FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
RELATIONAL THINKING STYLES
Following are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Relational Thinking Styles theory and the Davis Non-verbal Assessment
Q. Can you send me a copy of your non-verbal test?
A. No. By "non-verbal," we mean that there are no symbols of any sort used in the assessment...no questions, no words, and no pictures or interpretations. Thus, there is no copy available because there is nothing to copy. Besides, the Davis Non-verbal Assessment is not a test. It is an assessment of what a person does during a simulated experience. The assessment process consists of an unguided problem-solving project, which is observed by a person trained to code actions. These observations are then entered into a computer program, which analyses the combination of coded actions, that the person used to solve the problem. The result of this analysis is a person's non-verbal reasoning process.
Q. How can you say that what a person does in this simulation will be what that person would do on a real problem?
A. Understanding the answer to this question requires a bit of a paradigm shift. Perhaps because Western society is inherently product oriented, we confuse WHAT a person thinks about (the content) with HOW she does her thinking (the process). As a society, we are not used to noticing processes. The idea that people have habitual processes for doing things that can be observed and described is a foreign one to us.
When coders observe during an assessment, they are not looking at why a person does what he does or how much training he has had or how smart he is or how well he has mastered the language. This assessment bypasses motivations and knowledge and deals only with habits of thought independent of culture, training and conscious control. (Whether these habits are learned or innate is yet to be determined.)
Unconscious and instinctive habits of thinking can be applied to any situation and, for most people, do not change from one situation to another. Therefore, this simple assessment can accurately predict how a person will continue to reason in the future. We can observe someone perform the task of the assessment and then extrapolate HOW they do that into how they process experience in general because these processing systems are the only thing we are looking at in the assessment. We are not trying to observe the whole gamut of human intelligence, temperament, motivation, and so on. We are merely looking at the process someone uses to do a task when that person is given only vague instructions and neutral materials.