DISC Insight of the Month:Back in July’s DISC Insight, we talked about the history of the DISC assessment and its origins in the work done by William Moulton Marston, PhD. In Moulton’s 1928 book Emotions of Normal People, he theorized about the forces that shape human behavior, laying the groundwork for the modern-day DISC assessment.The words most often used to describe William Moulton Marston are: Lawyer, Philosopher, Author, Academic, Father of DISC. But there’s one more label that, though fascinating, is not commonly applied to Marston:

William Moulton Marston, Father of Wonder Woman.

It’s true!

Almost fourteen years after pioneering DISC theory, William Moulton Marston created the character of Wonder Woman for D.C. Comics. Working under the pen name of Charles Moulton, he brought Wonder Woman to life in a 1941 issue of All Star Comics.

Marston, always a trailblazer and forward-thinker, conceived Wonder Woman as a character that would be the intellectual and physical equal of Superman. He felt that Wonder Woman could be a powerful symbol for the growing women’s movement in America, a cause he believed in strongly.

Throughout his life, Marston was a champion of women’s rights. He spoke vocally about the need for voting and career equity for women, and used Wonder Woman as a pop-culture conduit for his message. In 1943, Marston explained the origins of Wonder Woman and the character’s connection with women’s rights by saying: “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

At first glance, Marston’s role later in life as a comic book author might seem like a significant departure from his earlier work in psychology and DISC theory. A closer look, though, shows that in much of his work with the character of Wonder Woman, Marston still believed strongly in the importance of DISC personality traits. The four personality styles that we still use today in DISC assessment are very much a part of the character and mythology of Wonder Woman: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Control.

Dominance: In all of Marston’s stories, Wonder Woman is a force to be reckoned with. Every bit as strong as her male counterparts, she is decisive, strong, powerful, and quick to act.

Influence: Wonder Woman is very persuasive. Her golden Lasso of Truth can be used to extract any information she desires from those captive in its grasp.

Steadiness: Wonder Woman is a team player. She worked closely with the US Army, and in later years served as a member of the Justice League. She is also an Ambassador for peace, and is an expert at negotiating conflicts.

Control: Wonder Woman’s secret identity as Diana Prince allowed her to work as a secretary with the US Military. Her Diana Prince persona was orderly, thorough, and highly competent. Although she started out in the a very traditional woman’s job of secretary, Diana Prince eventually worked her way up to becoming an intelligence officer. There, she worked as a military strategist, gathering information and interrogating suspects.

William Moulton Marston was a DISC superhero.

What other superheroes do you see as reflections of DISC personality types? Take our October Survey to weigh in, and earn a 20% off coupon code for your next order on DiscInsights.com.

If you found this interesting, you may also enjoy last week’s blogpost about how Personality Styles influence the way we dress up for Halloween or costumes in general.  Guess which style likes to be a superhero?


Comments are closed.