Who Invented DiSC®?

Who Created DiSC?


Who invented DiSC?The Original Research Was The Key to Who Invented DiSC?

The research behind DiSC began in the 1920’s, with work by prominent Harvard schooled psychologist William Moulton Marston (also credited with inventing the lie detector). 

In 1928 he published a book, The Emotions of Normal People, which became the foundation for DiSC.


In 1931, Dr. Marston published a second book, Integrative Psychology, which developed the concept further. 

CLICK HERE: More information on William Moulton Marston.

Who Invented DiSC? - How It Became DiSC

Though Dr. Marston’s work was crucial to the development of DiSC assessments, he never actually created an assessment tool. 

Dr. John Geier (the original DiSC Profile creator), also a prominent psychologist (and professor) created the first DiSC assessment in 1970 based on the work of Dr. Marston, and it has become a standard for all training assessment instruments.  So the answer to "Who Invented DiSC?" is John Geier. 

We have a full section dedicated to the question "Who Invented DiSC?" at: DiSC Profiles - The Ultimate Guide

Since the development of the DiSC Profile, it has been validated against other widely accepted assessment tools, and the research of other prominent experts (such as Carl Jung’s MBTI, and Cattell’s 16PF works).  The DiSC assessment has consistently proven itself to be a valid, reliable instrument.

Who Created DiSC? Who Created DiSC Profiles? Who Invented DiSC Profiles?

It wasn't until 1970 that the DiSC Profile started to actually take form and turn into the well-known assessment it is today.  Dr. John G. Geier and Dorothy Downey transformed Cleaver's 24-question assessment and were capable of identifying 15 distinct classical patterns of behavior.  Dr. John Geier published the DiSC Personal Profile System (PPS) developing around the works of Marston, Clarke and Cleaver.  The Personal Profile System was the initial form of what's currently referred to as the DiSC Classic Profile.

In 1984, Curt Carlson, another university alumnus of Geier and Downey, acquired their business, known as Performax Systems International.  The answer to "Who Created DiSC" is essentially Performax International since they were the first to commercialize it.  Somewhere around ten years later, the Personal Profile System was refreshed and revalidated, to incorporate modern-day phrasing that is currently used today.  In order to insure that it the accuracy was improved, four new categories of words were incorporated.  The new version of the then DiSC Personal Profile System 2800 (currently the DiSC Classic Profile), a method that encompassed 28 tetrads (a tetrad is actually a group of 4 words) was initially published in 1994.

Everything DiSC Circular ModelWhen Dr. Marston first described the DiSC Model, he represented it in a circle.  This representation is now used in all Everything DiSC Profiles.  The circular representation of DiSC provides a memorable, intuitive way to show a person’s location on the DiSC map. 

The map is simple and visual, but conveys a great deal of information about the person’s DiSC style at a glance.  The DiSC Classic assessment uses the 15 classical patterns to represent the interactive nature of the four styles, but instead of presenting the four DiSC styles as four separate traits, the circular Everything DiSC Model captures the real continuous nature of D-i-S and C.