Everything DiSC® History
Everything DiSC® originates from a theory developed in the 1920’s, but through extensive development and research, it has become more reliable, more accessible, and more thorough in helping its users understand themselves and the others around them.
William Moulton Marston
Everything DiSC® is an assessment tool based off the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston. Marston was a psychologist, a lawyer, a self-help books author, and contributed In his 1928 book Emotions of Normal People, Marston explained how four behavior types – Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance – illustrate a person’s emotions. Marston argued that these behavioral types came from people’s sense of self and their interaction with the environment. His work lead to the foundation of the DISC assessment first introduced in 1972 which became used by tens of millions of people.
In 1956, Walter Clarke, an industrial psychologist, constructed the DISC assessment using Marston’s theory of the DISC model. Walter published the Activity Vector Analysis. The analysis contained a checklist of adjectives which people rated best described themselves.
About 10 years later, Walter Clarke Associates developed a newer assessment called Self Description. Instead of using a checklist, this test forced respondents to make a choice between two or more terms. Factor analysis of this assessment added to the support of a DISC-based instrument.
Self Description was used by John Geier to create the original Personal Profile System in the 1970s. Through hundreds of clinical interviews, he furthered the understanding of the 15 basic patterns discovered by Clarke. Geier formed Performax, the first publisher of a DiSC assessment. Performax then turned into Inscape Publishing. In 1994, Inscape developed a new assessment named the Personal Profile System 2800 Series (PPS 2800), which is now known as DiSC® Classic.
As you can see, DiSC has come a long way, and Wiley continues to develop DiSC assessments with ongoing research to provide richer insights, be simpler (but not more simplistic) to use, and provide feedback that is as accurate and reliable as ever.