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TEMPERAMENT


The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is a personality instrument which attempts to identify which of four temperaments, and which of sixteen types, a person prefers. Hippocrates, a Greek medic who lived from 460-377 B.C., proposed the four humours, which are related to the four temperaments. These were sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic. In 1978, David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates in the book Please Understand Me reintroduced temperament theory in modern form and Keirsey renamed the four temperaments in the book Portraits of Temperament (1987) as Guardian, Artisan, Idealist, and Rational. As he was developing modern temperament theory, Keirsey discovered the MBTI in 1956, and found that by combining intuition with the judging functions, NT and NF, and sensing with the perceiving functions, SJ and SP, he found that grouping those Myers types correlated to his four temperaments. The chart below compares modern and ancient aspects of the theory:

c. 400 B.C. Hippocrates's four humours blood black bile yellow bile phlegm
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Season: spring autumn summer winter
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Element: air earth fire water
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Organ: liver gall bladder spleen brain/lungs
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Characteristics: courageous, amorous despondent, sleepless easily angered calm, unemotional
c. 325 B.C. Aristotle's four sources of happiness hedone (sensuous pleasure) propraitari (acquiring assets) ethikos (moral virtue) dialogike (logical investigation)
c. 190 A.D.' Galen's four temperaments sanguine melancholic choleric phlegmatic
c. 1550 Paracelsus's four totem spirits curious sylphs industrious gnomes changeable salamanders inspired nymphs
c. 1905 Adicke's four world views innovative traditional doctrinaire skeptical
c. 1914 Spränger's four value attitudes artistic economic religious theoretic
c. 1920 Kretchmer's four character styles hypomanic depressive hyperesthetic anesthetic
c. 1947 Erich Fromm's four orientations exploitative hoarding receptive marketing
c. 1958 Myers's cognitive function types SP - sensory perception SJ - sensory judgement NF - intuitive feeling NT - intuitive thinking
c. 1978 Keirsey's four temperaments artisan guardian idealist rational
Keirsey, David [1978] (May 1, 1998). Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence, 1st Ed., Prometheus Nemesis Book Co. ISBN 1885705026.

Describing the temperaments

Artisans (SPs) seek freedom to act and are concerned with their ability to make an impact on people or situations. Their greatest strength is tactical intelligence, which means that they excel at acting, composing, producing, and motivating.

Guardians (SJs) seek membership or belonging and are concerned with responsibility and duty. Their greatest strength is logistical intelligence, which means that they excel at organizing, facilitating, checking, and supporting.

Idealists (NFs) seek meaning and significance and are concerned with finding their own unique identity. Their greatest strength is diplomatic intelligence, which means that they excel at clarifying, unifying, individualizing, and inspiring.

Rationals (NTs) seek mastery and self-control and are concerned with their own knowledge and competence. Their greatest strength is strategic intelligence, which means that they excel at engineering, conceptualizing, theorizing, and coordinating.


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