Bazinga!: DISC Personality Types on The Big Bang Theory

“Our whole universe was in a hot, dense, sleep…”

The boys are back! It seems like it’s been forever since we last checked in with our favorite tv nerds: the guys from The Big Bang Theory. With the show airing its first episode of the new season on Sept 26, now is the perfect time to re-acquaint ourselves with the gang by looking at the DISC personality types of the main characters. Today, we’ll start with everyone’s favorite theoretical physicist, Sheldon Cooper.

Sheldon Cooper: Personality Type CD

Like a neurotic, narcissistic Mr. Spock, Sheldon is a personality type CD.

Through there are traces of D traits in Sheldon’s personality, his patterns of behavior suggest that he is most prominently a very high C. Happy with his own company, if he didn’t have a roommate Sheldon would likely rarely leave the house, let alone engage a stranger in conversation. He is also hyper-organized. Sheldon sticks to a rigid schedule, going so far as to schedule specific activities for specific days. (Saturday laundry night starts at 8:15 exactly.) Again, an extreme C.

A very high C is also guided by logic, not emotion. This is definitely the case with Sheldon—The facts of a situation guides his behavior, not his (or anyone else’s) feelings. When he does have emotional outbursts, they are usually the result of someone breaking one of his rules (C personalities hate rule-breakers). C personalities also prefer to work independently (as evidenced by Sheldon’s inability to collaborate on projects at work), and are meticulous in their planning.

Sheldon’s disaster preparedness drills are one example of his consuming obsession with planning. Another key example is his elaborate “Roommate Agreement.” The ridiculously-extensive nature of the Roommate Agreement clearly marks Sheldon as a C. A thick packet of dense rules and regulations filled with riders, clauses, and appendixes that cover every possible scenario (including a zombie-bite contingency: “you cannot kill the other even if they’ve turned.”), the agreement sets out all the rules Sheldon expects Leonard to adhere to. This isn’t a one-time example of Sheldon’s love of rules and preparedness—Later in the show’s run, Sheldon asks Amy Farrah Fowler to sign a similarly comprehensive “Relationship Agreement.”

That said, there’s a little bit of D in Sheldon, too. He is motivated by recognition and accomplishment, which is a classically-D trait. His repeated forceful demands for Leonard and Amy to sign their respective agreements also reveals Sheldon’s secondary D. The secondary D in Sheldon also makes it so he feels entitled to ask others to do his bidding—To shuttle him to and from work, to the comic book store, and back and forth from the train store. Whereas C personalities can tend to be more passive in their approach, the D in Sheldon makes him more aggressive and forceful than a straightforward C personality type.

But that said, it’s still the C in Sheldon that is most prominent. This is also evidenced by the fact that Sheldon clearly displays a C’s greatest fear: being criticized. There’s nothing Sheldon hates more than being wrong. He hates it so much, in fact, that he will rarely admit to any sort of fault in a situation.




Stay tuned for our next installment, focused on the DISC personality type of Howard “Fruit Loops” Wolowitz.


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