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What is a model?

Psychography is considered as a part of personality psychology and thus as a scientific discipline. Science uses models if the object of the study is neither visible nor presentable. A model is like a map, not like a landscape. Constituted as a simplified reflection of reality, it’s purpose is to help understanding as precisely as possible. However, in this sense it always remains to be an idea and can be discussed and changed without a claim on general validity.
The common use of a model is usually determined by the practical significance in comparison with other models dedicated to the same topic. Thinking in models is however in contrast to two further viewpoints: On the one hand it is contrary to “dogma”, which claims to describe the invisible correctly and reliably, despite using words. And on the other hand it is contrary to the coherent “natural laws”, which are provable with practical experiments. The confusion of these viewpoints poses a threat to all sciences, especially to psychography. Even some psychographers consider psychography to be a reality and not just only a model. The impression of the real existence of the psychographic types (irrespective of the observer) may arise because many people commonly* agree on it.
Thinking in models is however more appropriate for the development and dealing with mistakes because a model can be altered (as opposed to a dogma), criticised or even extended.

*“Reality is based on the common agreement of a large number of people on what is real.” (Watzlawick/Weakland/Fisch: Solutions pp. 120)

The Psychography “Map”

The Map of Psychography acc. to Werner Winkler

These four process cycles show:

  1. the sequence of preferences (strengths), neglections (resources) and efficiency areas (controllers),
  2. the procedures to solutions on the four significant levels,
  3. 12 areas of life which determine the different types


Basic Statements on Psychography acc. to Winkler

1. Individuals can be distinguished based on preferences in certain main areas in life.
2. Three areas in life are observed on four levels:

Basic level with three main areas: Three Sublevels with three subareas each:
Activity do/make, feel/perceive, think/process
Relations you-relation, self-relation, we-relation
Time past, future, present
3. On each one of the four levels we can observe a preferred area, a neglected area and an area which shows results (controller).
4. This leads up to 81 combinations of individual preferences
(i. e. 81 personality types).

Preferred and neglected areas have a dynamic relation in sequence: The preferred area leads on to the neglected area, which leads on to the control area.

Activity –> Relations –> Time –> Activity
Do/Make –> Feel/Perceive –> Think/Process –>Do/Make
You-Relation –> Self-Relation –> We-Relation –> You-Relation
Past –> Future –>Present –> Past
6. Each type is named according to the preference. The primary types are called actionist (activity), relationist (relations) and temporist (time).
7. Psychography is a model of reality. It does not claim a general validity in the sense of a natural law or dogma.

For more information on psychography according to Winkler, please look into the book „Why are we so different?« by Werner Winkler, kindly click on literature or the website

Information on Psychography according to Friedmann

is available in the book »The Three Personality Types and Their Survival Strategies« by Dietmar Friedmann, kindly click on literature or the website (in German language).


How is the psychographic type determined?

From experience, the determination of the psychographic type* is quite successful under consideration of the following rules:

  1. It is a concurrent process; a purely objective type determination, only based on visible or measurable characteristics, is not possible. Therefore it is difficult to know one’s own type for sure without a counterpart. This works out more easily in a conversation with others.
  2. Besides the theoretical method to describe the types (“preference in the area X…”), there is a further variety of stereotypes (following text**). Based on the observed type characteristics, the individual characteristics can be compared with the typical ones.
  3. The practical experiences gained by each individual in applying the type specific suggestions (e.g. typical approaches), which are stated in the literature, present another crucial factor to determine the primary type as well as the subtypes. If they work, then the type determination appears to be right.
  4. The type determination should always be made for the time being, so that it can be verified in normal day-to-day life.
* The term ‘type’ is often misunderstood. The Dorsch Dictionary on Psychology states as follows: „Contrary to ‚class‘, ‚species‘ and ‚kind‘, a ‚type‘ is characterised by the fact that determining features may be more or less existent, or may even be missing completely, without having to prevent a division of individuals into types.” In general, psychography complies with this understanding.
** These stereotypes are a combination of observations collected by different psychographers and are subject to change.

Further information on psychography resp. the 123-model

is available in the book »Why are we so different?« by Werner Winkler, refer to (in German language).