The Motivation Insights® assessment is based on the writings and research of Eduard Spranger, a German psychologist, teacher and philosopher. Spranger’s observations of people led him to discover and understand why people see the world differently. Spranger’s theory distinguished six types of people based on their attitudes and values. The six attitudes defined in his book, “Types of Men” written in 1928, were Theoretical, Economical, Aesthetic, Social, Political and Religious. Based on Spranger’s theory and further research by Gordon Allport, the creation of the first assessment tool based on Spranger’s six attitudes was developed by Allport, P.E. Vernon, and G. Lindzey.

Bill J. Bonnstetter’s contributions began as he applied this research to the business community. Seeing a need for improvement, Bonnstetter developed and validated the Personal Interests and Values assessment in 1990, a more modern and sophisticated tool based on the six attitudes of Spranger. In 1996, Bonnstetter updated the report and the assessment was re-named Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values, although the assessment itself did not change. Finally, in 2003, the assessment was updated and included in TTI’s largest validation study, becoming known as Motivation Insights®.

Today, the Motivation Insights assessment is validated for use in job selection and its reports include information on motivation and perception of others and by others. As a result of observation and field testing, Bonnstetter also changed the names of three of Spranger’s six attitudes:

Economic became Utilitarian Political became Individualistic Religious became Traditional