Since I shared this site in the other thread I wanted to post some information I found useful. I had lost the bookmark for this site, in the sea of other personality theory websites, but last night I found it. This information may not be new to some but may be eye opening for others. After reading it again last night I have formed a new opinion on socionics and have tied up some loose ends with the correlations I have made between all the different personality theories that I have explored, in relation to myself. I might not be able to document my ideas like @zap does but concepts are expanding and elements are falling into place.
overview history of the four temperaments - or four humoursthe four temperaments - the four humours/humors
The Four Temperaments, also known as the Four Humours, is arguably the oldest of all personality profiling systems, and it is fascinating that there are so many echoes of these ancient ideas found in modern psychology.
The Four Temperaments ideas can be traced back to the traditions of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations over 5,000 years ago, in which the health of the body was connected with the elements, fire, water, earth and air, which in turn were related to body organs, fluids, and treatments. Some of this thinking survives today in traditional Eastern ideas and medicine.
The ancient Greeks however first formalised and popularised the Four Temperaments methodologies around 2,500 years ago, and these ideas came to dominate Western thinking about human behaviour and medical treatment for over two-thousand years. Most of these concepts for understanding personality, behaviour, illness and treatment of illness amazingly persisted in the Western world until the mid-1800s.
The Four Temperaments or Four Humours can be traced back reliably to Ancient Greek medicine and philosophy, notably in the work of Hippocrates (c.460-377/359BC - the 'Father of Medicine') and in Plato's (428-348BC) ideas about character and personality.
In Greek medicine around 2,500 years ago it was believed that in order to maintain health, people needed an even balance of the four body fluids: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. These four body fluids were linked (in daft ways by modern standards) to certain organs and illnesses and also represented the Four Temperaments or Four Humours (of personality) as they later became known. As regards significant body fluids no doubt natural body waste products were discounted, since perfectly healthy people evacuate a good volume of them every day. Blood is an obvious choice for a fluid associated with problems - there'd have generally been quite a lot of it about when people were unwell thousands of years ago, especially if you'd been hit with a club or run over by a great big chariot. Phlegm is an obvious one too - colds and flu and chest infections tend to produce gallons of the stuff and I doubt the ancient Greeks had any better ideas of how to get rid of it than we do today. Yellow bile is less easy to understand although it's generally thought have been the yellowish liquid secreted by the liver to aid digestion. In ancient times a bucketful of yellow bile would have been the natural upshot, so to speak, after a night on the local wine or taking a drink from the well that your next-door neighbour threw his dead cat into last week. Black bile is actually a bit of a mystery. Some say it was congealed blood, or more likely stomach bile with some blood in it. Students of the technicolour yawn might have observed that bile does indeed come in a variety of shades, depending on the ailment or what exactly you had to drink the night before. Probably the ancient Greeks noticed the same variation and thought it was two different biles. Whatever, these four were the vital fluids, and they each related strongly to what was understood at the time about people's health and personality.
Imbalance between the 'humours' manifested in different behaviour and illnesses, and treatments were based on restoring balance between the humours and body fluids (which were at the time seen as the same thing. Hence such practices as blood-letting by cutting or with with leeches. Incidentally the traditional red and white striped poles - representing blood and bandages - can still occasionally be seen outside barber shops and are a fascinating reminder that these medical beliefs and practices didn't finally die out until the late 1800s.
Spiritually there are other very old four-part patterns and themes relating to the Four Temperaments within astrology, the planets, and people's understanding of the world, for example: the ancient 'elements' - fire, water, earth and air; the twelve signs of the zodiac arranged in four sets corresponding to the elements and believed by many to define personality and destiny; the ancient 'Four Qualities' of (combinations of) hot or cold, and dry or moist/wet; and the four seasons, Spring, Summer Autumn, Winter. The organs of the body - liver, lungs, gall bladder and spleen - were also strongly connected with the Four Temperaments or Humours and medicinal theory.
Relating these ancient patterns to the modern interpretation of the Four Temperaments does not however produce scientifically robust correlations. They were thought relevant at one time, but in truth they are not, just as blood letting has now been discounted as a reliable medical treatment.
But while the causal link between body fluids and health and personality has not stood the test of time, the analysis of personality via the Four Temperaments seems to have done so, albeit tenuously in certain models.
The explanation below is chiefly concerned with the Four Temperaments as a personality model, not as a basis for understanding and treating illness.
From various sources and references, including Keirsey and Montgomery, here is a history of the Four Temperaments and other models and concepts related to the Four Temperaments or Four Humours. The words in this framework (from Hippocrates onwards) can be seen as possible describing words for each of the temperaments concerned, although do not attach precise significance to any of the words - they are guide only and not definitive or scientifically reliable. The correlations prior to Hippocrates are far less reliable and included here more for interest than for scientific relevance.
