Scientific Background

Is the DiSC® Model based on scientific principles?

more info⤵

DiSC® research report

Summary: the DiSC® assessment has high validity, reliability and internal consistency.  You can read more here.

The foundation of DiSC® was first described by William Moulton Marston in his 1928 book, Emotions of Normal People. Marston identified what he called four “primary emotions” and associated behavioral responses, which today we know as Dominance (D), Influence (i), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C). Since Marston’s time, many instruments have been developed to measure these attributes. The Everything DiSC® assessment uses the circle, or circumplex, as illustrated below, as an intuitive way to represent this model. Although all points around the circle are equally meaningful and interpretable, the DiSC model discusses four specific reference points.

  • Dominance: direct, strong-willed, and forceful 
  • Influence: sociable, talkative, and lively 
  • Steadiness: gentle, accommodating, and soft-hearted 
  • Conscientiousness: private, analytical, and logical

Although some people tend equally toward all of these regions, research indicates that most of us lean toward one or two. Each person who takes the Everything DiSC assessment is plotted on the circle, also known as the Everything DiSC Map.

Psychological instruments are used to measure abstract qualities that we can’t touch or see. These are characteristics like intelligence, extroversion, or honesty. So how do researchers evaluate these instruments? How do we know whether such tools are actually providing accurate information about these characteristics or just generating haphazard feedback that sounds believable? Simply put, if an instrument is indeed useful and accurate, it should meet a variety of different standards that have been established by the scientific community. Validation is the process through which researchers assess the quality of a psychological instrument by testing the tool against these different standards. 

The  developers of DiSC®  have provided a clarification paper designed to help you understand these different standards and see how the Everything DiSC assessment performs under examination.


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