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DISC Profiling

A brief history

Although it's not necessary to understand the origins of DISC profiling in order to interpret your graph, we've found that many of our clients appreciate a basic overview of how DISC was developed. That's why we've provided this brief history of DISC for those who might be interested.

Ancient origins

The origins of DISC behavioural modelling can be traced back to the work of Hippocrates, who is today known as the “father of modern medicine”.

In 460BC he identified four styles of behaviour, based on his experiences with his patients, which he called the “four humours”. These were: Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Melancholic.

Modern developments

In 1928, William Marston revisited Hippocrates’ work as part of his studies into human behaviour, and developed much of the behavioural theory which makes up DISC today. In the process, he renamed Hippocrates’ humours as: Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance. Inducement and Submission are today called Influence and Steadiness, respectively.

Finally, in the 1950s, an automated method for DISC profiling emerged. A group of Ph.D. students at Columbia University developed the first questionnaire which, when completed and scored, could be used to produce a DISC profile.

The internet and the future of DISC

In the years since, DISC has evolved to incorporate a broad range of applications.

Computer-based profiling systems made DISC profiling quicker and cheaper, and for the first time DISC became an affordable proposition for many businesses. With the subsequent advent of the internet the process has become even simpler, with DISC reports now processed almost instantaneously. This has meant that businesses, with the assistance of accredited DISC interpreters, have been able to apply DISC across a range of day-to-day activities.

Likewise, widespread take-up of the internet has brought DISC into many homes for the first time, and individuals are now able to receive their own personalised DISC profiles without the need to visit a profiling agency in person. This has potential benefits for students, job-seekers, or even people who are just interested in learning more about themselves.