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Special Situations

From time to time, unusual DISC configurations will appear as a result of a questionnaire. These special situations describe DISC profiles that cannot be interpreted in the normal way, or that suggest additional information beyond the standard interpretation. There are five different types of special situation that may occur, some being more important than others. This section describes each of the five special DISC configurations.

Example Graph Compressed Profiles are profiles showing all four factors between 35% and 65%. There are a number of possible sources for a profile of this kind. Attempts by a candidate to distort the questionnaire's results might produce a compressed profile shape, as may an insufficient understanding of the questionnaire's requirements (although most modern profiling systems are designed to be simple to understand, so this cause is becoming less common). A Compressed Profile might also relate to some kind of ongoing stress within a person's life. If the 'Internal Profile' is compressed, this might reflect a problem with the person's general lifestyle, whereas a compressed 'External Profile' would suggest problems in the shorter term, usually related to the individual's work life, or financial situation.
Example Graph Extended Profiles are Profiles showing one or more very high (above 85%) or very low (below 15%) factors. In the example on the left, both Dominance and Compliance are extended. Traditional interpretations suggest that this situation suggests the possibility of erratic or unpredictable behaviour, perhaps even culminating in a sudden 'flip' in the factor concerned (e.g. in the sample to the left, the high Dominance might suddenly drop down the profile). In practice, there is little evidence to suggest that this is correct - very high or low factors are best interpreted in the same way as other factors in the profile.
Example Graph Overshifted Profiles show all four DISC factors greater than 65%. Such a configuration is interpreted as meaning that an individual is trying to show themselves almost as 'supermen' with strengths in all areas, and no corresponding weaknesses. Overshifted profiles are extremely rare in practice.
Example Graph Undershifted Profiles represent the opposite of Overshifted Profiles - DISC graphs with all four factors below 35%. They are said to represent unhappy or depressed individuals with a low self-image, who are unable to define a clear behavioural style for themselves. As in the case of Overshift, Undershifted Profiles almost never appear in practical use of a DISC system.

Finally, the term Invalid Profiles is used to describe a situation in which the Internal and External profiles from a single questionnaire are 'diametrically opposed'. In other words, the two profiles represent mirror images of one another. While this might theoretically represent a person making extreme modifications to their approach to meet the needs of a role to which they are entirely unsuited, in practice it will usually indicate a lack of understanding of the questionnaire, or a deliberate attempt to manipulate the results.