Behavioural assessment

History & Background

The study of human behaviour dates as far back as ancient Greece. Hippocrates (460-377 BC) divided people into four temperaments: the Sanguine (blood; extroverted and social), the Choleric (yellow bile; ambitious and energetic), the Melancholic (black gall; considerate and creative) and Flegmatic (slime; stable, relaxed and perceptive).

The Greek-Roman physician Claudius Galenus (130-216 AD) combined these with the four natural elements and seasons. Autumn was identified with the melancholic (too much black bile), its element was Earth. Winter was the Flegmatic (too much slime) and had Water as an element. Spring was Sanguine (too much blood), its element air. And summer was Choleric (too much yellow bile), and its element was fire.

These temperaments influenced consequent behavioural analysis greatly. Carl Jung (1875-1961) for one, based his vision on Hippocrates and Galenus. In his 'Four Archetypes' book from 1917, he elaborated on four basic types of personality. He pitted contrasting functions against each other: thinking and feeling, perception and intuition where every function is like the polar opposite of a circle. One of those poles is dominant in every basic type, a so-called superior function. Another important factor is whether the psyche is directed inwards (introverted) or outwards (extraverted).

William Moulton Marston (1893 – 1947) put behaviour onto two axes. In his book 'Emotions of Normal People' he describes the Passive vs Active Reaction ax and the Antagonistic vs Benevolent Environment ax. Based on this, he developed a quadrant concept he named DISC:

  • Dominance (D - Power)
  • Influence (I - People)
  • Stability (S - Balance)
  • Conformity (C - Principles)

It is assumed that most people can manifest all four of these traits at certain times. It's also assumed, however, that an individual creates a way of living through learning experiences that accentuates certain aspects of behaviour. That makes it objectively observable and describable, instead of subjective and judging.

At the beginning of the nineteen sixties, Thomas Hendrickson developed Marston's insights into the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA). It's an IPSATIEF instrument: the individual is described from his or her own words. It consists of 24 foursomes of descriptive words the candidate needs to choose the least and most appropriate term. The PPA tries to discern whether individuals see themselves as people that seek out or react to work circumstances that they see as beneficial or challenging. It also shows whether reactions to this are active or reactive.

YourCoach uses Thomas International's Personal Profile Analysis (PPA), an elaboration of Marston's DISC profiles. We have acces to an online system that allows you to evaluate a person's work behaviour in 8 minutes by using our fast, reliable and objective test tool.

Behavioural assessment can be used both for individual analyses and group trainings.


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