Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Digging into DiSC History

The most recent iteration of the behavioral styles concept is DiSC but the theory currently underpinning DiSC dates back to 1928. That was the year that William Molton Marston wrote a book called The Emotions of Normal People. In his book, Dr. Marston proposed a system of psychology that used the acronym of DiSC for the first time. Marston’s idea was to prove brilliant but not many people actually remember that he was the father of the DiSC concept. One reason is that Marston was a Harvard trained psychologist working at Columbia University. He may have proposed the DiSC concept but, because it came out of academia, no one owned it. Another reason Marston’s groundbreaking work in the area of human psychology is often neglected is because there was someone else working in the same field, at the same time Marston was. Carl Jung developed, wrote about and created his theory about archetypes - early models of personality description. His research, which formed the basis for the Myers Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI), was published around the same time that Marston developed and wrote about DiSC. Jung was a well-known Swiss psychiatrist with much higher visibility than Marston but both made significant contributions to the area of study that would become known as psychometric research and the use of psychometrics relative to personality. Jungian archetypes and Marston’s DiSC theory are the foundation on which just about every four quadrant model on the market today are based on, many of which don’t even carry the DiSC name. Read the full article Digging into DiSC History

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