What’s Your Controlling Trait?

Back in the second century, the Greek physician Galen argued that four bodily fluids, known as the humors, steered behavior in predictable directions. A preponderance of yellow bile, for example, made a person “choleric,” or controlling. Red blood prompted “sanguine,” or outgoing, behavior.

Bruce Hubby isn’t big on bodily fluids, but he does believe that the early Greek physicians were onto something. PDP’s assessments identify four controlling traits — dominance, extroversion, pace (or patience), and conformity — that are remarkably similar to those identified by Galen. Which trait best describes you?


People whose main trait is dominance, says Hubby, “are big thinkers and risk takers. They’re innovative and confident, and they aspire to leadership. They like to control their environment and are often entrepreneurs.”


Extroverts are outgoing and social. “They focus on the big picture,” says Hubby, “and rarely get caught up in details.” They may be drawn to politics, sales, or public relations.

Pace (or Patience)

Athletes often have pace as their controlling trait. It gives them the discipline to train and the ability to handle pressure. People with pace “are focused, loyal, persistent, and adaptable. They’re often good listeners.”


Most high-conformity people have a strong sense of right and wrong, says Hubby. “They’re structured, detail-oriented, and sticklers for quality. They avoid risk and change, and may be drawn to fields like engineering, accounting, and corporate law.”FCS