The science behind Wingfinder

Developed by Red Bull and an expert team of psychology professors from University College London and Columbia University New York, Wingfinder is an accurate, free personality assessment that focuses on your strengths.

Wingfinder assesses your individual strengths according to four key areas of professional success.

Wingfinder is based on 30 years of psychological research, carried out across thousands of scientific studies and analyses that clearly point to four areas, more influential than any others, as components of employability and career success for knowledge-based jobs.

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Based on this robust model of talent and a state-of-the-art scientific methodology, Wingfinder represents an unprecedented attempt to help millions of people identify and develop their career potential.

Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Talent Scientist at Manpower Group and Professor of Business Psychology at University College London and Columbia University

What is personality?

The Wingfinder model has four areas: Connections, Thinking, Creativity and Drive

Each area of the Wingfinder model comprises different strengths, 25 in total, offering millions of possible unique combinations. Wingfinder assesses these four areas in 35 minutes with approximately 280 questions through five different assessment formats. Everyone is measured self-against-self and self-against-others. The assessment offers value by providing insight and meaningful positive feedback to individuals about their strengths, with coaching guidance for action and development in their professional life. For candidates applying for roles at Red Bull, the assessment is part of our overall selection process.


Connections measures how you manage relationships and how you manage yourself.


Creativity measures how you adapt, create alternatives and seek out novel information or experiences.


Thinking looks at your ability to reason abstractly and solve complex problems.


Drive measures your motivation, ambition and self-discipline towards pursing goals and handling setbacks.

In the validation phases of Wingfinder’s development, over 10,000 people participated by providing the data to create an instrument with the capacity to predict the likelihood of employability and success in knowledge-based jobs. The Wingfinder model draws from the original model of determinants of employability and career success by Hogan et al (2013). In their meta-analysis of thousands of published scientific studies, employability was described as the ability to gain and retain employment, and some of the measures used to describe career success were income, promotions, levels of responsibility, total time unemployed and manager ratings. Additional Studies have also explored the relationship between personality factors and intra/entrepreneurialism and creativity (Leutner, Ahmetoglu, Akhtar, Chamorro-Premuzic, 2014).


Intra & interpersonal skills


Creativity & curiosity


Fluid IQ


Ambition, drive, motivation

Rewarding to deal with
Able to do the job
Willing to work hard
Employability and success
Wingfinder model; based on the original model of determinants of employability by Hogan, R., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Kaiser, R. B.. Employability and career success: Bridging the gap between theory and reality. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 6 (2013), 3–16.

Development of the Wingfinder personality assessment

The development of the current model started with the validation of the individual strengths underlying the areas of Connections, Creativity and Drive.

The strengths were validated using existing psychological tests from IPIP, which is one of the most widely used batteries of benchmark tests of psychological constructs. The Thinking factor of Wingfinder measures the ability to reason abstractly and solve complex problems using spatial and numerical reasoning. Thinking was benchmarked using the ICAR‐16 measure of cognitive ability, a globally used benchmark, as well as Hogan Assessment's "Matrigma" assessment.

There are ongoing validations to make sure the test stays accurate and reliable, including studies around content, discriminant, convergent, internal and predictive validity, disparate impact and reliability studies. This gives the opportunity to continually enhance Wingfinder to be a valuable tool for people both applying for roles and seeking development feedback.

Picture-based answer format used by Wingfinder

Personality assessments have traditionally been based around text-based questions with text-based multiple-choice answers

Personality assessments have traditionally been based around text-based questions with text-based multiple-choice answers and have been shown to be powerful in predicting real-world outcomes in commercial and academic settings (Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2003 and Barrick & Mount, 1991). As technology expands, our acceptance of assessments increases, and the acceptance of online unproctored tests increases, opening up new opportunities to deliver questions in a more engaging and dynamic way (ie using images as the answers) and allowing us to engage in a richer dialogue with test participants without compromising the validity of traditional text-based test scales.

Visual questions are more intuitive, resulting in a faster reaction time per question compared to text-based questions with the same number of options (Horn, 2001; Chandler and Sweller, 1991). Completion rates are also higher. Questions that are quite personal in nature can be presented using euphemisms that allow the meaning of the question to be transferred in a more implicit way. Additionally, an image can convey more complex ideas and concepts, or even be more specific in terms of emotions, than text alone.

The selection of images requires many stages of validation to reduce distraction and extraneous variables. Images need to have a similar level of abstraction so the meaning can be conveyed and not be overtly desirable compared to the other questions in the item set.

There are pros and cons to any test question format (Harrigan, Rosenthal & Scherer, 2008), but as we understand more of what drives behaviour, we will become more accurate at designing questions to reveal underlying behaviors. The methods used to develop Wingfinder have shown the assessment to be both valid and reliable at describing the aspects of personality that are more influential than any others as components of employability and career success. Published Scientific research on the Wingfinder assessment by can be seen here (Leutner, Yearsley, Codreanu, Borenstein & Ahmetoglu, 2017)

1. Barrick, M R, & Mount, M K (1991). The big five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel psychology, 44(1), 1-26.

2. Chandler, Paul and Sweller, John (1991) Cognitive load theory and the format of instruction. Cognition and Instruction 8, no. 4: 293—332.

3. Chamorro-Premuzic, T, & Furnham, A (2003). Personality predicts academic performance: Evidence from two longitudinal university samples. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(4), 319-338.

4. Harrigan, J, Rosenthal, R,/& Scherer. (Eds.) (2008). New handbook of methods in nonverbal behaviour research. Oxford University Press.

5. Hogan, R, Chamorro-Premuzic, T & Kaiser, R B (2013). Employability and career success: Bridging the gap between theory and reality. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 6, 3–16.

6. Horn, R (2001) Visual language and converging technologies in the next 10-15 years (and beyond) national science foundation conference on converging technologies (Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno) for improving human performance

7. von Stumm, S, Hell, B, & Chamorro-Premuzic, T (2011). The "hungry mind": Intellectual curiosity as third pillar of intellectual competence. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 574–588.

8. Leutner, Franziska; Ahmetoglu, Gorkan; Akhtar, Reece and Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas. 2014. The relationship between the entrepreneurial personality and the Big Five personality traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 63, pp. 58-63.

9. Leutner Franziska, Adam Yearsley, Sonia-Cristina Codreanu, Yossi Borenstein, and Gorkan Ahmetoglu. (2017). From Likert scales to images: Validating a novel creativity measure with image based response scales. Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 106, 36–40.

Give wings to your career.

Red Bull Wingfinder is an accurate, free personality assessment that focuses on your strengths.

Start Wingfinder

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