Marston model

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Marston model helps in looking for suitable candidates managers should pay attention not to the best persons, but for the ones, which in greatest extent meet the requirements of the job description and intended design of the team. A useful tool in the selection of candidates is the model of William Marston, An American psychologist who stated that human behaviour and attitude are functions of the environment in which he lives. Different personality traits and types of environment cause various types of human responses.

Reaction types in Marston model

Marston distinguished four types of reactions:

  • Active - characterized by positive behaviour in hostile environments, such attitudes represent a person active, enterprising, who like challenges and is able to stick and cope in any situation. He is not disturbed by adversity, they add enthusiasm to his further work.
  • Active - positive behaviour in a friendly environment - persons are serene, optimistic looking at the world. They feelings are important for them, they are trusting and easily establish contacts and enlist the friends.
  • Passive-fixed attitude to favourable environment - is shown by patient persons, characterized by caution to a sudden and unexpected changes in the group, they are working efficiently, can motivate and, if necessary, will be happy to lend its assistance..
  • Cautious - distrustful and cautious behaviour in a hostile environment. Such people avoid conflict by withdrawing or adjusting attitude to others, minimize the risk of error when making decisions through accurate and meticulous collecting and analysing all the information, they are calm, systematic and very accurate.

Personality of potential candidates to work in the project team is analysed, they complete the questionnaire, ranking and selecting adjectives most and least suitable. After analysing the results, manager gets a personality profile of the candidate regarding four aspects of the personality.


  • Marston, W. M. (2013). Emotions of normal people (Vol. 158). Routledge.
  • Heider, F. (2013). The psychology of interpersonal relations. Psychology Press.