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Katherine Benziger

Katherine Benziger American psychologist

American psychologist
Katherine Benziger
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American psychologist
Known for Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment (BTSA)
Is Psychologist Author
From United States of America
Type Healthcare Literature
Gender female
Birth Northfield, Minnesota
Residence St. Louis, Missouri
Mother: Patricia Rey Benziger
Father: James George Benziger
The details


Katherine Benziger is an American psychologist, educator, and author, based in St. Louis, Missouri. She is known for creating "Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment" (BTSA) model and authoring various books on neuroscience and personality analysis.

Early life and family

Katherine Benziger was born in 1948 in Northfield, Minnesota, to James George Benziger (1915 – 1995) and Patricia Rey Benziger (1917 – 2006.) She was raised in Illinois after the family moved there in 1950.

Benziger comes from a family of authors and academics. Her father was an English professor at Southern Illinois University, known for publishing Images of Eternity: Studies in the Poetry of Religious Vision from Wordsworth to T. S. Eliot in 1962 . Her aunt, Barbara Field Benziger (1918 - 1984), was a noted author known for publishing The Prison of My Mind (1969) and Speaking out (1976).

She is also the great-granddaughter of celebrated socialite and philanthropist Margaret Brown, who became known as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" after her endeavors –– as a passenger on Titanic ship –– towards the ship's evacuation when it sank in April 1992. Brown was one of the survivors and the 1964 film "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" is based on her life. The film was directed by Charles Walters and Brown's character was portrayed by Debbie Reynolds, who won an Oscar nomination for the best actress award for the film.

Joseph Charles Benziger (1762–1841,) Swiss publisher and founder of "The Benziger Brothers Publishing House" is a direct ancestor of Benziger.


Benziger attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin, graduating in 1971 with a Ph.D. degree in psychology focused on Neurophysiology, and a Master of Science degree in Strategic Planning.


Benziger's work focuses on human personality and thinking styles assessment and its application in all facets of life, including the business environment. She takes inspiration from the works of noted psychologists in the space, such as Carl Jung, William Irwin Thompson, Hans Eysenck, and Myers, Briggs (Katherine Cook Briggs, and Isabel Briggs Myers)

She created the Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment (BTSA) and its electronic version (eBTSA). She is the founder and owner of KBA, LLC, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment (BTSA)

Benziger's personality assessment model, named "Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment," takes a slightly different approach from other contemporary personality theories including Jung's four psychological functions model, Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, and Eysenck's Dimensions of Personality. In contrast to the theoretical and philosophical application, her model focuses on the physiological and neurological aspects of how brains actually function.

Benziger argues that a brain has four specialized areas, each responsible for different functions. The four areas, named "modes," are:

  1. Basal Left - Responsible for process and routine. Prefers order and habit; ordered procedures; sequential routines
  2. Basal Right - Responsible for intuition and empathy. Prefers spiritual experience; rhythm and feeling; "vibes"; harmony
  3. Front Left - Responsible for logic and results. Excels in structural analysis; prioritization and logic; mathematics
  4. Front Right - Responsible for vision and creativity. Excels in imagination; expressiveness, visualization; sees the big picture
The four modes (image: facebook.com/DrBenziger)

These four modes form the basis of an individual's strengths, weaknesses, behavior, preferences, and thinking style. Different people have different dominant brain mode that shapes their personality and working style.

People with dominant Basal Left mode will be more effective in a structured employment environment with ordered procedures and sequential routines, whereas those with dominant Front Right will thrive in open and creative fields where imagination is highly valued. Strong Basal Right will help people excel in fields that demand skills in intuition, empathy, relationship management, and connecting with people. People with strong Front Left possess good analytical skills which may help them thrive in such fields as math or engineering.

She argues that people are happiest and work their best when the work they do aligns with their dominant modes. People suffer when they adapt their natural thinking and working styles to fit the expectations of others.

The model is used in various human resources management processes (personnel selection, talent identification, promotions, and job placement); as well as in universities and educational institutions, to help with self-discovery and career path selection.

She also draws a comparison of her model with other models.

With William Irwin Thompson

In his 1971 essay titled "At the edge of history", Thompson expressed all social structures as rooted in four archetypal roles: the Chief, the Shaman, the Hunter, and the Fool.

ChiefBasal Left
ShamanBasal Right
HunterFront Left
FoolFront Right

With Carl Jung's Four Psychological Functions

SensingBasal Left
FeelingBasal Right
ThinkingFront Left
IntuitionFront Right


Archetypal Explorations: Towards an Archetypal Sociology - By Richard M. Gray
To cite the article
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you notice a mistake, please contact us. Below the article, you will find links to the references used.
Article Title: Katherine Benziger: American psychologist - Biography and Life
Author(s): PeoplePill.com Editorial Staff
Website Title: PeoplePill
Publisher: PeoplePill
Article URL: https://peoplepill.com/people/katherine-benziger/
Publish Date: 28 Nov 2016
Date Accessed: 16 Jul 2020
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