What is the difference between Graves and Jung?


The background of the colour profiles

What are the differences

Colour profiles are often used in processes in the field of personal development, organizational development and team collaboration. HR managers, L&D specialists and trainers often wonder (in their orientation) what the differences are between the providers and whether the meaning of the colours and the number of colours is the same everywhere.

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Two theoretical schools of thought, Graves and Jung

What is the difference between Graves and Jung? Jung describes what the behavior is, Graves shows why the behavior is displayed.


There are two main theoretical movements: the ideas of Jung (1875-1961) and the model of Graves (1914-1986), a contemporary of Maslow. Both look at behavior, with the main difference that Graves also wants to know why someone is exhibiting certain behavior. The context, a person’s motivation and the glasses through which someone looks at the world influence this.

In short, where Jung describes what a person’s preferred behavior is, Graves shows the why of that behavior. My Motivation Insights works according to Graves’ theory. After completing our questionnaire, someone’s motives, resistances and energy balance come to the fore.

Four or multi-coloured

Jung versus Graves

You will come across a lot of colours in the HRD course. That’s because both Jung and Graves based methodologies use colours to indicate the different types.

Jung assumes four characteristics that are plotted on two axes; thinking – feeling and introverted – extroverted. 72 subtypes are distinguished on the basis of the four Jung characteristics.

Graves described worldviews and stated that human nature is not static (to be pigeonholed) but an open system in which people will continue to develop. Every individual owns all colours to a greater or lesser extent. The perception (the length of the bar) and the order of the different colours determine the nuance. As a result, many unique combinations are possible and this method is (in our view) more refined.

Differences and similarities

Between the colours
Each colour has a different explanation. In terms of meaning, blue and green stand for almost the same in the theories of Graves and Jung. This is much less true for yellow, orange and red: Graves’ orange motive partly overlaps with Jung’s red and yellow, but adds new elements. This orange driver stands for result-oriented, ambitious and efficient.

Finally, Graves adds a colour to the palette, namely the colour Turquoise, the value system that stands for meaning and relevance. This is seen as the colour of today, with themes such as social responsibility and sustainability. Not all Graves-based colour methods measure this Turquoise drive.

Collaborate and Perform better

Discover the power of colour

My Motivation Insights distinguishes a total of seven drivers that are represented in the colour profile by each their own colour: green, yellow, turquoise, purple, red, blue and orange. Curious about your colours, those of your colleagues or the team? Feel free to contact us. We are happy to advise you about the possibilities.
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