Personality Dimensions® – Core, Developed, and Contextual Self

Image © Linda Berens

Every once in a while someone will ask if it’s possible to identify the colour preference of  children, or if their preference carries through to adulthood. We haven’t done specific research on this but it is accepted temperament theory that children are clear in their colour preference and that it develops as they mature – the Core Self becomes the Developed Self and Contextual Self (thanks to Linda Berens for these terrific identifiers). Well, I can’t speak for other people but I’d like to tell you a couple of stories from my own childhood that illustrate my first colour preference has certainly remained consistent.


I am the oldest child in my family. My Dad had a sliver grey ‘58 Pontiac sedan that he kept in top running condition. And I spent hours leaning over the side of the hood watching what he was doing and driving him crazy with questions about how everything worked. My kindergarten teacher even remarked to my parents at one time that she thought I could build the car myself. To this day I am still fascinated by how things work.

When I was 7 years old my Dad took my cousin and I to see the circus. That was a huge treat at the time (remember, that was over 55 years ago; circuses were a very big deal). I was fascinated by the whole thing –- the performances, the music, the animals – and all the special lighting effects and how the trapezes and draperies, etc., were raised and lowered. The next evening during dinner my Mother and Father were talking about the show and I was so surprised to hear my Dad say, “I don’t think Denise saw any of the show, she was so busy looking up, watching whatever was going on in the rafters.” I was stunned. Of course I had seen the show! But I’d also enjoyed figuring out how all the other things were working – eventually estimating, by the timing of the lights or the change in backdrop or draperies when something else was going to happen (it’s actually still quite clear in my mind). Fascinating stuff to a 7 year old, or, at least, a 7 year old Inquiring Green. My parents must have wondered what made me tick from time to time.

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear your stories about you as a child. Do you see yourself as representing your first colour preference/temperament as a child? I hope you will share some of  your “colourful” stories.


Onward and upward from the back office … Denise

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCareer/LifeSkills Resources Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 42nd anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both Career/LifeSkills Resources and Personality Dimensions® take.