Our Story

Take a journey back in time and learn about the landmark events that have shaped Everything DiSC® into what it is today.


Publication of Emotions of Normal People

The DiSC® Model of Behavior was first proposed in 1928 by William Moulton Marston, a physiological psychologist, in his book Emotions of Normal People. Marston focused on psychological phenomena that are directly observable and measurable through objective means. From his research, Marston theorized that the behavioral expression of emotions could be categorized into four primary types: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Submission (S), and Compliance (C). 


Early Measurement of DiSC® Concepts: Activity Vector Analysis

The history of DiSC measurement begins in the 1940s with an industrial psychologist, Walter V. Clarke. Clarke built a test for personnel selection called the Activity Vector Analysis. Following the “lexical approach," Clarke identified a list of adjectives commonly used to describe others. After collecting and analyzing the data, he discovered that the four factors produced from the data (aggressive, sociable, stable, and avoidant) looked a lot like DiSC. Clarke concluded that the data could be best explained by Marston’s model of human behavior.


Early Measurement of DiSC Concepts: Self-Discription Instrument

About ten years later, Walter Clarke Associates developed a new version of this instrument for John Cleaver called Self-Discription. It began like the Activity Vector Analysis but evolved into a 24 tetrad, forced-choice instrument. Factor analyses of the Self Discription produced two factors that closely approximated the underlying axes of Marston’s model, lending considerable empirical support not only to the structure of the model he proposed but to Clarke’s earlier claim that a DiSC-based instrument could be created.


First DiSC Assessment: Personal Profile System® (PPS)

In the 1970s, John Geier, a faculty member in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Health Sciences, used Self Discription to create the original Personal Profile System® (PPS). He formed a company called Performax (which eventually became Inscape Publishing and is now the Assessment Group at Wiley) that was the first publisher of a DiSC assessment.


28-Box Personal Profile System

In 1994, research began to improve the DiSC instrument that had essentially remained unchanged since 1959. New items were added, non-functioning items were removed, and the overall reliability of the instrument increased. PPS was renamed the Personal Profile System 2800 Series (PPS 2800), referring to the updated number of tetrads (28). This version of the PPS is still used today, although it has since been renamed DiSC Classic®.


Research into the Circumplex Representation of DiSC

In the early 2000s, researchers associated with Wiley’s Assessment Group began experimenting with ways to represent DiSC with a circumplex model. In this model, a person’s DiSC style is represented by a dot within the DiSC map, making it easier to interpret and apply to many situations. Researchers discovered that the circumplex approach shared substantial overlap with the Interpersonal Circumplex theory. Based on this research, the Everything DiSC reports were developed as they exist today.


Launch of Everything DiSC Sales

The first Everything DiSC application launched was Everything DiSC Sales. This profile presented the participant's DiSC style using the circumplex DiSC map. Unlike the PPS, it focused on helping the learner understand the relevance of their DiSC style to a particular role within the organization. The report contains three broad sections:

  • Understanding Your DiSC Sales Style 
  • Understanding Customer Buying Styles 
  • Adapting Your Sales Style to Your Customer's Buying Style


Launch of Everything DiSC Management

The second Everything DiSC application launched was Everything DiSC Management. This profile helps managers understand their own DiSC styles and the styles of the people they manage. Further, it helps managers bridge gaps when there are style differences. The report contains five broad sections:

  • Your DiSC Management Style
  • Directing and Delegating
  • Motivation
  • Developing Others
  • Working with Your Manager


Launch of Everything DiSC Workplace® and Everything DiSC Comparison Report

The third Everything DiSC application launched was Everything DiSC Workplace®. This profile was designed for a wide range of participants, regardless of their role in an organization. By combining DiSC with personalized and actionable strategies, Everything DiSC Workplace helps learners improve their everyday interactions. The best-selling report contains three broad sections:

  • Discover Your DiSC Style
  • Understanding Other Styles
  • Building More Effective Relationships
At the same time, Everything DiSC Comparison Reports launched. These reports allowed two people to compare themselves on both their DiSC style and on a series of basic personality traits, such as careful vs. daring or skeptical vs. accepting.


Adaptive Testing Implemented

Adaptive testing allows an assessment to change depending on a respondent's previous answers. This is useful in cases where the results of a standard assessment are inconclusive. In these instances, the Everything DiSC assessment will ask the respondent additional questions to reduce ambiguity in their results. Adaptive testing is the improvement to increase the accuracy of the Everything DiSC assessment and makes the feedback more personalized and relevant for users.


Launch of Everything DiSC Productive Conflict

Rather than focusing on a step-by-step process for conflict resolution, Everything DiSC Productive Conflict helps learners curb destructive behaviors so that conflict can become more productive, ultimately improving workplace results and relationships.


Launch of Agile EQ™ Assessment and the Catalyst™ Platform

Agile EQ™: Everything DiSC Agile EQ teaches participants to read the emotional and interpersonal needs of a situation and respond accordingly. Participants learn to navigate outside their comfort zone, empowering them to meet the demands of any situation.

Catalyst™: Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catalyst platform launched in 2020. Catalyst is a personalized learning platform that acts as a single access point throughout a learner’s DiSC journey. Designed to support instructor-led facilitation or for individual exploration, Catalyst integrates DiSC into the flow of work, ensuring takeaways are readily applied. On Catalyst, learners gain access to:

  • Your DiSC Style, which shares each learner’s unique DiSC style using a narrative style format.
  • Your Colleagues, which connects learners to their colleagues and offers real-time tips for more effective interactions.
  • Your Groups, which allows learners to create and save groups of individuals, plot members’ styles on a DiSC map, and gain insights into group dynamics.
  • Workplace, which is part of the Catalyst base experience and is designed to help learners develop the social and emotional know-how for more effective interactions at work.
  • Your DiSC Profile, which offers learners a downloadable PDF report that houses their assessment results.


Launch of Agile EQ and Management on Catalyst

Ensuring learners can experience the value of Everything DiSC Agile EQ and Management learnings from anywhere, both Agile EQ and Management on Catalyst launched in 2021.

Agile EQ on Catalyst develops the emotional intelligence necessary to support what organizations need most right now—a thriving, agile culture.

Management on Catalyst prepares anyone in a management role to successfully engage, motivate, and develop their people.


With an extended portfolio of products, continued scientific research, improved product design, and enhanced user experience—Everything DiSC continues to help organizations worldwide create thriving workplace cultures through a scientifically validated approach that helps people work better together.

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