William Marston and DISC Theory
William Moulton Marston (1893 - 1947), received his Ph.D. from Harvard and spent most of his adult life as a teaching and consulting psychologist. A prolific writer, Marston was a contributor to the American Journal of Psychology, The Encyclopedia Britannica, The Encyclopedia of Psychology, in addition to authoring and co-authoring five books.
Marston is best known for his success with the lie detector. In his book, “The Lie Detector”, published in 1938, he documented the theory and use of the tool. Today, lie detectors are used worldwide by law enforcement officials.
Most people are unaware this eminent psychologist was the originator, writer and producer of “Wonder Woman”. This comic strip provided a strong female role model and with the “Lasso of Truth”, villains were compelled to tell the truth.
In 1928 he published, “Emotions of Normal People”, in which he described the DISC theory we still use today in behavioral research. Marston described four categories of human response. Dominance, the drive to overcome opposing forces perceived inferior to the strength of self; Influence (Marston used the term inducement), the attempt to ally forces to ourselves through persuasive means; Steadiness (Marston used the term submission), the acquiescence of the self to a perceived allied force; and Compliance, the subordination of the self to a hostile force of superior strength.
Today, 75 years after its publication, Marston’s work has been enhanced by continuous behavioral research. The importance of his contribution in identifying four distinct categories and the measurement of the strength of this response in the explanation of human behavior has remained undiminished.
What Is Disc?
DISC is a widely used behavioral assessment tool, measuring four behavioral styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. DISC measures how a person behaves.
The most comprehensive DISC assessment in the market today, revealing insights into how members of staff, management and leadership are likely to respond in certain situations. DISC provides the ability to measure behaviors of the individual or the entire team.
Our clients typically use our DISC assessments to improve teamwork and understand communication styles.
Bill J. Bonnstetter and Don Cipriano Interview Pete Marston