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DISC: A Layman's Guide
What is DISC?
Video: Introduction to DISC
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Team Building with DISC
History and Development of DISC
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DISC profiling since 1994
28
years
/
(214) 613-3983
Flag
Features
Reports
Branding
Software
Pricing
Training
Languages
Individual Reports
Agency Opportunities
DISC: A Layman's Guide
What is DISC?
Video: Introduction to DISC
DISC Profile Interpretations
DISC Factors
Team Building with DISC
History and Development of DISC
Personality Types
Applications: Putting DISC to Work
Validity and Reliability of DISC
Knowledge Base
(214) 613-3983
E-mail us
Skype us
Contact Details
Common questions about Discus and DISC
What does Discus profiling cost?
How do I get started with Discus?
Can I send questionnaires to my candidates online?
Can a person completing a questionnaire read their own report?
Do I have access to all my profile reports?
How can I recover a lost or forgotten Discus password?
Is training available?
I received a test invitation, but I'm not able to use it.
I completed an invited questionnaire, but I didn't receive a copy of my report.
Can I try Discus for free?
What does Discus profiling cost?

Discus profiles start at just $35 each, with discounts available for more substantial purchases.

For new accounts, we offer a whole range of useful extras. Find out more on our pricing page.

How do I get started with Discus?

Getting started with Discus is easy. You'll just need to take a few minutes to sign up for an account, and then you'll be ready to start creating profiles right away.

Can I send questionnaires to my candidates online?

Discus provides an entire suite of features to make this process easy and automatic. At the simplest level, you can simply enter a person's e-mail address, and Discus will send them an invitation and then display and manage the questionnaire. Once the questionnaire is complete, a report will immediately be compiled and added to your accounts.

Discus also provides lots of options for your to customise this process to meet your exact requirements. For example, you can arrange to be automatically notified and sent a copy of the report as soon as it is available.

Can a person completing a questionnaire read their own report?

This is a decision you can make as you set up an invitation. There's no requirement to share the report, but you have the option of doing so if you wish.

Discus can also provide an intermediate solution through the 'Feedback' report, which is an alternative version of the report specifically designed for this purpose, providing a readable and accessible summary of the results.

Do I have access to all my profile reports?

Every DISC profile produced on your account is held in your own secure Discus database. You can access, review and manage those reports at any time. Discus even provides extra features to assess the results in combination, such as comparing candidates against the needs of a role, or assessing how individuals would work together in a team.

How can I recover a lost or forgotten Discus password?

It's easy to reset your Discus access details. You can start the process from the Discus sign-in page, or by following the link below. Discus will handle resetting your access through your registered e-mail address.

Is training available?

We offer a comprehensive online video training course introducing the DISC system and its workings. The course is free if you sign up for an account with fifty credits or more.

Discus itself offers an interactive guide to get your started, and extensive help resources throughout the system.

I received a test invitation, but I'm not able to use it.

There can be various reasons for this. The invitation code might already have been used, or it might simply have expired, or been cancelled by the user who originally set up the invitation.

Your best course of action in a situation like this is to get in touch with your invitation provider and ask them to set up another invitation for you.

I completed an invited questionnaire, but I didn't receive a copy of my report.

When a Discus user sends out an invitation, they can choose whether to give you access to your report or not, so it may simply be that this option isn't active.

If you think you should have received a report, your best course of action is to contact the person who sent you your invitation; they will have the option of sending you a copy.

Can I try Discus for free?

Sorry, we aren't able to offer free trial profiles, but if you want to try the service, remember that you can set up a Discus account with just a single credit.

If you want to see what Discus can produce, take a look at our extensive library of sample reports.

DISC's history as a personality test goes back to its development by William Marston in the 1920's. There are some core ideas behind the DISC profiler, though, that reach back much further: indeed, certain principles can be traced back as far as ancient Greece. Here we take a brief journey through the history of ideas that led to the modern DISC personality assessment technique.

Blood, Bile and Phlegm

To the ancient Greeks, a person's general style of behaviour was an integral part of their general health. They believed that the body contained four fundamental liquids (called humours) based on the four elements of fire, air, water and earth. When one of these humours became dominant over the others, it was thought to effect the person's mood and general approach.

Hippocrates

The four humours, blood, yellow bile, phlegm and black bile, were each believed to be responsible for a different type of behaviour. An excess of blood made a person sanguine, yellow bile resulted in a choleric nature, phlegm, naturally, produced a phlegmatic outlook, and black bile was associated with melancholia.

These theories, first set down in a systematic way by Hippocrates, remained in use until the middle ages. We now know, of course, that they have no basis in medical fact, but what the Greeks had almost incidentally achieved was the first systematic method of describing individual types of people. So successful was their approach that, even today, the words 'humour' (meaning 'mood'), 'sanguine', 'phlegmatic' and 'melancholic' are still in common use.

Thankfully, modern profiling does not rely on measuring the amount of yellow bile in a person to determine their style, but the ideas behind it can, indirectly, be traced back to Hippocrates' theories.

Carl Gustav Jung

There are many modern theories of personal behaviour based on the idea of four individual factors. Perhaps the most influential of these is to be found in the work of the Swiss psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung. He defined personalities as belonging to one of four different types; Sensing, Intuitive, Feeling and Thinking.

The definitions of these types are rooted in Jung's lifelong work on the unconscious mind, and need not concern us here. They are important because they represent one of the first serious attempts to map the human personality by a modern psychologist. Tests based on Jung's work are still available today.

It was Jung's opinion that people instinctively understand behaviour in terms of a set of four elements (his four types being one example of such a set, and the four humours of the Greeks being another). These groups of four (technically called tetralogies) underlie a very large number of assessment techniques.

‘The Emotions of Normal People’

In the early 1920's, the flamboyant American psychologist William Moulton Marston developed a theory to explain people's emotional responses. Until that time, work of this kind had been mainly confined to the mentally ill or criminally insane, and Marston wanted to extend these ideas to cover the personalities of ordinary individuals.

"...this book is devoted to description of normal emotions which are so commonplace and fundamental in the every-day lives of all of us that they have escaped, hitherto, the attention of the academician and the psychologist."

William Moulton Marston
Emotions of Normal People

In order to test his theories, Marston needed some way of measuring the personalities he was trying to describe. His solution was to develop his own test to measure four important factors. The factors he chose were Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance, from which DISC takes its name.

In 1928, Marston published his findings in a book entitled The Emotions of Normal People, which included a brief description of the test he had developed.

The Development of DISC

In common with many similar tools (including the IQ test), DISC first came to prominence in the military - it was widely used as part of the US army's recruitment process during the years leading to the Second World War. Having proved its value, it gradually came to be used in a more general recruitment setting.

In those early times, the use of DISC was limited in the commercial sector. To be used effectively, it needed considerable expertise, and this made it expensive. In the days before computers, even the translation of a person's questionnaire answers into a DISC profile was an arduous and complex task.

The advent of the personal computer has made DISC universally accessible, because results can be compiled and interpreted automatically. DISC has finally become a cost-effective solution for everyone, and has grown to become probably the most widely used behavioural assessment tool in the world.

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