Why use the TCI?

The TCI is a potent tool for helping individuals grow in self-awareness. It is designed to be a comprehensive inventory of personality and emotions — that is, the usual way a person thinks, feels, and acts. Everyone is unique in terms of their responses to life experiences and relations with others. Studies have shown the TCI to be a valid and reliable measure of personality throughout the world in a variety of contexts and cultures. The TCI has many applications, and there are different forms for people of different ages. It is also available in different languages, and there are even versions to take depending on whether you are describing yourself or another person, such as a child, spouse, a friend, or someone you’d like to understand better. Counselors, therapists, and others with training in psychology, psychotherapy, and human development may have interest in using the TCI in their clinical work and research. Equally, individuals in the general public who wish to understand themselves and their personality better may be interested in taking the TCI.

Comparisons to 14 other modern tests showed that descriptively the TCI was at least as, or more, informative than any other test and that it was the most informative assessment for predicting well-being.

— C. Robert Cloninger, M.D.

What makes the TCI unique?


It’s Integrative






It looks at the whole person








It deals with more than just disease








It’s a powerful diagnostic tool for helping professionals






The TCI provides a language for discussing personality that is both qualitative and quantitative

It is the only test of personality that provides a comprehensive profile that is based on what is currently known about the biology, psychology, and development of personality and emotions.

The TCI is unique among available personality tests in assessing components of personality related to the body, thoughts, and psyche. The emotional drives of the body are assessed as Temperament. The self-regulatory functions of thought are assessed by the character traits of Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness. The spiritual aspects of character are assessed by the dimension of Self-Transcendence. In this way, we can begin to understand the psychological development of the three aspects of a person (body, thoughts, and psyche) using non-judgmental scientific language.

The TCI is particularly effective in the development of well-being because it is predictive of physical, emotional, social, and spiritual components of well-being. Other tests ignore the differences between temperament (the basic emotional predispositions with which we are born) and character (what we make of ourselves intentionally). No other test measures all seven basic dimensions of personality, which are needed to understand the development of our capacity to work, love, and understand the meaning of life, as well as to understand the basic emotions we feel that may complicate mature development.

The TCI has been given to many large groups of people in the general population and many people with different kinds of health problems. Specific subtypes of personality disorders are distinguished by their configuration of TCI temperament scores. In addition, the presence and severity of personality disorder is determined by the maturity of a person’s character as measured by the TCI. The TCI test results allow a patient to describe themselves to others. Then the summary of the scores can be examined and discussed with the patient to enhance self-understanding in a way that facilitates development of the therapeutic alliance.

Describing someone’s personality using the TCI allows you to identify and discuss their emotional conflicts and problems, thereby facilitating growth in self-awareness. Automated scoring of the TCI uses language that describes needs and feelings in a way that is not offensive or judgmental. Scores are presented along with percentile and T-scores based on population-based normative studies. Additional validity scores are computed to test for careless or distorted self-reports, and alternative performance-based scores are computed for consideration in case self-reports appear invalid.


Who uses the TCI?

currently, The TCI is extensively used by three groups of people:

  1. Neuroscientists and geneticists because of its biological foundation.
  2. Social-cognitive psychologists because it is a dynamic model of processes of adaptation within the individual in a social context.
  3. Humanistic and transpersonal clinicians because of its spiritual content.

Different forms of the TCI are available depending on your needs.