From Ancient Greece to Lumina Spark; a brief history of personality profiling.

As far back as Ancient Greece, humans have been trying to understand and predict people’s behavior.

The Greeks theorized that the way people behaved was driven by their humours and divided people into 4 categories – phlegmatics, melancholics, sanguines, and cholerics.

In 1922, Jung’s theory of personality was a significant improvement on the humours and has served organizations well as a practical tool for raising self awareness for many decades. Jung’s work was based on case studies and anecdotal observations rather than statistical analysis, yet his intuition identified three of the Big 5 personality factors.

In 1936 Allport and Odbert created a source of over 4,500 words in an attempt to find the core ingredients of personality. In the 1940s Raymond Cattell continued in this vein and concluded that 16 factors defined one’s personality. Fiske (1949) later refuted and found errors in Cattell’s analysis. Fiske concluded that five factors could account for the variances in human personality. Nevertheless, it was not until the 1950s, when Tupes and Christal took this work further, that the first version of the big five model was officially born. Their work was replicated by Norman in 1963 and the Big 5 model began its slow march towards becoming the accepted taxonomy for academics to research personality.

During the 1960s and 1970s academic personality research was in the doldrums, but practitioners were in their element applying personality models in organizations, often using the popular Jungian approach.

Through the 1980s and 1990s a number of Big 5 models emerged, with Costa and McCrae leading the field.  Now the dominant model of personality, a number of personality instruments measuring Big 5 personality traits are embedded in many organizations.

When Stewart Desson created Lumina Spark he uniquely set out to combine the rigor of a trait-based Big 5 model with the practicality of a Jungian approach.  The result is the Lumina Spark personality assessment that is empirically validated, deeply accurate, and easily accessible for non-academic clients.

In 2009 the Lumina Spark model was introduced to clients throughout the world via Lumina Learning online system and today it is available via the Lumina Splash app.


Would you like to know more?

Develop your unique Lumina Spark personality profile followed by a personalized coaching session with an experienced international executive coach.

Explore the Lumina Spark Team Program which can be tailored to meet your organizations or individual needs. Learn proven, memorable, easy to use tools for communicating effectively and build a cohesive team which is proven to deliver real business benefits.

Become a Certified Lumina Spark Practitioner.

Contact us with any questions.