PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes A Correspondence of Psychiatric, Keirsey, and Enneagram Typologies Noteworthy Examples

The Four Temperaments (continued)

"Identifying Your Learning Style:" - Marlowe C. Embree, Ph.D.

See also Leadership Style

Keirsey Character Sorter - determine your temperament.

Guestbook entry 03/31/00:

Can you please e-mail, if posible me a page or site where I can take a test to find out what personality type am I. Specificly: Choleric, Melancholic,Sangune or Phlegmatic. I will appreciate it a lot.

Response: [This is how Keirsey has it. See my revision]

Take this two part test.

Idealist NF = choleric 
Rational NT = phlegmatic
Guardian SJ = melancholic
Artisan  SP = sanguine

Keirsey's Four Temperaments - from online dissertation by Peter L. Heineman.

David Keirsey (1984) combined Kretschmer's temperament hypothesis with Jung's behavior description, and with Nietzsche's and Spitteler's Greek typology. Keirsey notes themes in the various observations and the consistent tendency of human behavior. He observed four patterns: Sensing Perceiver (SP), Sensing Judger (SJ), Intuitive Thinker (NT), and Intuitive Feeler (NF). These four patterns are temperaments-the way in which human personality interacts with the environment to satisfy needs.

Keirsey's defense of temperament theory - Jon Noring

Excerpt from Please understand me: character and temperament types by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates on the four classic temperaments and a defense of temperament theory (dead link to test, and typos).

Different Drummers - Excerpted from Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey.

Differences abound and are not at all difficult to see, if one looks. And it is precisely these variations in behavior and attitude that trigger in each of us a common response: Seeing others around us differing from us, we conclude that these differences in individual behavior are but temporary manifestations of madness, badness, stupidity, or sickness. In other words, we rather naturally account for variations in the behavior of others in terms of flaw and afflictions.


  1. Tender sensibility
  2. Sensitivity to nature and art
  3. Tact and taste in personal style
  4. Sentimental affection for certain individuals
  5. Hypersensitivity and vulnerablity with regard to the daily irritations of life
  6. Passion working in combination with 'complexes'


  1. Cutting, active coldness
  2. Passive insensitivity
  3. Canalization of interest into well-defined autistic directions
  4. Indifference, or unshakable equilibrium
  5. Indolent instability or active caprice
  6. Tenacity: steely energy, stubborn wilfulness, pedantry, fanaticism, logical systematism in thought and action


  1. Gloomy, incapable of fun, complaining
  2. Humorless
  3. Skeptical, pessimistic, and given to brooding
  4. Guilt-prone, low self-esteem, and preoccupied with inadequacy or failure
  5. Introverted with restricted social life
  6. Sluggish, living a life out of action
  7. Few interests, but which, nonetheless, can be pursued with relative constancy
  8. Passive
  9. Reliable, dependable, and devoted
  10. Habitual long sleeper (more than 10 hours a night)


  1. Cheerful and exuberant
  2. Articulate and jocular
  3. Overoptimistic and carefree
  4. Overconfident, self-assured, boastful, and grandiose
  5. Extroverted and people seeking
  6. High energy level, full of plans and improvident activities
  7. Versatile, with broad interests
  8. Overinvolved and meddlesome
  9. Uninhibited and stimulus seeking
  10. Habitual short sleeper (less than 6 hours a night)

The Depressive and Hypomanic temperaments are adapted from: Akiskal, Hagop S. (1995). Table 16.6-1, "Attibutes of Depressive and Hyperthymic Temperaments," Mood Disorders: Clinical Features. Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry/VI, Vol. 1. Eds. Harold I. Kaplan and Benjamin J. Sadock. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, pg. 1125.

From Kraepelin To Kretschmer Leavened By Schneider: The Transition From Categories Of Psychosis To Dimensions Of Variation Intrinsic To Homo sapiens - T. J. Crow.

Three decades after the introduction of Kraepelin's binary system Ernst Kretschmer (41) presented a radical alternative to the disease entity concept - that the phenomena of psychosis parallel variations in personality structure in the general population. Shorn of the apparently erroneous associated theory of somatotypes this hypothesis deserves serious consideration. Kretschmer [pp-118-119] stated boldly that:

"we can never do justice to the endogenous psychoses so long as we regard them as isolated unities of disease, having taken them out of their natural heredity environment, and forced them into the limits of a clinical system. Viewed in a large biological framework, however, the endogenous psychoses are nothing other than marked accentuations of normal types of temperament".

Temperament Theory Home Page - online dissertation by Peter L. Heineman.

Temperament is the behavior style or how of behavior as contrasted with the abilities, or what of behavior, and the motivations, or why of behavior. It is n-dimensional. Temperament is the characteristic phenomenon of an individual's emotional nature, including his susceptibility to emotional stimulation, his customary strength and speed of response, the quality of his prevailing mood, and all the peculiarities of fluctuation and intensity of mood.


