. New York: Plenum Press, 1978.
Kalat, James W. Biological Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1992.
Llinas, Rodolfo R, ed. The Workings of the Brain: Development, Memory and Perception. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1990.
Luria, A. R. The Working Brain. New York: Basic Books, 1975.
Scheibel, Arnold B., and Wechsler, Adam F., eds. Neurobiology of Higher Cognitive Function. New York: The Guilford Press, 1990.
Springer, Sally P., and Deutsch, George. Left Brain, Right Brain. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1985.
Wittrock, M. C., ed. The Brain and Psychology. New York: Academic Press, 1980.

Emotions
Mandler, George. Mind and Emotion. Malabar, FL: Robert E. Krieger, 1982
Simonov, P. V. The Emotional Brain. New York: Plenum Press, 1986.
Thompson, Jack George. The Psychobiology of Emotions. New York: Plenum Press, 1988.

Concept Formation
Halpern, Diane F. Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, 2nd Ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum, 1992.
Miller, G. A., Galantar, E. H., and Pribram, K. Plans and the Structure of Behavior. New York: Holt, 1960.
Noddings, Nel, and Shore, Paul J. Awakening the Inner Eye. New York: Teachers College Press, 1984.
Perecman, Ellen, ed. The Frontal Lobes Revisited. New York: IRBN Press, 1987.

Consciousness
Davidson, J. M., and Davidson, R. J., eds. The Psychobiology of Consciousness. New York: Plenum Press, 1980.
Dennett, Daniel C. Consciousness Explained. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991.
Eccles, Sir John, ed. Mind and Brain. Washington: Paragon House, 1982.
Eysenck, Michael W. Attention and Arousal. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1982.

Learning
Friedman, Sarah L., Klivington, Kenneth A, and Peterson, Rita W., eds. The Brain, Cognition and Education. Orlando: Academic Press, 1986.
Hart, Leslie A. Human Brain and Human Learning. New York: Longman, 1984.
Healy, Jane M. Endangered Minds. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

Recently Published Books
Carter, Rita. Mapping the Mind. Berkeley CA: U. of California Press, 1998.
Gazzaniga, Michael S., et al, eds. The New Cognitive Neurosciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.
Gazzaniga, Michael S., ed. Cognitive Neuroscience: A Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999.
Gazzaniga, Michael S. The Mind’s Past. Berkeley, CA: U. of California Press, 1998.
Goldberg, Elkhonon. The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind. New York: Oxford U. Press, 2001.
Kandel, Eric R., et al. Principles of Neural Science, 4th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.
LeDoux, Joseph E. The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1996.
LeDoux, Joseph E. Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are. New York: Viking, 2002.
Nolte, John. The Human Brain: An Introduction to Its Functional Anatomy, 5th Ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 2002.
Purves, Dale, et al., eds. Neuroscience, 2nd Ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2001.
Restak, Richard M. The Secret Life of the Brain. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press, 2001.
Restak, Richard M. The Modular Brain. New York: Scribner’s, 1994.
Swanson, Larry W. Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan. New York: Oxford U. Press, 2003.

Introductory Books
Slaughter, Malcolm, ed. Basic Concepts in Neuroscience: A Student’s Survival Guide. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002.
The Brain (How Things Work series). Alexandria, VA: Time-Life, 1990.
Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System, 4th Ed. Washington: Society for Neuroscience, 2002. Order free or download PDF version at: http://apu.sfn.org/content/Publications/BrainFacts/index.html.


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What research went into the development of MindFrames?

This is an all-important question, and it's the kind of question that requires a thorough answer. If you'd like to know more about the scientific research and fifteen years of development that led to the publication of MindFrames, the following summary is provided.

From 1986 to 2001, the early prototype for MindFrames was known as the Success Style Profile® (SSP). During that period, over 100 specially trained psychologists, trainers, human resource consultants and ministers assisted in administering the SSP to over 50,000 subjects, including representative samples of age groups, races, regions and career fields. That research established the validation of the theory and revealed the importance of mindframes in personality assessment, which led to the development of the current version of MindFrames.

Two kinds of research are essential to the development of a personality assessment: theoretical research and developmental research.

Theoretical research determines what the assessment will be based on. This foundation is crucial to developing assessment questions, which are the all-important instrument of assessment. It's also critical to explaining the scores that result from the assessment. If the theory isn't credible, then what's reported can't be trusted. An assessment can be based on virtually anything: ancient philosophy, religion, astrology, early psychological concepts or statistics. There are personality assessments in use today based on all these things.

MindFrames, however, takes a different approach. It's based on the premise that personality is the outward manifestation of ingrained patterns of cognition: how we perceive, react with emotion, learn, solve problems, make decisions and move to action. All these processes take place in various regions of the cerebral cortex. Therefore, the MindFrames personality assessment is based exclusively on the study of the human brain (neuroscience) and how it works (cognitive psychology). Every aspect of the MindFrames theory and content comes from the conclusions of current scientific research. In short, the theory underlying MindFrames is available everywhere in university textbooks, scientific journals and countless books about the human brain.

