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The Sommer Survey is based on the latest scientific advances in psycholinguistics and decision making technology

Psycholinguistic science to accurately assess decision-making strategies for success on the job

When people take on a new job, a role, a position, or a new project, they automatically think through how they are going to do that job. Their mind actually creates a game plan in a heartbeat. Most of that game plan is out of their awareness, yet it defines the choices they will make on the job.

It is common knowledge people can consciously articulate only up to 10% of these thought patterns or decision strategies. Like in an iceberg, the rest is hidden beneath the surface. Indicators of motivation, the drivers of behavior, are embedded within the ‘deep structure’ of language. Like ordinary grammar, there is also a decision-making grammar hidden in language. These language structures reveal the unconscious decision-making strategies that are usually hidden beneath the surface.


Why language?

Language is a universal phenomenon. It may be the most obvious and important common denominator of human experience. Language is also a rule-based system with a defined mechanism of action that affects behavior in known ways.

Indicators of motivation, the drivers of behavior, are embedded within the ‘deep structure’ of language. Like ordinary grammar, there is also a decision-making grammar hidden in language.

In aviation the design engineer must cope with gravity and the atmosphere through which we fly. In physics and chemistry, professionals have the periodic table of the elements. The closest equivalent psychologists have to a bedrock baseline of behavior is language.

Language has proven itself more amenable to prototyping and testing. Language provides a basis for experimental testing with a measurement scale that is solid and definitive. After decades of testing and proof, the “grammar” of motivation and decision making is now quite clear. Language has mechanisms of action. Theory does not. Language has moved the field of behavior forward quite remarkably.

Why Decision Strategies?

Personality, like the brand identity of a car, does not change. An extrovert is always an extrovert just as a Mercedes is always a Mercedes. But how a car behaves, or a personality is put to use, mainly depends on the motives and decisions of the driver.

Any car or personality can perform to high levels when driven by focused motivation and decision-making. If you want to know how a person will perform on the job, you will need to know about more than their experience or personality. You need to know how they make countless daily decisions when on the job.

You want to know how they perceive their role and purpose, how they use their talents, how they set priorities and interact with others. In essence, you want to know their motivation and decision strategy for success on the job.


The next generation of assessment tools

Dr. Yeager specifically developed the Sommer Survey to measure behavior and performance on the job. He is a licensed psychologist, has a background in survey design, and is an expert in linguistic structures. To design the Sommer Survey, we used the same research approach that advanced the aerospace and engineering industry.

The Sommer Survey represents the next generation and new breed of assessment tools. Through a thoroughly researched and battle-tested methodology, it uses the only known method to uncover both the conscious and unconscious components of thinking and decision strategies – deep linguistic analysis.

The result is highly relevant, predictable and provides actionable insights that were previously not possible. It provides direct linkage to performance prescriptions that leverage performance on the job. This direct cause and effect relationship between language structures and behavior ensures accurate and valid measurement mechanisms.


Dr. Joseph Yeager

Joe YeagerDr. Joseph Yeager, PhD is founder and Chairman of SommerYeager, and has been in business for over 30 years. He is a licensed psychologist and is considered by many to be the world’s leading expert on persuasion and behavior change using psycholinguistic and rapid-change behavioral methodologies on an individual, group and mass audience scale.

His corporate years were spent as a senior executive of Pfizer, US Airways and Educational Testing Service before founding his own company. He has spent over 40 years researching, testing, applying and writing about his behavior change methodologies, including helping Fortune 500 companies successfully use these methodologies in their advertising, sales, marketing and selection efforts for over the last 30 years.

He has written numerous books on behavior change and has authored countless peer reviewed articles on these subjects.

He is a Diplomate of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEi) and a national board member of the ACFE division, the American Board of Law Enforcement Experts (ABLEE). He is also a member of the American Psychological Association and a charter member of the American Psychological Society.