Donald Trump may have funny hair, but he has a bankable face. US President Barack Obama’s face indicates a very testosterone-driven Hormone Quotient®, or HQ, well-suited for the role of the most powerful man in the world.
So says Diana Derval, renowned Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Innovation at the Robert Kennedy College, and President of the scientific market research firm DervalResearch. Professor Derval claims you can tell a lot about a person by certain distinct physical traits or “biomarkers” such as the face shape and the relative lengths of the index and ring finger. These biomarkers indicate a person’s Hormonal Quotient®, which in turn is determined by prenatal hormone exposure. And this, says Professor Derval, is research that benefits every one of us, whether we want to be a president, a real estate mogul, or just a happy and fulfilled individual.
Why is it so important for all of us to know our Hormonal Quotient®? Professor Derval has a simple and decisive answer. “We are our hormones,” she states, and in her new book, “Hormones, Talent, and Career: Unlock Your Hormonal Quotient®” (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012), she and co-author Johan Bremer demonstrate the extent to which this controversial statement is true. “Hormones are really the guys that are pushing the buttons in our body,” Professor Derval explains.
Professor Derval is the brains behind the Hormonal Quotient®, an assessment tool with a range of potential marketing, science and even medical applications. In her second book, she and her co-author reveal more eye-opening research about the wide-ranging effects of prenatal hormone exposure on every aspect of our lives. This time they make it more personal, switching the focus of HQ research from product branding to the boardroom, the classroom and the bedroom.
While there are many different types of hormones in the human body, much of Professor Derval’s work has centered on prenatal exposure to sex hormones, namely, estrogen and testosterone. She has documented several distinct hormonal “types,” or gender polymorphisms, in both men and women. These gender polymorphisms are determined by the relative amounts of prenatal exposure to estrogen and testosterone.
Professor Derval introduced her Hormonal Quotient® research to a broader audience in her previous book, “The Right Sensory Mix” (Springer, 2010). Though very accessible to the general reader, that work was targeted mainly at marketing and branding professionals to aid them in customizing their product designs, packaging and promotional efforts – the better to appeal to consumers of specific gender polymorphisms.
“In ‘The Right Sensory Mix,’ we revealed the impact of hormones on sensory perception – smell, touch, taste, vision, hearing – and product preferences,” says Professor Derval. “We also unveiled some hormone-related personality traits related to innovation and leadership. Now we take it a step further and reveal the role of hormones on our social skills, talents, and career choices.”
In “Hormones, Talents, and Career” the authors explain how knowledge of our own HQ – and that of our co-workers, employees, friends and associates – can make life better and more satisfying. Not only can this knowledge help us pick the best career (and advance in that career), but it can also help business owners and managers build a winning team.
There are plenty of real-life examples in “Hormones, Talent, and Career” to make the research more understandable and entertaining. Professor Derval and Johan Bremer cite numerous famous (and not-so-famous) and successful people, from Steve Jobs to Donald Trump to Barack Obama to Brad Pitt to various business executives, giving concrete examples of how each luminary’s HQ profile is reflected in the arc of his or her career.
While much of “Hormones, Talent, and Career” focuses on personal development and talent management, the authors also share some intriguing research that applies to lifestyles and even to dating. From nutrition and health, to finding the right sports and hobbies, to dating and finding a soul mate, to building a satisfying family life, our Hormone Quotient® plays an important often unsung role. “Being HQ-savvy can give us the edge in all of these areas, and help us achieve the balance that is necessary for a satisfying life,” says Professor Derval.
Not surprisingly, Professor Derval’s work has stirred up controversy in marketing as well as scientific circles, with much of the controversy swirling around the nature-versus-nurture debate. Professor Derval has long maintained that prenatal exposure to estrogen and testosterone not only has a direct impact on physical traits and behavior, but, according to her research, on sensory perception and product preferences as well. She acknowledges that hormonal fluctuations throughout the normal life cycle can significantly affect mood and behavior, and people’s individual experiences undoubtedly have an effect on some of their likes and dislikes. However, she says, there’s a growing body of research suggesting that prenatal hormonal exposures have a deep and lasting influence on many basic preferences, reactions to stimuli and life decisions both large and small.
Wherever one stands on the nature/nurture question, there’s no question that companies worldwide in numerous industries have benefited from Professor Derval’s market research – companies such as Philips, Sephora, Sofitel, and Sara Lee, to name but a few. Professor Derval and Johan Bremer believe that millions of individuals will benefit from the information accessible in “Hormones, Talent, and Career” as well.
“Whether we like the idea or not, hormones pretty much shape who we are,” says Professor Derval. “Exposure to prenatal hormones has immediate and lasting effects on our body and brain. Our physical traits, sensory perception, personality, and more, are determined in the womb. On the bright side, once we are aware of the perimeter of our abilities and skills, we can focus on the aspects – and luckily there are still a few of them – that we can actually change.”
Watch the book trailer for “Hormones, Talent, and Career” at: http://www.derval-research.com/books/hormones-talent-and-career
About DervalResearch: DervalResearch is the only market research firm able to predict consumers’ sensory perceptions, purchasing behavior, and product preferences based on their physiological profile and Hormonal Quotient® (HQ). Operating worldwide, the firm has helped leading brands including Philips, Sofitel, Sephora and Sara Lee, to design the right sensory mix for their target consumers, evaluate the opportunities for new geographical markets, and increase their innovation hit rate.