What Is The DISC Personality Test?

Updated March 2, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Have you heard of the DISC Personality Test and wondered how it’s different from other personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of people have taken this test, and it’s considered one of the most popular personality assessments available. 

Created by Dr. William Moulton Marston at Harvard University in the 1920s, the DISC Personality Test has since been used to assess employees and teamwork capabilities in a work setting. The DISC Personality Test is different from the Myers-Briggs assessment in that it tends to focus not on emotions but on behavior, and it isn’t usually used in a clinical setting, as opposed to the latter. The DISC test may help organizations and companies better understand the personalities of their team, which may yield improved productivity, greater cooperation, fewer conflicts, and increased profit. 

The DISC Personality Test aims to help people evaluate themselves and work well with their peers, colleagues, friends, and family. The DISC test consists of four basic personality types: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness.

Components Of The DISC Personality Test

D - Dominance

Dominance is the first trait in the DISC personality test. In a team, a person with a dominant personality may contribute significantly as they tend to have the drive to accomplish tasks they have started.

The following are some of the characteristics of a D personality:

  • A tendency to to accomplish tasks successfully

  • A tendency to accept challenges, take action, and provide excellent input and outcomes

  • Self-confidence and determination

  • Skepticism and lack of concern for others

  • Independence

For a person with a D personality, it may be difficult to slow down and pay attention to the wants and needs of others. They may have a hard time displaying their sensitive side as they may not want to be seen as vulnerable.

If you are working with someone with this personality type, it may help to be brief, on point, and direct with your plans or discussions with them. Based on the DISC Personality Test, they tend to focus more on finding solutions rather than deeply assessing problems. Hence, they may need to try hard to be patient and deliberate the tasks at hand among their team. 

According to DiscProfile.com, people with this personality types are considered Commanding, Resolute, and Pioneering.

I - Influence

While a D personality can have a strong influence on a team, the DISC Personality Test states that influencers are also a great addition to the team and can even be more persuasive than D types. They tend to make an impression by convincing others and emphasizing the goal of a certain task. 

Influencers can be excellent at persuading others, regardless of how factual or non-sensical the information may be, but they may lack the commitment to follow through and finish their plans. However, they tend to value freedom of expression and prioritize shaping the community to be stronger. Other characteristics include the following:

  • They tend to demonstrate optimism and trust.

  • They often take action and work with enthusiasm.

  • They are often driven by social recognition.

  • They tend to be motivated by social peers and groups.

  • They may be afraid of losing their influence on others.

  • They tend to find it difficult to accept disapproval.

Since individuals with an I personality type often lack follow-through and focus, they may not sufficiently research all the facts involved in a project. 

According to the DISC Personality Test, I types are considered Persuaders, Counselors, Appraisers, and Promoters.

S - Steadiness

According to the DISC Personality Test, individuals with an S type tend to emphasize cooperation with others. Regardless of the circumstances, they often feel that they must carry out the task at hand.

The following are some common characteristics of S types:

  • Cooperative, collaborative, and appreciative of sincere recognition

  • Consistent, calm, stable, inclusive, and patient

  • Drawn to overly give support that may frustrate others

  • Indecisive and doubtful about change

People with an S personality often want to be accepted for who they are and be acknowledged as part of the team. They often aim for personal growth and acceptance. They also tend to want a controlled environment—hence their fear of change. Thus, when inevitable changes do show up, they may need to expend more effort on accepting that change. They may not be very welcoming of unexpected hurdles, and multitasking can be difficult for them.

Discprofile.com says that S types are Specialists, Achievers, Agents, and Investigators.

C - Conscientiousness

The Conscientiousness personality type is also known as Compliance because people with this type often work based on what is considered right. People with a C personality tend to be careful and diligent to ensure accuracy. They are often motivated by the need to show their expertise in certain fields, and they tend to gain knowledge from opportunities that are presented to them. They also tend to be cautious and critical of their work, which may lead to overanalyzing their efforts.

The C personality tends to:

  • Prioritize accuracy and high quality

  • Not accept criticism well

  • Fear being incorrect

  • Value personal growth

  • Show stability and aim to be correct

  • Be driven by knowledge

According to the DISC Personality Test, individuals with a C personality can be challenging to work with since they may have difficulty letting go of tasks that can be handled by people with other DISC personality types. Although they do not necessarily isolate themselves, they tend to need their own time and space to ensure quality and accurate work. A C personality may need to be properly convinced to join social events and activities. They often make quick decisions and tend to be rational, so when you have them on your team, you might find it helpful to be direct in your communication.

DiscoProfile.com states that the C types are Objective Thinkers, Perfectionists, and Practitioners.

The above personality types may serve as a guide to a better understanding of yourself and others, but they are not definitive, clear-cut identities. Someone could have a dominant personality of a C type, then S for the second most dominant type, and many other combinations. 

Why Take The DISC Personality Test?


One way in which the DISC Personality Test can be helpful is to enhance the performance of managers. Managers often have the responsibility of trying to keep their team in a tight-knit relationship to keep the business running efficiently. A good leader tends to yield a more productive team, a comfortable work atmosphere, and better outcomes.


If you work in sales, taking the DISC assessment may help you understand people better and get them to buy your product. Knowing how to identify behavioral cues and gestures may help you determine what piques the interest of people or what makes them turn away from a sales pitch.

What Does It Mean For The Whole Team?

Psychologists posit that your co-workers do not intentionally annoy you. It could be that the way they motivate themselves does not exactly sit well with you due to personality differences. The DISC Personality Test may help you to become more open-minded with your colleagues. With the DISC test, you might learn to slowly accept the personality differences of each person and enjoy a more peaceful workplace.

Taking The DISC Personality Test

If you’re interested in learning more about personality, you can take a free, 5-10-minute DISC personality test. The test consists of 28 items with four statements each, and topics range from how well you work with others to how timid you are. 


If you’re interested in learning more about the DISC Personality Test or about personality in general, you might consider speaking with a licensed counselor.

If you don’t have time to visit a therapist’s office, you can try online counseling, such as that offered by BetterHelp. Online therapy has been shown to be just as effective as in-person therapy, and you can contact your BetterHelp therapist via phone, videoconference, or in-app messaging. Take the first step and reach out to BetterHelp today.

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