Extended DISC Background

What is Extended DISC?

The Extended DISC® Assessment Suite is based on a psychological theory developed in the 1920's.

Carl G. Jung created the foundations of the theory in his book, The Psychological Types. His ideas were based on a two behavioural axis chart:

  • Sensation/Intuition
  • Thinking/Feeling 

These axis composed the four main behavioural traits of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.


The work of Jung was further developed by William Moulton-Marston, the inventor of the Lie Detector and Wonder Woman comic books. Moulton-Marston defined a four dimensional behavioural map. As a result, the four-quadrant thinking of human behaviour was developed. Having gained increased popularity, the quadrant is used in many management, sales and leadership training techniques.

Four Quadrant Map

Extended DISC Background

The development of the Extended DISC System dates back to 1991. Jukka Sappinen was an independent consultant working in the areas of recruitment, management development, organisational development and intercultural issues. Since his earlier career had made him familiar with differently types of assessment and measurement tools, he was looking for a company that could provide him with a comprehensive tool set instead of single tools.

As no such company was available, he started to develop a new type of approach based on old and existing theories and statistical data collection methods. The key point in that development process was close co-operation with customers so that it was the customer needs that actually steered the product development. The customers wanted to have one system that they could use in all human resource development activities at the team and organisational levels. The system needed to be so straightforward and self-explanatory that it would be easy to communicate across the organisation.

Those premises gave birth to the Extended DISC® System that was first officially launched in Finland in October 1994. After three more years of extensive product development and testing, the version 1.1 of the system was ready to be introduced to international markets in 1997.


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