I fairly recently learned about the Myers-Briggs system for analyzing and
categorizing personality types. In one form at least, this leads to the
4 way "DISC" breakdown:
DISC is not Myers-Briggs however.
DISC focuses on behaviour, whereas Myers-Briggs focuses on thinking processes.
According to Wikipedia, DISC is the brainchild of Dr. William Marson, a psychologist
from Harvard. The idea is to use the four "vectors" of Assertiveness, Sociability,
Tranquility, and Dependence to predict behavior. For most people thse vectors are
blended, and personality types are indexed either by the most dominant vector
(yielding 4 types), or the most dominant and the second (yielding 16 types).
By understanding how people of different types interact, it is possible to
put together effective teams of people.
- D - Dominant director - focus on results.
- I - Interacting socializer - focus on communication and people.
- S - Steady relater - focus on relationships and process.
- C - Cautious thinker - focus on quality and accuracy.
One book that seems to hit this on the head is "Please Understand Me" by David Keirsey
and Marilyn Bates.
Another that puts the DISC system to work is "People Smart" by
Tony Alessandra and Michael O'Connor. I found an online edition
of this on Google Books at:
There are enless online tests, not all of which end up with a DISC breakdown.
One piece of advice on the tests. Your personality type may depend on the situation,
so when taking a test, consider the environment for which you want to evaluate yourself.
Do you want to know how you behave on the job, in your marriage, with your kids?
If you find yourself fussing too long over the right answer to questions on these
tests, you are probably a C (which is fine, and good to know).
Here is a online DISC test (though they call it SCID):
On this test, I scored strongly as a S, and my order was SDCI.
Unfortunately, I have studied this whole business enough that I could
tell where the questions were heading, but this still doesn't make it
impossible to answer honestly.
Myers-Briggs is not DISC, but it is awfuly similar (at least it seems so to me), and certainly interesting:
On one run of the above "Jung Typology", I scored:
This made me a INTJ, they say I would do well in the natural sciences, as a computer programmer, or as a librarian.
They call an INTJ a "mastermind" (note that I never find negative labels in any of these schemes, i.e. you won't
find con-man, or axe-murderer, or dead-beat). They say that masterminds are rare (less than 1 percent of the population)
and look ahead to see how one step leads to another to another and plan for every contingency (this does sound
like computer programming). Newton, Nietsche, Stephen Hawking, and Alan Greenspan are all examples.
I feel good about myself now, so I am going home.
Have any comments? Questions?
Drop me a line!
Tom's home page / firstname.lastname@example.org