About CentACS

CentACS—Helping you understand your work and school personality dynamics.

Based on over twenty years of brain research, the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies has developed a selection of cutting edge products with a focus on the Five-Factor Model of Personality. We are continually adding products to bring the latest in research to our clients.

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, the Five-Factor Model was tested and re-tested in the academic and research communities worldwide and found to be superior to prior means of explaining and describing personality.

The business community began to take the Five-Factor Model seriously when an article by Pierce and Jane Howard was published in the September 1995 issue of Training and Development. The article, “Buddy Can You Paradigm?” gave a brief history of the development of the model and explained how the Five-Factor Model may be used to understand individuals, relationships and teams in work situations.

CentACS—A work and school solution.

Our goal today is to provide cutting edge personality assessments, reports, and systems applications for businesses, schools, and organizations through a global network of internal and external consultants and international affiliate companies using the Five-Factor Model of Personality and related brain research.

Through web-based assessments, training programs, conferences and publications, the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies provides high quality products, the most current information and technology, along with support services that improve the overall quality of work and school environments.

Our Leadership

Pierce Johnson Howard, PhD, Managing Director, Research and Development

Dr. Pierce J. HowardFor more than forty years, Dr. Pierce J. Howard has been an organization development consultant. His passion is helping people learn how to overcome obstacles and take responsibility for their growth and optimization–both as individuals and as group members.  In 1986, he co-founded the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies with Jane Mitchell Howard, MBA, in order to develop organizational programs and conduct research grounded in cognitive science.

Dr. Howard earned a B.A. from Davidson College, an M.A. from East Carolina University, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Education with a special interest in curriculum and research. During college, Dr. Howard served as an intelligence specialist with the U.S. Army and was deployed in Germany for three years.

Author of four editions of The Owner’s Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind/Brain Research (2014; 4th edition), as well as, The Owner’s Manual for Happiness (2014). Dr. Howard also co-authored a book on the Five-Factor Model of Personality, The Owner’s Manual for Personality at Work, (2010; 2nd edition) with Jane Mitchell Howard, MBA and The Owner’s Manual for Personality from 12-22 with Jane Mitchell Howard, MBA. Together, they have developed the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™ and the SchoolPlace Big Five Profile™, published numerous trade journal articles, created and taught certification programs, designed workbooks, written scripts and developed supportive materials for both assessments. In May 1997, Dr. Howard was a guest expert on memory on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Currently an Adjunct Professor of Organizational Development in the McColl School of Business at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Howard’s professional affiliations include the American Psychological Association, International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, and the Carolinas Organization Development Network.

Jane Mitchell Howard, M.B.A, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Programs

Jane M. HowardJane Mitchell Howard, M.B.A., is Co-Founder & Managing Director, Programs, for the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies (CentACS). Since launching the company in 1986 with Pierce Johnson Howard, Ph.D., Jane has spent much of her time as an organizational consultant, an executive coach, a trainer certifying others, and in developing the assessments and related materials that allow others to apply the Big Five Model of Personality, performance competencies, 360 assessments, leadership, and team reports to the world of work.

Through this work, CentACS has built a global consulting network of certified WorkPlace Big Five Profile™ and WorkPlace Performance 360° users within organizations and affiliate companies who use the assessment with their clients. Jane has worked with clients from a wide range of industries, as well as governmental agencies across the United States and in Europe, Asia, North and Central America, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.

She is the co-author of “The Owner’s Manual for Personality at Work” 1st Edition © 2001 and the 2nd Edition © 2010, several published trade journal articles (including the first one ever published about applying the Five-Factor Model of Personality in a work context in Training+Development in 1995), the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™ and the SchoolPlace Big Five Profile™. Jane and her partner, Pierce J. Howard, Ph.D., also co-authored a third book, “The Owner’s Manual for Personality from 12 to 22”.

Jane holds an M.B.A. from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University. Over the course of her career, she has been an officer in local and regional organizations, including the American Society for Training and Development and the Carolinas Organizational Development Network (now known as OD on the Edge) and has volunteered in several social service agencies. She also currently teaches in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Certificate Program in Organization Development.

In her leisure time, Jane is often a vocal soloist and enjoys walking, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her four grandchildren.