The Origins of iTYPE

Biologist and perception researcher Dr Alexander Ribowski and coach and therapist Frieder Barth jointly developed a test based on visual perception that would reflect several aspects of the human person­ality. They sought to create a test based on the theoretical scien­tific findings from Gestalt Psychology and neuroaes­thetics while also incor­po­rating key features of design and adver­tising effec­tiveness research. That’s why iTYPE uses visual elements to evaluate participants.

This is how they developed the first version of iTYPE. This prelim­inary work became the basis for a success story. Since then, iTYPE has contin­u­ously developed, evaluated, and contributed new fields of appli­cation. Currently, four profilers are available, each with a special analytical focus on different target groups and contexts.

Scientific influences of iTYPE 

Neuro­science has shown, that a large part of our perception is influ­enced and controlled by visual stimuli. From a total of 11 million stimuli per second, only 40 reach our conscience. This is due to our brains ability to selective attention to which we also owe our speed of action and reaction.
Today we know that these "pre-filtering-processes", and therefor our corre­sponding judgments and our reactions as well, are not driven by seperate areas of the brain but by an interplay of complex networks. Hence we assume that each of us has distinct network struc­tures and cognitive processes that are reflected by our behavior and "being".

The research work of Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl, a motiva­tional researcher at the University of Osnabrück, already contained hypotheses on various systems with the corre­sponding integrative models on the subject of person­ality. Those did not only formed a hypothetical basis for the iTYPE test design. The Systems Kuhl describes in his  PSI-Theory also supports C.G. Jung's theory of person­ality analysis. In the 1950s, Jung postu­lated eight different cognitive functions, which result in 16 person­ality types with individual characteristics. 

The 16 person­ality types of C.G. Jung are, as with many other tests, the result of our test-method. iTYPEs unique highlight: We finally fulfilled his desire to create a chance:  The tool for a holistic and mainly unbiased analisys. 

What do you see in the picture on the right? A man or a colorful animal world?


"I must assume great goodwill on part of the reader if I hope to be under­stood correctly. It would be relatively easy if every reader knew which category he or she belonged to. But it's often very difficult to find out whether someone belongs to this or that type, especially when you yourself are under consideration.“

 C.G. Jung (1950) Psychol­o­gische Typen

Approach of iTYPE 

Most person­ality tests consist of a more or less extensive question­naire. The answers, which are essen­tially based on self-assess­ments, are used to determine the person­ality type or traits. But how are we supposed to know, for example, how loud or friendly we are in relation to all the other people in the world? How often is "sometimes" funny? Does the question aims at my private life or  is my work persona asked? And what impression does it I make if I answer honestly? 

Of course, no one seriously inter­ested in a result would want to "impute" a different person­ality to themselves. However, you quickly recognize which tendencies explicit questions are aimed at, maybe you worry, or even misjudge yourself, it may well happen that you answer the questions according to your own self image and thus "bias" the result. We all know that one very altru­istic person, that always waves away the thanks because they are far too humble to ackknowledge that about themselves. Dont we?The way we present ourselves, the way we want to be seen and, above all, who we would like to be, also play a decisive role in our person­ality. However, this would not neces­sarily require a test procedure. 

The so-called psycholexical approach, i.e. the assumption that person­al­i­ty­traits are reflected in certain charac­ter­istic words of a language, is therefore somewhat outdated and often critizised. 

 Already in 1950s Jung had theorized  that certain person­ality types prefer specific visual stimuli, due to their individual cognitive infor­mation processing.

The approach of an exclu­sively visually method that is incor­po­rating various psycho­logical theories and regular­ities, ensures an innov­ative and easy-to-use process. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers with iTYPE.  Only individual differ­ences in perception and integration of the percepted. Lines, shapes, patterns, struc­tures and colors are inter­preted differ­ently by different viewers depending on their personality.

The method behind iTYPE is evidence- and research-based. The test procedure has already been validated in studies and tested in compar­ative surveys with other estab­lished person­ality tests — including MBTI, CTI, CPI, NEO-FFI and others. 

No words only pictures

Instead of using words, iTYPE works exclu­sively with visual stimuli and symbols. With iTYPE, neither subjective experi­ences nor opinions verbalized. Instead, thanks to the symbolic language, our uncon­scious finally has a say —  sorry, a picture —  in the matter. 

In an almost playful way and with accuracy, prefer­ences and tendencies can be identified, without the necessity of addressing specific topics or answering compli­cated and ambivalent questions.