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  1. #1
    Senior Member Studmuffin23's Avatar
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    Default Reconciling the four temperaments with MBTI

    The first personality-theory that I became acquainted with before MBTI was the "four temperament" theory. As most of you know, it consists of four personalities: one extremely laid-back (phlegmatic), one extremely take-charge (choleric), one extremely perfectionist (melancholy), and one extremely playful (sanguine). Since becoming acquainted with MBTI, I've found a surprisingly strong parallel for these four temperaments, not in David Keirsey's SJ/SP/NT/NF system, but in peoples' preferences for extroversion/introversion and judging/perceiving.

    ExxJs (Cholerics)

    IxxPs (Phlegmatics)

    ExxPs (Sanguines)

    IxxJs (Melancholies)


    To tell the truth, I spotted this correlation shortly after learning about the 16 types. All this time I've kept it under my hat, but it's just so obvious to me now that I can hardly ignore it. Has anyone else noticed this parallel?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    O
    Quote Originally Posted by Studmuffin23 View Post
    The first personality-theory that I became acquainted with before MBTI was the "four temperament" theory. As most of you know, it consists of four personalities: one extremely laid-back (phlegmatic), one extremely take-charge (choleric), one extremely perfectionist (melancholy), and one extremely playful (sanguine). Since becoming acquainted with MBTI, I've found a surprisingly strong parallel for these four temperaments, not in David Keirsey's SJ/SP/NT/NF system, but in peoples' preferences for extroversion/introversion and judging/perceiving. Here's what I've observed about each combination:

    ExxJs (Cholerics)

    -Work-oriented
    -Assertive
    -Purposeful
    -Decisive
    -Confrontational
    -Outspoken

    (while many will see these traits as incompatible with ExFJs, I must point out that, for all their ability to cultivate good feelings among people, they are just as confrontational/outspoken as their ExTJ cousins when trouble starts)

    IxxPs (Phlegmatics)

    -Contemplative
    -Tolerant
    -Good-natured
    -Laid-back
    -Curious
    -Principled

    ExxPs (Sanguines)

    -Friendly
    -Creative
    -Spontaneous
    -Enthusiastic
    -Outgoing
    -Playful

    IxxJs (Melancholies)

    -Perfectionist
    -Disciplined
    -Analytical
    -Reserved
    -Strong-willed
    -Scheduled

    To tell the truth, I spotted this correlation shortly after learning about the 16 types. All this time I've kept it under my hat, but it's just so obvious to me now that I can hardly ignore it. Has anyone else noticed this parallel?
    For the most part, I agree with you. I encountered temperaments first as well and my conclusions were very similar to yours. I find it interesting that there are 16 temperament blends.

    Oh, btw, my temperament blend goes well with my MBTI. I am a Mel/Phleg.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  3. #3
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    I do EF - ET - IF - IT and SP - SJ - NP - NJ for Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, and Melancholic respectively. I especially think Ne fits in with Phlegmatic-like nervousness and Ni matches with Melancholic nihilism and a "wraith-like" demeanor.
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    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    I thought choleric clearly fit EJ and sanguine EP, but for the other 2 I wasn't so sure. I took a test for it and got phlegmatic even though I'm IJ.
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    Senior Member reckful's Avatar
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    I think that Keirsey was wrong to treat SJ/SP/NF/NT as a fundamental foursome in the way he did, and that his match-ups with the historical "temperaments" were often strained. And if you're interested, you can read more about that in this post.

    But... meh. I think your temperament match-ups are at least as artificial/strained as Keirsey's.

    Here are my quick takes on the qualities you've assigned to your "temperaments":

    ExxJs (Cholerics)

    -Work-oriented
    I think E, T and J can all contribute, and J's probably the biggest factor. I'd say ISTJs are at least as "work-oriented" as ENFJs, as one example.
    -Assertive
    -Purposeful
    J yes, but E not so much. I don't think ISTJs are less "purposeful" than ENFJs.
    -Decisive
    Again, mainly J.
    -Confrontational
    ETJ, baby. You said EFJs are "just as confrontational ... as their ExTJ cousins when trouble starts," but that's not really true. It's true that an EFJ on a rampage is not a pretty sight, but as between an EFJ and an ETJ, the EFJ is significantly more likely to be diplomatic. And an ITJ on a rampage isn't a pretty sight, either.
    -Outspoken

    IxxPs (Phlegmatics)

    -Contemplative
    IN. I'd say an INFJ is likely to be more "contemplative" than an ISTP.
    -Tolerant
    -Good-natured
    -Laid-back
    -Curious

    IN again. INJs don't take a back seat to ISPs in the curiosity department.
    -Principled
    It depends what you mean, but I'd point to F and J as the biggest contributors. I think TPs are the most temperamentally amoral types.

