Dr. William M. Marston, a Columbia University psychologist in the early 20th century, developed the theory of human behavior on which the Personal DISCernment Inventory® is based. Through his extensive research, he identified four major behavioral patterns that are present in all people, but to varying degrees.

Marston's theory contends that these four patterns emerge as a result of various combinations of certain key factors. Most people tend to be either task-oriented or people-oriented. Another way to describe people is by their response to the environment. Some people are assertive or active; they want to shape or change their environment to better suit themselves. Others are more responsive; they tend to accept things as they are and try to do the best job possible within their environment. Using these four factors: task vs. people, assertive vs. responsive, we can place people into one of four quadrants.

Over the years, many other researchers have built on this four-dimensional model of personality, making it one of the most popular systems for teaching people about behavioral styles. Our collection of reports is called the DISC Profile System®, and it is based on the following factors:

Dominance (Dominant) The drive to control, to achieve results. The basic intent is to overcome.
Influence (Influential) The drive to influence, to be expressive, to be heard. The basic intent is to persuade.
Steadiness (Steadiness) The drive to be stable and consistent. The basic intent is to support.
Conscientiousness (Conscientiousness) The drive to be right, sure and safe. The basic intent is to be correct.