What is DiSC

DISC begins with a

The DISC Model continues to be one of the most popular four quadrant behavioral models. All DISC assessments are based on the research of William Moulton Marston Ph.D. (1893-1947).

Marston was influenced by his contemporaries such as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud who were focused on diseases that affected people’s behaviors. In contrast, Marston sought to develop a theory that would explain the behavior of “normal” or healthy people within a specific situation or environment. This is what lead him to the theory of DISC. In addition to his work on DISC and understanding personality, emotional intelligence, and behavioral styles, Marston created the lie detector test and introduced “Wonder Woman” into the DC comic strip universe.

Marston was a consulting psychologist, researcher and author. His work is published in the American Journal of Psychology and reference books including The Encyclopedia of Psychology, and The Encyclopedia Britannica. In his 1928 book, Emotions of Normal People, Marston introduced his DISC theory. He classified four categories of human behavioral type– Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance. In the Everything DiSC® profile, we describe these styles as– Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness

The Evolution of DiSC Continues

Since its creation, DISC has continued to evolve. After Marston’s original development of the model, research continued by University of Minnesota’s Dr. John Geier and others. Today, 75 years after the publication of Marston’s theory, over 15 million people have taken various forms of this profile throughout the world, and it’s been translated into 50 languages.

The DISC Profile is a non-judgmental tool used for understanding behavioral types and personality styles. It helps people explore behavior across four primary dimensions:

  • Dominance: To the point, decisive, and bottom line oriented. These people tend to be independent and results driven. They are strong-willed people who enjoy challenges, taking action, and achieving immediate results.
  • Influence: Optimistic and outgoing. These people tend to be highly social and outgoing. They prefer participating on teams, sharing thoughts, and entertaining and energizing others.
  • Steadiness: Empathetic & Cooperative. These people tend to be team players and are supportive and helpful to others. They prefer being behind the scene while working in consistent and predictable ways. They are often good listeners and avoid change and conflict.
  • Conscientiousness: Concerned, Cautious & Correct. These people are often focused on details and quality. They plan ahead, constantly check for accuracy, and want to know “how” and “why”.

Which DiSC Profile Should I Use?

It’s important to note that Marston never used his research to create a behavioral assessment like the ones offered on this site. There are numerous versions of DISC that are based off of Marston’s original work. We believe the DiSC Model, published by Wiley’s Workplace Learning Solutions, is the most precise and validated DISC assessment model available. Wiley publishes a variety of DiSC products including two different models: Everything DiSC and DiSC Classic.

Everything DiSC is the third generation of the original DiSC assessment. It incorporates a circumplex model and utilizes adaptive testing to achieve the highest validation of any DiSC assessment. DiSC Classic is the older, second generation DiSC assessment, which uses a 28 question assessment and a line graph model.

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