    ExxPs (Sanguines)

    -Friendly
    -Creative

    There's quite a lot of data suggesting that N's the biggest "creativity" contributor, with P maybe in second place. The quintessential artist type is probably the INFP, and that's certainly a more creative type than ESTP. (More on that here.)
    -Spontaneous
    -Enthusiastic
    -Outgoing

    ESF. ESFJs are more outgoing (by most definitions) than ENTPs.
    -Playful

    IxxJs (Melancholies)

    -Perfectionist
    Although that makes a kind of sense to me, just FYI, personalitypage.com singles out both INFJs and INFPs as perfectionists, Kroeger & Thuesen (Type Talk) say INFPs are the perfectionists, Hirsch & Kummerow also say INFPs are the perfectionists, and the official MBTI Manual says I_FPs are perfectionists.
    -Disciplined
    Basically just J.
    -Analytical
    More IN than IJ. I'd say INPs are more analytical than ISJs.
    -Reserved
    Mostly just I.
    -Strong-willed
    Mostly just J, and also T depending on what you mean. EJs aren't less strong-willed than IJs.
    -Scheduled
    Basically just J. I wouldn't say EJs are notably less scheduled than IJs.
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    Senior Member iHeartCats's Avatar
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    This seems to correspond
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Studmuffin23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    I think that Keirsey was wrong to treat SJ/SP/NF/NT as a fundamental foursome in the way he did, and that his match-ups with the historical "temperaments" were often strained. And if you're interested, you can read more about that in this post.

    But... meh. I think your temperament match-ups are at least as artificial/strained as Keirsey's.

    Here are my quick takes on the qualities you've assigned to your "temperaments":

    ExxJs (Cholerics)

    -Work-oriented
    I think E, T and J can all contribute, and J's probably the biggest factor. I'd say ISTJs are at least as "work-oriented" as ENFJs, as one example.
    -Assertive
    -Purposeful
    J yes, but E not so much. I don't think ISTJs are less "purposeful" than ENFJs.
    -Decisive
    Again, mainly J.
    -Confrontational
    ETJ, baby. You said EFJs are "just as confrontational ... as their ExTJ cousins when trouble starts," but that's not really true. It's true that an EFJ on a rampage is not a pretty sight, but as between an EFJ and an ETJ, the EFJ is significantly more likely to be diplomatic. And an ITJ on a rampage isn't a pretty sight, either.
    -Outspoken

    IxxPs (Phlegmatics)

    -Contemplative
    IN. I'd say an INFJ is likely to be more "contemplative" than an ISTP.
    -Tolerant
    -Good-natured
    -Laid-back
    -Curious

    IN again. INJs don't take a back seat to ISPs in the curiosity department.
    -Principled
    It depends what you mean, but I'd point to F and J as the biggest contributors. I think TPs are the most temperamentally amoral types.

    ExxPs (Sanguines)

    -Friendly
    -Creative

    There's quite a lot of data suggesting that N's the biggest "creativity" contributor, with P maybe in second place. The quintessential artist type is probably the INFP, and that's certainly a more creative type than ESTP. (More on that here.)
    -Spontaneous
    -Enthusiastic
    -Outgoing

    ESF. ESFJs are more outgoing (by most definitions) than ENTPs.
    -Playful

    IxxJs (Melancholies)

    -Perfectionist
    Although that makes a kind of sense to me, just FYI, personalitypage.com singles out both INFJs and INFPs as perfectionists, Kroeger & Thuesen (Type Talk) say INFPs are the perfectionists, Hirsch & Kummerow also say INFPs are the perfectionists, and the official MBTI Manual says I_FPs are perfectionists.
    -Disciplined
    Basically just J.
    -Analytical
    More IN than IJ. I'd say INPs are more analytical than ISJs.
    -Reserved
    Mostly just I.
    -Strong-willed
    Mostly just J, and also T depending on what you mean. EJs aren't less strong-willed than IJs.
    -Scheduled
    Basically just J. I wouldn't say EJs are notably less scheduled than IJs.
    I thank you for your contribution, but that's really not how I meant these terms to be applied; I probably should have just left them to the imagination.

    By "perfectionist", just for one example, I am referring to the IxxJs' puritanical committal to thoroughness in everyday tasks: college papers, house cleaning, etc. In this, they differ from their extroverted counterparts in that ExxJs are more concerned with getting as much work done as possible, with less regard for the quality of the job. As for INFPs, their perfectionism is more idealistic in nature.

    You make a great point overall in that I should have left my own observations off here. The terms are just too ambiguous.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    I think that Keirsey was wrong to treat SJ/SP/NF/NT as a fundamental foursome in the way he did, and that his match-ups with the historical "temperaments" were often strained. And if you're interested, you can read more about that in this post.

    But... meh. I think your temperament match-ups are at least as artificial/strained as Keirsey's.

