By: Bob Picha
The CHIPS / DISC assessment instrument is an interpretive adaptation
and reformation of instruments developed since 1940 from theory
put forth by William Moulton Marston, 1928 and 1931, at Colombia
University. Marston developed a dynamic, situational trait theory
of human behavior to categorize and describe four primary emotions
which drive behavior. These primary emotions (DISC) as he described
- Dominance (D) - To exercise control over, prevail, or to
- Inducement (I) - To influence others to act, or to lead.
- Submission (S) - To give up to another or to a situation.
- Compliance (C) - To act In conformity with, to act compliant,
or to follow rules in detail.
Two types of self report instruments have been developed over
the years based on Marston's theory - an open ended-response and
a forced-choice response. PsychoGraphics Corporation (PGC) (1980)
was the first to develop a phrase format in the forced-choice
design. PsychoGraphics Corporation was also the first to adapt
Dr. Marston's work to interactive computer technology (1981) for
use within educational settings.
The CHIPS assessment focuses on who a person Is and how he/she
gets things done... their WorkStyle, and graphically relates their
WorkStyles to successful WorkStyles of over five hundred occupations.
The CHIPS Jobs Data Base has an occupational pool of 506 occupations,
representing in excess of eighty percent of the working population
existing on a national basis. A secondary file represents one
hundred sixty of the most rapidly growing occupations.
The initial data was based on input from a network of consultants.
They worked with the DISC behavior model in assessing WorkStyles
of personnel in both public and private sectors of employment.
These consultants had profiled successful incumbents in the jobs
data base as well as the activities they performed in the successful
completion of their work.
The job analysis data was DISC behavior centered and expressed
in the same language as the personal WorkStyle data. The consultants
had profiled thousands of job incumbents in broad cross sections
of the public and private organizations, large and small, during
the decade of the 1970's. The process of formal data assembly
began,in 1979 and the initial jobs file was completed in 1981.
From 1981 to 1984, 58 business and educational consultants were
supplied with job analysis and personal profile materials for
the purpose of continuous validation of the data base. The framework
established was to pursue the most successful job incumbents in
the 506 list and ideally to have:
The incumbent's assessment of what they actually did
(behavior centered) to be successful.
The supervisor's assessment of what the incumbent actually
Up to three peer assessments of what the incumbent actually
The analysis forms were distributed by PGC and collected for
analysis and updating of the 506 list. Since 1985, the content
of the National file of jobs has been undergoing change reflecting
job relevance and the behavior required. Relevance today has to
do with the specific occupational areas, and behavior has to do
with the expanding versatility being imposed on many job requirements.
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