The Know Yourself Test is owned and operated by Paragon Research Ltd, a company that specialises in education and research. 

The Know Yourself Test was originally created with research funding from the Society of Actuaries in Ireland in 2014. The original aim of the test was to assess psychological capacity for risk-taking and risk management. However, the method used, assessing how well an individual knew themselves, had much broader uses. The original test, known as the Risk Personality Questionnaire, changed into the Know Yourself Test


“Doing the Know Yourself Test was a really wise use of my time.  The post-test discussion with Colm was both very helpful and stretching at the same time.  I was really encouraged by the emphasis on self-awareness and development of character when seeking to be a better citizen.  I would unreservedly recommend this to others.”

Jonathan Smart, Principal, Barnett Waddingham

There’s no simple formula for effective risk management, but that doesn’t mean we know nothing about what it takes. This test is the best distillation I have yet encountered of what it takes to navigate the changing, complex and always humbling waters of a world that will never conform to our rules.

Bob Collie, Chief Research Strategist, Russell Investments

A colleague recommended that I check out Colm’s work. She’d heard him speak at a conference and thought I’d like his work.  “There’s an Actuary in Ireland who has done this work on character and the human condition and how this impacts business risk.”  I was intrigued and curious to know more.  I contacted Colm to find out more about his unique research. His work is deep and he  draws upon philosophy, classics, ethics, citizenship, politics and psychology – economics and maths are a given. There’s not much time or appetite for lofty academia in business today, but beneath the subject headings there is a simple truth – we all want to work with people who will do that right thing. Whether that is bankers who manage our money, the actuaries who look after our pensions or leaders that we work with –  trust and good citizenship go hand in hand. 

Colm’s assessment tool helps individuals to recognise different types of behaviours and encourages growth towards healthy citizenship.  His metaphor of life being a hill and profess demands more from us (as individuals) if we want to progress. More might mean more thought, more time or more personal sacrifice in service of the greater good. 

The work is not for the faint-hearted. Building character requires self-awareness and a good deal of self-management. But it also requires relationship nous – all of which takes time, effort, energy and commitment. 

For those who choose the arduous path of purposeful, personal and professional growth, this is a good approach to work with. It will increase self-awareness and remind people that they always have more to grow if they want to continually progress up that hill.

Monica Smith, Partner, Hymans Robertson

The Know Yourself Test is part of a broad range of educational and research services provided by Paragon Research Limited. Some of Paragon’s clients are