William Moulton Marston, the creator of the DISC personality theory, has been in the media lately. The book “The Secret History of Wonder Woman” by Jill Lepore was released recently, and interestly enough, Marston created this super-hero as well as the psychological theory from which the DISC assessment was based. His life was indeed quite fascinating.
The basic four-fold of the DISC theory deals with an agent’s perception of her ability to act in relation to her enviroment. For the agent, she sees herself either more powerful or less powerful than the environment. For the environment, it is seen to be either favorable for her actions or unfavorable. Thus there are four combinations.
Inducement: More powerful than a favorable environment.
Dominance: More powerful than an unfavorable environment.
Submission: Less powerful than a favorable environment.
Compliance: Less powerful than an unfavorable environment.
It is fascinating that many brain function, behavioral, personality, and psychological schemas are based on a four-fold distinction. I have already briefly mentioned the Four Temperaments, but I hope to look at several more in the near future.
Images of DISC theory.
For what more terrifying revelation can there be than that it is the present moment? That we survive the shock at all is only possible because the past shelters us on one side and the future on another.
— From Orlando, by Virgina Woolf
As we can see on the previous four-folds of space and time, all have a degree of conditioning to the location and orientation of an observer. In other words, there are no absolute frameworks of space or time. That does not mean that they are not useful conventional and conceptual tools.
What would a four-fold of Relative Time be like? Because time seems to be linear instead of two dimensional, relative time would be very different than relative directions. What if we contrast our understanding of what happened in time with what actually occurred? What if we compare our thoughts of an imagined future with what becomes realized?
One could contrast an individual’s notions of past and future with a group or society’s notions of past and future. Or one could contrast an individual’s or society’s recalled past and imagined future with the actual past and the realized future. Some might argue that there is no actual past, but only the past we think or recall that it is. Similarly, those or others might argue that there is no realized future, because once the future becomes the present it has already slipped into the past that we can now only recall.
As the future becomes realized, the imagined future is discarded or blended into it to become our recalled past. As we understand more about the real past, our recalled past may be discarded or blended into it to become our new recalled past. Or one can refuse that knowledge and believe whatever suits them.
Here are four relative directions: Left, Front, Right, and Back. Perhaps I should have said “forward” and “backward” instead of “front” and “back”, but the words would have been substantially longer. So maybe I should have called this “relative sides”, but I like “relative directions” better. And perhaps I should have added “up” and “down”, but then it wouldn’t have been a four-fold! At any rate, for entities or observers bound by common gravity, up and down are fairly consistent. For all such beings, all down directions should converge to some idealized point in the center of the earth but all up directions should diverge in all directions like the light rays from the sun.
If you compare this four-fold to that of the Cardinal Directions, you can see that these directions are indeed relative to an observer, and depend on how the observer is turned. So they are fixed to the frame of reference of the observer. In comparison, the Cardinal Directions are fixed with respect to a location on the earth, but they vary from location to location, and so are relative to location and fixed for an observer at that location. For example the direction of North at New York City is different from North in Los Angeles, even though they converge at the same point on the earth, the North Pole.