    Here are my quick takes on the qualities you've assigned to your "temperaments":

    ExxJs (Cholerics)

    -Work-oriented
    I think E, T and J can all contribute, and J's probably the biggest factor. I'd say ISTJs are at least as "work-oriented" as ENFJs, as one example.
    -Assertive
    -Purposeful
    J yes, but E not so much. I don't think ISTJs are less "purposeful" than ENFJs.
    -Decisive
    Again, mainly J.
    -Confrontational
    ETJ, baby. You said EFJs are "just as confrontational ... as their ExTJ cousins when trouble starts," but that's not really true. It's true that an EFJ on a rampage is not a pretty sight, but as between an EFJ and an ETJ, the EFJ is significantly more likely to be diplomatic. And an ITJ on a rampage isn't a pretty sight, either.
    -Outspoken

    IxxPs (Phlegmatics)

    -Contemplative
    IN. I'd say an INFJ is likely to be more "contemplative" than an ISTP.
    -Tolerant
    -Good-natured
    -Laid-back
    -Curious

    IN again. INJs don't take a back seat to ISPs in the curiosity department.
    -Principled
    It depends what you mean, but I'd point to F and J as the biggest contributors. I think TPs are the most temperamentally amoral types.

    ExxPs (Sanguines)

    -Friendly
    -Creative

    There's quite a lot of data suggesting that N's the biggest "creativity" contributor, with P maybe in second place. The quintessential artist type is probably the INFP, and that's certainly a more creative type than ESTP. (More on that here.)
    -Spontaneous
    -Enthusiastic
    -Outgoing

    ESF. ESFJs are more outgoing (by most definitions) than ENTPs.
    -Playful

    IxxJs (Melancholies)

    -Perfectionist
    Although that makes a kind of sense to me, just FYI, personalitypage.com singles out both INFJs and INFPs as perfectionists, Kroeger & Thuesen (Type Talk) say INFPs are the perfectionists, Hirsch & Kummerow also say INFPs are the perfectionists, and the official MBTI Manual says I_FPs are perfectionists.
    -Disciplined
    Basically just J.
    -Analytical
    More IN than IJ. I'd say INPs are more analytical than ISJs.
    -Reserved
    Mostly just I.
    -Strong-willed
    Mostly just J, and also T depending on what you mean. EJs aren't less strong-willed than IJs.
    -Scheduled
    Basically just J. I wouldn't say EJs are notably less scheduled than IJs.
    I'd agree with the first part of this quote. I don't think it was logical to split Sensors between SP and SJ while Intuitives were NF and NT. It all smells of Gerrymandering. SF - ST is at least analog to NF - NT.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studmuffin23 View Post
    The first personality-theory that I became acquainted with before MBTI was the "four temperament" theory. As most of you know, it consists of four personalities: one extremely laid-back (phlegmatic), one extremely take-charge (choleric), one extremely perfectionist (melancholy), and one extremely playful (sanguine). Since becoming acquainted with MBTI, I've found a surprisingly strong parallel for these four temperaments, not in David Keirsey's SJ/SP/NT/NF system, but in peoples' preferences for extroversion/introversion and judging/perceiving.

    ExxJs (Cholerics)

    IxxPs (Phlegmatics)

    ExxPs (Sanguines)

    IxxJs (Melancholies)


    To tell the truth, I spotted this correlation shortly after learning about the 16 types. All this time I've kept it under my hat, but it's just so obvious to me now that I can hardly ignore it. Has anyone else noticed this parallel?
    Lately psychology has added a fifth temperament called the Supine.
    Supine - The Five Basic Temperaments

    So if you're interested perhaps we should include the new one.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studmuffin23 View Post
    The first personality-theory that I became acquainted with before MBTI was the "four temperament" theory. As most of you know, it consists of four personalities: one extremely laid-back (phlegmatic), one extremely take-charge (choleric), one extremely perfectionist (melancholy), and one extremely playful (sanguine). Since becoming acquainted with MBTI, I've found a surprisingly strong parallel for these four temperaments, not in David Keirsey's SJ/SP/NT/NF system, but in peoples' preferences for extroversion/introversion and judging/perceiving.

    ExxJs (Cholerics)

    IxxPs (Phlegmatics)

    ExxPs (Sanguines)

    IxxJs (Melancholies)


    To tell the truth, I spotted this correlation shortly after learning about the 16 types. All this time I've kept it under my hat, but it's just so obvious to me now that I can hardly ignore it. Has anyone else noticed this parallel?
    I agree.

    I think people want to take the word "temperament" and start defining it in ways that fit their newer theories. We all easily slip into combining it with trait theory too.

    When you subtract the contents of classical temperament theory, but keep the general outline of what a temperament is in conceptual terms, it seems clear to me that E/I (energy) and J/P (orientation) are essentially saying the same thing.
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