myers briggs
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
June 2, 2006
June 2, 2006
myers briggs
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
June 2, 2006
June 2, 2006

The Personal Profile System® was first developed in 1972 based on William Moulton Marston’s two-axis, four-dimensional model that divides behavior into four distinct dimensions (abbreviated DiSC).

  • Dominance
  • Influence
  • Steadiness
  • Conscientiousness

Note: Marston first published his book, Emotions of Normal People in the 1920s. Unlike his contemporaries, Marston focused on how normal people interacted in the world around them.

Marston’s Model

Marston’s Model was based on two perceptions:

  1. The environment as favorable or unfavorable.
  2. The person himself/herself as more or less powerful than the environment.

First Principle

In the first principle, favorable environments represented by influence and Steadiness) were viewed as fun, friendly, and successful. Unfavorable environments (represented by Dominance and Conscientiousness), on the other hand, were filled with challenge, obstacles, and pitfalls.

Note: Although Marston only considered other individuals, situations, and events as part of how one perceived his/her environment, more contemporary researchers believe that genetic traits also play a role.

Second Principle

The second principle is determined by how much impact, control or affect individuals believe they have on a particular situation, group of people, or event.

IF the individuals believe they are… THEN they would…
More powerful than the environment (represented by Dominance and influence) Persuade others to help them achieve a goal.
Less powerful than the environment (represented by Steadiness and Conscientiousness) Be more apt to cooperate with others and adhere to established guidelines.


Marston’s Integrated Model

The table below outlines Marston’s Integrated Model (Content Manual, 1996, p. 10).

Dimension Environment Self
Dominance Unfavorable More Powerful
influence Favorable More Powerful
Steadiness Favorable Less Powerful
Conscientiousness Unfavorable Less Powerful



Because all of these measurements are based on perception, reactions to situations might vary based on an individual’s experience and current state of mind (Ross, 1996).

IF individuals scored high in… THEN they believe that…
Dominance They can overcome challenges and will try to change, fix, or control things.
influence They can persuade others by showing power and convincing others to share their views.
Steadiness The environment should remain the same and little should be done to change things because they believe things are fine as they are and should be left alone.
Conscientiousness They need to analyze things carefully and then work to achieve high standards or try to follow established rules in order to accomplish their goals.



Content manual for understanding DiSC® dimensions of behavior (Volume I). (1996). Minneapolis, MN: Inscape Publishing.

Ross, A.O. (1992). Personality: Theories and processes. New York, NY: HarperPerennial.