Analysis and Use of the Life Styles Inventory 1 and 2 by Human Synergistics International

Analysis and Use of the Life Styles Inventory 1 and 2 by Human Synergistics International

Dan Lawson
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2172-5.ch005
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The Life Styles Inventory, developed by J. Clayton Lafferty, uses a combination of respected psychological and managerial theories to help individuals identify their beliefs, values, behaviors, and assumptions. This instrument presents twenty statements for each of the twelve life styles believed to influence the way we think and behave. The LSI 1 instrument is a self-assessment whereas the LSI 2 uses the same format and life styles to assess an individual through input from five or more other people. When used in combination, the two instruments use consensual validity to identify strengths and weaknesses for the development of a self-improvement plan. This chapter discussed the theoretical background of the Life Styles Inventory, as well as instrument validity and reliability. A description of the results upon taking the instrument is included, along with commentary on the instrument’s utility. Web address, cost, terms, and definitions appear at the end of the chapter.
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Analysis Of The Instrument


In recent history, self-assessment has become a basic component in management assessment and leadership development. A large number of self-assessment surveys and instruments are now available to help individuals understand and modify their personal behavior and thinking patterns. However, self-assessment is only as effective as the assessed individual’s truthfulness. Often the assessed individual will respond with answers he or she thinks are the correct response rather than give a truthful response that may reveal a perceived weakness. Self-deception is an all too common practice that negates the validity and reliability of many self-assessment instruments. As human beings, we have a great capacity to deceive ourselves into thinking we are a better leader than we are in reality.

By adding consensual validity to the assessment process, the results of an individual’s analysis can be much more effective. Consensual validity is the measure of agreement between self-assessment and assessment by others (Cooke, Rousseau, & Lafferty, 1987). This form of assessment is particularly important when the assessment is focused upon leaders and managers whose effectiveness depends upon interaction with subordinates, coworkers, and clients. The Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI; Lafferty, 1973)1 makes use of both self-assessment and assessment by others to identify the degree of consensual validity and provide structured feedback for the assessed individual. This chapter offers an evaluation of the theoretical background, validity, and reliability of the LSI 1 (self-report) and the LSI 2 (description by others) instruments. In addition, the web location and cost associated with the LSI instrument appears at the end of the chapter, followed by a list of the twelve life styles and their definitions. A suggested reading list also appears at the end of the chapter.

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