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The Brainmap reviewed

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Title : The Brainmap, a self assessment book
Publisher: Brain Technologies Corporation (e-mail [email protected]
Price: $15 each for 1 - 12 copies. $13 each for 13 - 144 copies and $11 each for 145 copies or more. Alternatively you can become a Brainmap UK distributor in
which case the cost comes down to $8 each.

The BrainMap is an A4 sized document of approximately
twenty pages which comprises a combination of pages to be completed by the candidate and instruction pages to help with the completion. It takes the format of a typical psychometric testing booklet that ask the candidate to select from a number of options to each question.A guide to the scoring is included and having worked through the booklet the candidate will end up with a final score which is then plotted onto a diagram of the brain.

The suppliers describe the product as "the next generation of front-line assessment tool. It is based upon the new cross-over research between the physical and mental worlds. The BrainMap shows promising signs of being the next world wide Myers-Briggs or DISC type general use training tool".

Within the tool it says: " The BrainMap is intended solely for educational purposes, including the facilitation of new thinking skills and the provision of other learning opportunities for its user only" from which it can be assumed that the BrainMap is intended to be used by trainers wishing to assess a candidates learning style and suitability for a particular learning method (although it doesn't actually say this!).

Having completed a number of psychometric tests in my career, I had assumed that completing this one would be a straightforward affair, but I was very wrong. On page one it states "This testing instrument is scored differently than most multiple choice instruments, so please read the instructions for each new section carefully". I have to say I struggled to make any sense of some of the instructions, a situation which was made worse by the American terminology used throughout the tool. For instance:

- Question 1: 'When facing a problem, I usually a) "tune in" new patterns and try to sort out what the future may hold.' Pardon me?

- Question 4. 'When I am not at my best, I may come across to other people as a) someone who comes up with too many off-the-track ideas.' ?

Not only did I struggle with the terminology used, some of the questions absolutely baffled me, for instance:

- 'Question 7, When I think of the "human race"
I tend to think of

a) A variety of people I know.................
b) The people in my inner circle................
c) Persons I currently deal with..................
d) Our likenesses and differences and how they link us together at times and keep us apart at times'

Guess which answer you were supposed to choose?

The tool took far too much of my valuable time to complete and at times I had no idea what I was doing. After completing the multichoice questions you are asked to plot your scores on to two brain matrixes. Firstly there is 'capturing your basic profile'. To complete this, a diagram is provided which is taken from directly above a person's head, with the brain split into four areas - control, explore, pursue and preserve. A score line of 0- 120 runs north, south, east & west from the centre of the brain and onto this you plot your own individual score which will reveal which of these tendencies is your strongest.

Secondly, a similar diagram is again split into four areas, this time precision thinking, open ended thinking, aim/act thinking and feelings- powered thinking. Again, by plotting your own individual score you will find which of these areas is your strongest.

Unfortunately the instructions on how to interpret the diagrams are absolutely awful. Several A4 pages packed with text which left me absolutely bored to death. There is also an explanation of the 17 zones of the brain , yes 17! - and even these are a trial, Zone 14 says see I-shape in step No 4, Zone 15 see I relate in step no 4 and so on. An absolute nightmare.

Thinking my dislike of psychometric test may be effecting my judgement I asked a professional colleague who actually uses conventional psychometric test a lot to complete the BrainMap and let me know what she made of it. She wrote: "It took me several days to complete. Confusing to score and plot and didn't say what I should do with the information once I had completed the test. I got totally lost on the Zones. Not a great deal about the 'team' or 'organization'".

BrainMaps brochure states " Products from Brain Technologies, putting quality and excitement into how people learn and think". I don't think so.



Reviewed by Stephen P Radburn, Training Consultant.

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