There exists a proliferation of temperament theories and assessment instruments. The tenets of temperament theory are as basic as Empedocles' elements and as complex as the human mind. How an individual behaves can no more equivocaly be categorized as four preferences or four hundred. The convenience of labels provides practitioners and learners with a grasp on theoretical constructs. It enables us, as noted by Thomas and Chess (1977), "to concert biological unity of an organism and its surroundings into a logical separation between constitutional and environment" (p.viii).

Eve Delunas, Survival Games Personalities Play

When David Keirsey discovered the work of Isabel Myers, he had already been intrigued by the temperament theory of Ernst Kretschmer, a German psychiatrist who was a contemporary of Jung. Keirsey noted that the NF, NT, SP, and SJ types described by Isabel Myers correlated with the four temperaments that Kretschmer identified in his book, Physique and Character (1925). Searching the literature, Keirsey found evidence of the same four types being characterized by Hippocrates in 450 B.C., Paracelsus in 1550 A.D., and Eduard Spranger and Adickes in the twentieth century (Keirsey, 1987).

Drawing from these diverse sources, Keirsey began to formulate a model of personality (or temperament) that not only described the normal behavior of the types, but also predicted how and why the different personalities would engage in abnormal behavior. Keirsey's work on survival games the types play was particularly influenced by Kretschmer, who identified both the functioning and malfunctioning personality traits that were characteristic of his four temperament groups (pg. 7).

Reading: Jung's Forgotten Bridge

Jung was aware of the possibility of connecting his own typological work with that of Kretschmer's. In 1929, in a paper entitled, "The Significance of Constitution and Heredity on Psychology", he wrote:

"I personally have the impression that some of Kretschmer's main types are not so far removed from certain of the basic psychological types I have enumerated. It is conceivable that at these points a bridge might be established between the physiological constitution and the psychological attitude. That this has not been done already may be due to the fact that the physiological findings are still very recent while, on the other hand investigation from the psychological side is very much more difficult and therefore less easy to understand." (Coll. Wks, 8, p. 108)

Living with Our Genes: Why They Matter More Than You Think by Dean Hamer, Peter Copeland.

It's not nature or nurture, it's nature and nurture...

For years, however, one part of the equation has dominated. Nurture was considered far more important than nature. The study of personality was led by psychiatrists and psychologists who focused on the impact of childhood experience and trauma. According to these experts, understanding environmental influences was the only thing necessary to understand a human being. It was as if all people were identical, except for the experiences that shaped them. What's more, the same experience was supposed to affect each person the same way. A loss, an abuse, a distant father, or a smothering mother produced predictable, quantifiable, and comparable results in all people.

This theory is not only stupid but cruel. People are different because they have different genes that created different brains that formed different personalities. The real breakthroughs in understanding personality are not occuring on leather couches but in laboratories. Some of the new findings from labs around the world are explained here for the first time. The lessons can be applied to your own life and to the lives of your children (pp. 24-25).

Doug Thorburn, Drunks, Drugs & Debits: How To Recognize Addicts and Avoid Financial Abuse

Temperament is genetic. This explains the fact that children a year apart in age, living in the same environment for 20 years, are often so radically different. This also tells us why identical twins, genetically the same, separated at birth (raised in families not only unknown to each other but sometimes speaking different languages in different cultures), have similar personalities in every fundamental way. We learn, adapt and change as our Temperament would, in different environments. Thus, such change is superficial, not fundamental. Individuals of the same Temperament living in different environments are very similar in basic fundamental attributes, values and core needs, far more so than siblings close in age but of different Temperaments, raised in the same home (pg. 253).

Elemental: The Four Elements: From Ancient Greek Science and Philosophy to Ancient Sites Poetry

According to the Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, scientist and healer who lived in Sicily in the fifth century B.C., all matter is comprised of four "roots" or elements of earth, air, fire and water. Fire and air are outwardly reaching elements, reaching up and out, whereas earth and water turn inward and downward.

The Four Temperaments By Rev. Conrad Hock.

The temperament is innate in each person, therefore it cannot be exchanged for another temperament. But man can and must cultivate and perfect the good elements of his temperament and combat and eradicate the evil ones. Every temperament is in itself good and with each one man can do good and work out his salvation. It is, therefore, imprudent and ungrateful to wish to have another temperament. "All the spirits shall praise the Lord" (Ps. 150,6).

Trance And Temperaments By Maurice Kouguell Ph.D., BCETS

The above are examples of how understanding temperaments and types can be an helpful adjunct to structuring an induction based on the understanding and awareness of the clients' temperaments or typology.

Estimating your Temperaments

In every occupation, the worker must be able to adapt to a variety of situations. Your ability to adapt to these different situations is referred to as your temperament or personality traits. Different jobs or job situations call for different personality traits on the part of the worker. Dallas Child - Children with Differing Temperaments

Working with your child's temperament to change behavior

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