The theoretical background behind the tool.

When we began developing the KAIROS® decision profile, our key initial questions were as follows:

  • What lies at the psychological core of a person’s decision-making?
  • What makes decision-making difficult at times, be it on the rational level, the emotional level or both?

To gain a complete picture of the spectrum of people’s habits and behavior when solving problems and making decisions, we studied a whole range of methodological approaches, psychological decision mechanisms and personality tests with a sound theoretical background.

Fritz Riemann

and his work on biographical basic characteristic and on individual approaches to dealing with fear and uncertainty (distance, vicinity, order, change)

Michael Balint

and his analytical deliberations on thrills (a mix of fear, pleasure and confident hope in face of an external danger) and regressions.


with managers at different levels of the hierarchy and from different sectors as well as with personnel managers and consultants. This produced an extensive collection of valuable information on the introspective experiencing and describing of decision-making behavior.


of typical representatives of target groups regarding decision-making and problem-solving attributes. A frequently practiced method in personality psychology (attribution, noematic).

Data and Observation

Many years of results of individual assessments, top executive management audits and assessment centers with mid-level managers. Here, we specifically looked at how these groups of people handled concrete management problems and work-related decisions. This was supplemented by a continual, detailed analysis of interview data, the results of relevant personality tests, etc. The broad range of different and personal problem-solving strategies and decision-making patterns identified in this work was fed into the development KAIROS®.

The Construction of the Tool

To ensure statistically significant reliability and validity (which presuppose minimum frequencies)

  • the questionnaire contains 224 terms (items)
  • the forced preference building consists of 112 pairs of items (preference decisions)
  • each dimension is represented by 28 items (descriptions of behavior)
  • each dimension is contrasted 4 times with each of the others

The scale measures describable work behavior in dealing with problems and making decisions. It “measures” here behavior, but not characteristics and traits. While behavior is, of course, also always an expression of the underlying attitudes, convictions, values and traits (cf. the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire), it does not legitimize premature “psychologizing”, but instead necessitates interpretation of the data used in the scale.

We continually validate KAIROS® using regular correlation analyses and validity studies and update it to reflect the constantly growing total sample.

If you would like to find out more about the methods and database behind the KAIROS® Decision Profile, please contact us directly and we will be happy to supply you with further information.