Developmental research tests early versions of an assessment to check whether they're working properly, so that they can be successively improved. The major issues are reliability and validity. An assessment is reliable if it's consistent, if it gives the same measurement when repeated with the same subject. An assessment is valid if it actually measures what it says it measures. In reality, whether or not a personality assessment is valid can never be determined with absolute certainty, only with varying degrees of significance and confidence.

When a personality assessment is used for purposes such as psychological treatment or corporate personnel selection and hiring, there are important human consequences. The potential for benefit or harm is significant. People in authority study the results of highly personal information and make decisions that impact on an individual's life. The subject's rights must be protected. Reliability and validity research is the first requirement for this protection.

Other uses of personality assessment are completely benign, such as self-awareness, self-improvement, team building, relationship building or simple entertainment. The subject decides whether to get involved, scores and analysis are given only to the subject, and only beneficial consequences are involved. In these cases, validation research isn't an issue and isn't legally mandated.

MindFrames is the end product of a considerable journey of research, development and validation testing, which began in 1986, when the earliest versions of the instrument were tested with students at the College of William and Mary. The major research efforts during the years that followed are summarized below.

College of William and Mary Study. In 1989, two professors at the College of William and Mary, Dr. Michael Politano (Psychology) and Dr. Jeanne Lindholm (Business), conducted a study comparing the Success Style Profile (SSP) and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). They administered both assessments to a diverse sample of 442 managers and checked correlations and test-retest validity. Test-retest correlations were extremely high, and all SSP factors that related to MBTI factors showed satisfactory correlations (.4 or higher).

Center for Creative Leadership Study. In 1989, Dr. Robert Dorn, Jenny Godwin and Amy Webb performed a study to replicate the findings of the William and Mary study. In a sample of 163 managers, they found nearly identical satisfactory correlations between SSP and MBTI factors.

Specialized Populations Study. In "The Validity of the Success Style Profile," in Technical Manual for the Success Style Profile, published in 1990, Dr. Dennis E. Coates reviews the William and Mary and Center for Creative Leadership studies and presents new statistics for specialized populations, demonstrating predictive validity of SSP mindframes.

CEO Study. In "The Personalities of Strong Executives," Executive Development, published November 1991, Dr. Dennis E. Coates analyzes predicted leadership characteristics of 76 CEOs, based on SSP factors.

Study of Sermon Presentation Styles. In 1992, Michael DuVal completed a doctoral dissertation for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "Developing Preaching Approaches for the Identified Cognitive Styles of the Listeners at the Thaxton Baptist Church, Thaxton, VA." In a sample of 96 members of the congregation, Dr. DuVal found strong correlations between audience SSP mindframe factors and preferences for sermons presented using specific mindframes.

Mindframe Prototype Research. In 1993, Michael Paglieri completed a thesis for the College of Wooster, "Validation of SSP." The study compared SSP mindframe scores with an early prototype mindframe assessment called "Thinking Styles." Correlations were satisfactorily high.

Women Business Owners Study. In 1994, Dr. Sharon Hadary, Julie Weeks and Nicole Aiello, of the National Foundation for Women Business Owners, published "Styles of Success: The Thinking and Management Styles of Women and Men Entrepreneurs." In a sample of 127 male and female entrepreneurs, the study found consistent trends related to SSP factors.

Multi-Assessment Correlation Study. In 1995, Dr. Christopher R. Hardy completed his dissertation, "An Examination of the Dimensions and Common Constructs of Selected Adult Cognitive Learning Style Instruments." The study found SSP items and factors correlated at a high level of significance, and the factors showed satisfactory construct validity with other instruments.

SSP Signature and Mode Charts. From 1994-2000, Dr. Dennis Coates and Meredith Bell published two transitional self-assessment instruments, both utilizing the mindframes concept. SSP Signature used eight cards, each describing in detail one of the eight mindframes. Subjects studied and sorted the cards according to preference and recorded the results. In addition, charts were created to serve eight applications: Thinking, Relating, Working, Learning, Leading, Selling, Change and Administrative Support. Used in conjunction with SSP, the charts helped subjects learn mindframe preferences. During the period, Coates and Bell had frequent personal contact with over 3,000 subjects, and over 50 specially trained associates had frequent personal contact with more than 20,000 other subjects. Researchers used subject feedback to validate the mindframes concept, which became the foundation of the development of the MindFrames assessment in 2001.

MindFrames Validation. In 2001, Dr. Dennis Coates and Meredith Bell administered MindFrames to 36 subjects who had previously taken the SSP. The mindframes scores of all 36 subjects correlated highly with SSP mindframe scores. In addition, subjects reported significantly greater face validity with MindFrames than with SSP.


