For millennia, philosophers have observed four distinct types of people. The ancient Greeks, for example, believed the dominance of particular body fluids caused people to think and act in particular ways.
4 Kinds of Personality
Sanguine people are excited, upbeat, and friendly. Cholerics are determined, disciplined, and goal-oriented. Phlegmatic people are easy-going and slow to make decisions. And people who are melancholy are reflective but often pessimistic.
4 Behavioral Types
In recent years, a host of models have been produced that depict four distinct personalities or behavioral types. A few of these measure people on two axes: one axis is how relational or isolated a person prefers to be, and the other is whether the person is more inclined to accomplish tasks or analyze concepts. In 1928, William Marston wrote The Emotions of Normal People, introducing the DISC assessment. His four categories of people were: D (dominant), I (influence), S (steady), and C (conscientious).
Dr. John Geier, the former Chairman of the Human Behavior Science Department at the University of Minnesota, developed the currently popular DISC profile in 1977.** (Perhaps the most widely used version of the DISC model today is by Performax Systems International, Carlson Learning Company, and Inscape Publishing. For more information, go to their web site: www.discprofile.com.)
Dr. Roger Birkman, of Birkman & Associates in Houston, Texas, developed an extensive set of instruments designed primarily for business applications. His book, True Colors, outlines the four behavioral types using the colors of red, green, blue, and yellow. Dr. Birkman’s range of assessment tools can provide an analysis of individuals, a manager and an employee, teams, career path, and much more.