Can You Fool a DISC Assessment?01 February 2023 / By Diane Fanucchi Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on December 14, 2022
It can be tempting to try to make sure your test results come out the way you want them. Maybe you have preconceived ideas about a certain DISC type and want to be that type, or you think your boss is looking for a certain type to put on an exciting new project that you’d love to be part of. So you may try to achieve the results you desire, even if they aren't strictly accurate.
And since the DISC personality assessment is often used in the workplace, you may worry that if you end up with the “wrong” type, it could work against you in the work world.
Given these reasons, and the fact that there are only four types, each fairly distinct, it can seem especially desirable – and possible – to fool the DISC assessment to get the results you want.
Can you fool a DISC assessment?
The short answer: quite possibly. Savvy test takers have a pretty good idea of what to look for in the test questions and how they should respond in order to get the result they want.
Since there are only four DISC types, you could study the types and the traits associated with them and likely have a decent chance at guessing which answers would land you in what type, at least for some of the questions. You can then answer accordingly, whether that’s answering in the affirmative for the type you want, in the negative for the type you don’t want, or simply exaggerating how much a trait is or isn’t like you.
The better the quality of the test you take the less this is likely to happen, but it can probably be done. However, it makes the test-taking experience more complicated and less joyful than if you use it as it’s meant to be used. And, of course, the results will be less helpful to you than they would be if you didn’t try to rig them.
Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you would want to. Which leads to the question…
Should you try to fool a DISC assessment?
This is undoubtedly the more important question, and the answer is, probably not! Just like with trying to cheat on any kind of test, there are negative consequences to trying to tamper with the outcome of a DISC assessment.
While the consequences for this kind of “cheating” won’t usually be failing a class or getting expelled from somewhere, you will be cheating yourself out of the benefits of the accurate information and self-knowledge the test is meant to provide you with.
Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t try to fool a DISC assessment:
#1: You miss out on the self-understanding that personality tests are all about
After all, isn’t this why you would take the DISC assessment – or any personality test – in the first place? We’d assume that you want to actually learn about yourself. This includes your strengths, weaknesses, communication style, and how you would likely approach just about any situation.
Your aim should be knowledge, insight, and authenticity, all of which require an accurate result. All of this information helps you to make the most of your aptitudes, anticipate and mitigate potential problems, and reach your actual potential.
#2: You confuse people
If your supervisors, co-workers or friends try to understand you better based on your type, and you tested for a type that doesn’t actually fit you, things can get complicated. Your responses to their attempts at communication won’t go well, your approach to your job won’t be what’s expected, and everyone’s efforts will be less effective.
If you say on a dating site that you’re 20, want 5 children, love jazz, and live in Boston, but you’re really 40, don’t want any children, hate jazz, and live in Atlanta, you’re not only going to look (and be) dishonest, but you won’t get matched with someone who is compatible with you. This just wastes everyone’s time.
Similarly, if you show up at work claiming to be a type you’re not – and have the test results to prove it – the outcome could be counterproductive.
#3: You might get mis-placed
Especially if you’re taking the DISC assessment to define your career goals or your tasks within a company, if you try for a false result you may find yourself in a role that doesn’t fit your basic strengths and inclinations.
Why put yourself in the position of always swimming upstream because you’re pretending to be something you’re not, and not claiming what you’re naturally good at?
#4: You risk becoming dissatisfied with who you are
If you’re an I type (Influence) and you really want to be a D type (Drive), and you put your efforts into testing for that type, you’re likely to start feeling like who you really are isn’t as good as the “role” you find yourself constantly playing.
You’ll either feel dishonest and inauthentic, or you’ll feel disappointed that you’re not the type you’re pretending to be. Either way, it leads to a disconnect with yourself and failure to acknowledge and make good use of your true traits.
What to do instead
Take a really good test from a reputable testing site
If you’re here on the Truity site, you’re exactly where you need to be. A good assessment like ours will use several questions, stated in a variety of ways, for each trait, so it's harder to “fool” the whole test even if you can figure out the intent of some of the questions.
A quality DISC assessment will help to protect you from cheating yourself out of accurate results, and a good test provider will assist you in making sense of your results and using what you learn from them to your best advantage.
Answer as honestly as you can
If you approach each question with an honest response based on what you are most likely to do or feel in any situation, instead of the way you’d like to be seen, you’ll get a more accurate, authentic picture of where you fit. What you do with the knowledge is entirely up to you, but you benefit most from doing your part to get a result that truly fits you.
We are what we are. Whatever personality model you use, this is a basic starting point. Our type doesn’t have to limit or completely define us, but knowing where we do type is a way of understanding ourselves, including our strengths and weaknesses.
This knowledge helps us maximize the first, work on the latter, and feel good about who we really are, rather than trying to be something we think is better.
See wherever you are as a starting point for where you want to go
Just because you type a certain way doesn’t mean that has to limit what you can do. For example, maybe you test as a C (Clarity), the detail-oriented, rule-following type, but you’d like to try to be a bigger-picture kind of person who can take on a more responsible or even visionary role.
Your type doesn’t have to hold you back. Each DISC type comes with its own talents, which you can use to your advantage. So, as a C, you can use your conscientious attention to detail as a boost to accomplishing whatever you want, not as a limiting factor that makes you feel stuck.
If you’re tested in a work setting, you may have to show that you’re fit for a role that isn’t traditionally associated with your type, but that doesn’t have to work against you. If you can combine both what comes naturally (your type) and the other traits you want to strive for, you have more to offer than someone who is only one or the other. But starting with your true type makes it all work better.