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How is MindFrames different from other personality tests?

Here are some of the significant ways that MindFrames is unique:

1. The questions and analysis are based on thousands of research studies in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

2. The assessment, based on 15 years of test development research, uses sentence completion responses, phased scales, and symmetrical test construction for robust analysis and reporting.

3. Instead of boilerplate text, MindFrames generates detailed personalized text descriptions based on a complex analysis of an individual’s scores.

4. It features match-up reports, which compare the personalities of two people, revealing common ground and potential differences.

5. Instead of typing a person, it describes his or her unique preferences for eight thought and behavior patterns and analyzes what the scores mean.

6. It gives each person a highly personalized "framicon" symbol, which expresses the comfort zone of that individual.


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What will MindFrames do for me?

The MindFrames assessment describes your patterns of thought and action. It helps you discover how you've learned to cope with the everyday challenges of life and work. This self-awareness gives you several benefits.

First, you discover the patterns you use most often, along with those you rely on less. This knowledge helps you take advantage of your strengths and stretch beyond your comfort zone to achieve your goals. Each MindFrames report coaches you about a specific topic.

Also, learning about MindFrames greatly expands your understanding of people. When you learn how others think and act, you discover how to connect more effectively with them. MindFrames match-up reports suggest ways to improve how you relate to others.

People are a lot more different on the inside than they are on the outside. As the authors of MindFrames affirm, "No one on Earth is exactly like you."

These differences make relationships endlessly rich and interesting. They also cause misunderstandings. One of the great barriers to harmony is that people have trouble understanding each other. They find it hard to appreciate a different mindset or predict what other people will do. When others don't think and act the way you expect, your contacts with them can be challenging and irritating.

The solution is to understand yourself better—and the people around you.


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What's a mindframe?

To understand what a "mindframe" is, consider a few basic facts about the brain, where all thought and action begins.

Like a computer, your brain processes information. The brain itself is the "hardware." The "software programs" are the skills, habits and coping mechanisms you learned throughout your life. They use data such as facts, sights, sounds, memories and other input. The results of all this processing are your decisions and actions—your thought and behavior patterns.

The thinking part of your brain has four regions. The two back regions collect data—specific details, facts, images and experiences. The two front regions relate the data to find out what it means. The left side is language-based and organizes data logically. The right side is nonverbal and associates data intuitively.

Thus, there are four physical regions of the outer thinking layer of the brain. Each of the four regions performs a special kind of thinking and in turn, each region triggers a special kind of action. That's a total of four thought patterns and four action patterns. We call these eight patterns "mindframes," because you experience them as frames of mind.

The four thought mindframes are Order (left-back), Logic (left-front), Sensitivity (right-back) and Insight (right-front).

The four action mindframes are Control (left-back), Proactivity (left-front), Sociability (right-back) and Charisma (right-front).


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What's a framicon?

The term "framicon" is derived from the phrase, "MindFrames icon."



While the Mindframes icon has eight symbols, representing all eight mindframes, your framicon shows only the symbols of your highest-scoring mindframes, which make up your comfort zone. The small black dot identifies your lead mindframe.

This sample framicon shows that Sensitivity (the red circle with the black dot) is the lead mindframe and Sociability (red square) and Insight (yellow circle) are within the person’s comfort zone.

Your individual framicon is quite unique. There are more than 1,000 possible variations. You can get your personal framicon FREE by taking the MindFrames survey on this site.


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Why do you let people take MindFrames free?

Our goal is to make MindFrames available to all interested people. We’re sure that once you experience it, you’ll appreciate the accuracy and richness of the feedback and encourage your friends to learn about this amazing assessment.

The free Framicon report presents you with your personal framicon, recommends specific success strategies based on your profile and introduces you to the MindFrames system.

Other reports are also available for free, such as the relationship "match-up" reports, "Thin from Within: Your Personality Guide to Weight Loss," and "Revelations," the advanced personal analysis of your MindFrames scores.


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What extra information does the "Revelations" report give me?

The report, "The Framicon and Your Comfort Zone" gives you your personal framicon and an excellent introductory orientation about your personality.

On the other hand, you may want the whole story: the actual scores, all the insights, the "watch-outs" and personalized advice for using self-knowledge to achieve more in work and life.

The "Revelations" report delivers advanced individual analysis. It’s so thorough that it’s like an electronic personal coach. Some of its major features:

1. A profile of your MindFrames scores

2. How your strongest scores define your personality

3. How you learn, solve problems and make decisions

4. Life activities that may be easy or difficult for you

5. Work activities that may be easy or difficult for you

6. How focused or flexible your personality is

7. Cautions about your potential to over-use certain mindframes

8. Cautions about your potential to under-use certain mindframes

9. Personalized recommendations for using your strengths

10. Personalized recommendations for stretching outside your comfort zone

11. Four success strategies for using your advanced analysis

12. Presented online and as downloadable PDF file

 

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