The Origins of DiSC®

The DiSC® Model of Behavior is based on William Moulton Marston book, Emotions of Normal People, published in 1928.  Through his research, Marston theorized that there are four distinct personality types: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C), which are evident in behavioral expressions of emotion. Based on a person’s perceptions of self in relationship to his or her environment, ones category on the DiSC spectrum could be understood. An individual is not limited to one spectrum on the DiSC assessment; the different personality types can be exhibited individually or in combination with any of the others.

Marston did not build the circular “disc” model we are familiar with today; however, his primary interest was in theories of emotions and the physical manifestations of emotional states and all of his work on this subject have been analyzed and enhanced by many as the advancement and understanding of psychological measurement and theory evolves.   William Marston was a very interesting man and scholar who is credited with the invention of the lie detector test and Wonder Woman.  It is fair to say that he believed in complete self-awareness, honesty, loyalty and strength of one’s character. 

In the 1970’s, John Geier, a faculty member at University of Minnesota, developed the Personal Profile System (PPS), an instrument that applied the theories of Marston and delivered the first DiSC assessment which included combinations of behavioral styles.  John Geier’s original company became Inscape Publishing and published the first DiSC Classic® in the late 90’s and DiSC Classic 2.0 ® in early 00’s to meet the growing needs of online ativity.  

In 2007, Inscape Publishing launched Everything DiSC® which included additional programs specific to an organizations needs, customized reporting, facilitation kits, and online access to scores of addiitonal information.  We were also introduced to the “Dot” and circular graph which indicates a person’s style and tendencies.

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