The aesthetic motivator icon.

Understanding Motivators: Aesthetic

Desire for form, harmony, balance, or beauty

People who have a High Aesthetic motivator want to be in an environment that fits well with them. If the environment feels off to them, it can affect their ability to perform in school and the workplace. Also, some Aesthetics desire the opportunity to create their own expression of harmony and balance through a specific art medium. If you are a High Aesthetic, think about what that art medium is and how you can incorporate it into your life, education, or career.

Passionate Aesthetics tend to be greatly affected by their physical environment. The atmosphere or appearance of a workplace can even affect their performance. Therefore it is critical they physically visit prospective workplaces.

Reflection Questions: High Aesthetic

If Aesthetic is one of your top motivators, consider the questions below.  Remember, the higher your score is, the more you may feel passionate about that motivator. If you have a very high score, think about how it might stand out in your life and how you can use your passion in practical ways. The lower your score is, the more negative you probably feel about that motivator. 

    • What kinds of environments do you enjoy?
    • What environments make you uncomfortable?
    • When you feel most like your authentic or true self, what are you doing? Where are you?
    • How do you like to express yourself creatively? Do you have an outlet for your artistic pursuits?
    • What are you sensitive to (crowds, noise, colors, people being OK, stress, etc.)?
    • What sort of environment do you want to live in in the future?
    • Motivators can help you know what you want most out of your career and future plans. Do your future plans align with your top motivators?

For more information about the Indigo Assessment, visit https://www.indigoeducationcompany.com/indigo-assessment/

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All the motivator icons.

Understanding Indigo: Motivators

The Indigo Assessment measures 6 motivators as described in the work of Drs. Eduard Spranger and Gordon Allport in their study of human value, motivation and drive. Motivators describe why people do things: the internal desires that drive behavior. For example, the Aesthetic motivator indicates a desire for harmony and beauty, whereas the Theoretical motivator describes those who learn for the sake of knowledge. Motivators correlate with career choice, college major selection, and fulfilling activities.

The Indigo Assessment measures six motivators:

Aesthetic – Desire for form, harmony, balance, or beauty.
Individualistic – Desire for independence, visibility, rank, or power.
Social – Desire to help others or solve society’s problems.
Theoretical – Desire to learn for the sake of knowledge.
Traditional – Desire to live by a personal set of principles, standards, or beliefs.
Utilitarian – Desire for a return on investment of time, energy, or money.

What Motivates You?

The motivator list ranks your relative passion for each of the six motivators. Your motivators are ranked in order from the most important to the least important to you, with the 1st being the motivator with your highest score and the 6th being the motivator with your lowest score. Your motivator score for each motivator is given to the right of each bar.

Look at your ranking first (ranking is the order in which the motivators appear). Whether the numerical score is very high or around average, the top two motivators are the most important. If the third motivator is high, it is generally worth thinking about as well.

A sample motivator graph for a High Social motivator.

Notice where your score is close to 0 or 100. This reveals areas where your motivators may be outside the mainstream and could lead to passion or conflict.

The further a score rises above mainstream, the more you may feel passionate about that motivator. If you have passionate scores, think about how they might stand out in your life and how you can use your passion in practical ways.

The lower your score is, the more negative you probably feel about that motivator. Essentially, this is a “de-motivator”. What turns you “off” is just as valuable to notice as what gets you jazzed. It can sometimes explain why certain people are resistant to different activities or can’t get along with people who have an opposite motivator.

For more information about the Indigo Assessment, visit https://www.indigoeducationcompany.com/indigo-assessment/

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New Motivator Research: Aesthetics Matter for High School Students

New Motivator Research: Aesthetics Matter for High School Students

March 14th 2015, Written by Marie Campbell


Indigo recently administered the Indigo Assessment to students at two high schools, one a suburban charter school and the other an inner-city charter school in Denver. While these controlled groups cannot be considered indicative of all high schools across the nation—at least until further research is performed—initial findings reveal unusually high levels of the Aesthetic motivator among the two student bodies.

The Indigo Assessment measures motivators as described in the work of Drs. Eduard Spranger and Gordon Allport in their study of human value, motivation, and drive. In short, motivators describe why people do things: the internal desires that drive behavior. For example, the Aesthetic motivator indicates a desire for harmony and beauty, whereas the Theoretical motivator describes those who learn for the sake of knowledge. Other motivators include Utilitarian (those motivated by tangible results and productivity), Social (desire to help others), Individualistic (power, leadership, self-advancement), and Traditional (motivated by beliefs or value systems).

According to Indigo’s initial findings, both schools rank unusually high in Aesthetic compared to the national mean. See the results from one school below. (Difference between high schoolers and adults reaches almost two full standard deviations.)

While these findings are, as yet, too limited to warrant sweeping assertions, one possible conclusion is that high school students respond to aesthetics more strongly than adults. If this is the case, courses in music, the arts, and environmental awareness become integral for student success.

Indigo has already seen positive results from this data, proving that simple interventions based on motivational clues can result in rapid student progress. For example, one sophomore earning a failing grade in math ranked unusually high in the Aesthetic motivator. Noting her passion for aesthetics, a guidance counselor asked how the class environment might be affecting her ability to learn.  She quickly blurted out that the room was a disaster; as soon as she entered the classroom, she couldn’t think.  The guidance counselor asked the teacher to clean up the room, and immediately this young woman’s grades went up.

Results like this reveal just how important it is for educators to understand what truly motivates students—those internal desires that drive students to learn. Indigo looks forward to expanding research in this area.

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