What does the Discovery Survey measure?

The Discovery Survey assesses an individual's natural ability in the 10 Plum Talents

Image of Plums ten Talents

Talents are composed of a specific combination of competencies. Each competency is a specific combination of 12 traits.

Ten of these traits are based on the Five-Factor Model (FFM) or "Big Five" personality model. The last two traits are facets of cognitive ability: problem solving and social intelligence.

Talents are calculated by combining traits using an algorithm developed by experts in industrial/organizational psychology.

The traits themselves are measured using techniques that are supported by years of research on personality, cognitive ability, and social intelligence.* This includes using a forced choice approach, giving realistic work situations, and even using puzzles.

*(Christiansen & Tett, 2013; Carpenter, Just, & Shell, 1990; McDaniel et al., 2007)


Sections 1 and 3: Personality 

Sections 1 and 3 of the Plum Discovery Survey assess personality. The test taker is asked to select which statements and adjectives are the most like them and the least like them. Because they are given a limited amount of choices, they get to tell what their strongest personality traits are. Individuals face similar challenges daily in the workplace where they are forced to prioritize certain things over others, knowing that their time or energy is limited. Through this process, they can start to show what truly best describes them and what they would prioritize if they had limited resources.

As personality is complex, we invite you to read this Help Center article that describes in detail the five-factor model that composes personality.


Sections 2 and 4: Problem-Solving/Cognitive ability

Section 2 and Section 4 of the Discovery Survey are composed of a short series of puzzles that assess problem-solving skills. The test taker is asked to select the missing puzzle piece in a sequence.

Read more about the problem-solving questions.


Section 5: Social Intelligence

Finally, section 5 assesses behavior in the workplace, i.e., social intelligence. Test takers are presented with questions on workplace situations for which they need to decide which statements are the most effective or the least effective. Learn more about the social intelligence questions.

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