N.B. the colours in these charts do not signify anything - they merely assist (hopefully) with continuity between the different tables. The initials K and M denote interpretations according to Keirsey and Montgomery. Ancient dates are approximate. Some cautionary notes relating to the inclusion of some of these theorists and interpretations is shown below the grid. For believers in astrology and star-signs please resist the temptation to categorise yourself according to where your star-sign sits in the grid - these associations are not scientific and not reliable, and are included merely for historical context and information.
Keirsey/MBTI® reference artisan/SP sensing-perceiving guardian/SJ sensing-judging idealist/NF intuitive-feeling rationalist/NT intuitive-thinking Ezekiel 590BC lion ox man eagle Empedocles 450BC Goea (air) Hera (earth) Zeus (fire) Poseidon (water) The Seasons Spring Autumn Summer Winter Signs of Zodiac Libra, Aquarius, Gemini Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo Aries, Leo, Sagittarius Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces Hippocrates 370BC blood black bile yellow bile phlegm Hippocrates 370BC 'Four Qualities' hot and moist cold and dry hot and dry cold and moist Plato 340BC (M) artistic sensible intuitive reasoning Aristotle 325BC 'contribution to social order' (K) 'iconic'- artistic and art-making 'pistic' - common-sense and care-taking 'noetic' - intuitive sensibility and morality 'dianoetic' - reasoning and logical investigator Aristotle 325BC Four Sources of Happiness (K) 'hedone' - sensual pleasure 'propraieteri' - acquiring assets 'ethikos' - moral virtue 'dialogike' - logical investigation Galen 190AD Four Temperaments or Four Humours sanguine melancholic choleric phlegmatic Paracelsus 1550 'Four Totem Spirits' (K) Salamanders - impulsive and changeable Gnomes - industrious and guarded Nymph - inspiring and passionate Sylphs - curious and calm Eric Adickes 1905 Four World Views (K) innovative traditional doctrinaire sceptical Eduard Spranger 1914 Four Value Attitudes (K) artistic economic religious theoretic Ernst Kretschmer 1920 (M) manic depressive oversensitive insensitive Eric Fromm 1947 (K) exploitative hoarding receptive marketing Hans Eysenck 1950s (trait examples from his inventory) lively, talkative, carefree, outgoing sober, reserved, quiet, rigid restless, excitable, optimistic, impulsive careful, controlled, thoughtful, reliable Myers 1958 (M) perceiving judging feeling thinking Myers 1958 (K) probing scheduling friendly tough-minded Montgomery 2002 on Jung/Myers SP - spontaneous and playful SJ - sensible and judicious NF - intuitive and fervent NT - ingenious and theoretical Montgomery 2002 on Keirsey's Four Temperaments says what is,
does what works
says what is,
does what's right
says what's possible,
does what's right
says what's possible,
does what works
Empedocles (c.450BC), the Sicilian-born Greek philosopher and poet was probably first to publish the concept of 'the elements' (Fire, Earth, Water, Air) being 'scientifically' linked to human behaviour: in his long poem 'On Nature' he described the elements in relation to emotional forces that we would refer to as love and strife. However 1870 Brewer says that Empedocles preferred the names of the Greek Gods, Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and Goea. (1870 Brewer, and Chambers Biographical, which references Jean Ballock's book, 'Empedocle', 1965.)
Aristotle explained four temperaments in the context of 'individual contribution to social order' in The Republic, c.325BC, and also used the Four Temperaments to theorise about people's character and quest for happiness. Incidentally 1870 Brewer states that Aristotle was first to specifically suggest the four elements, fire, earth, water, air, and that this was intended as an explanation purely of the various forms in which matter can appear, which was interpreted by 'modern' chemists (of the late 1800s) to represent 'the imponderable' (calorie), the gaseous (air), the liquid (water), and solid (earth).
Paracelsus was a German alchemist and physician and considered by some to be the 'father of toxicology'. His real name was Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, which perhaps explains why he adopted a pseudonym. According to Chambers Biographical Dictionary he lived from 1493-1541, which suggests that his work was earlier than 'c.1550'. Keirsey and Montgomery cite the connection between Paracelsus's Four Totem Spirits and the Four Temperaments, however there are others who do not see the same connection to or interpretation of the Four Totem Spirits. If you are keen to know more perhaps seek out the book The Life Of Paracelsus Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, by A Stoddart, published in 1911, referenced by Chambers Biographical.
Hans Jurgen Eysenck was a German-born British psychologist whose very popular scalable personality inventory model contains significant overlaps with the Four Temperaments. It's not a perfect fit, but there are many common aspects. See the Eysenck section.
Galen was a Greek physician (c.130-201AD - more correctly called Claudius Galenus), who became chief physician to the Roman gladiators in Pergamum from AD 157, and subsequently to the Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Aurelius Commodus and Lucius Septimus Severus. Galen later interpreted Hippocrates' ideas into the Four Humours, which you might more readily recognise and associate with historic writings and references. Galen's interpretation survived as an accepted and arguably the principal Western medical scientific interpretation of human biology until the advancement of cellular pathology theory during the mid-late 1800s, notably by German pathologist Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902, considered the founder of modern pathology), in his work 'Cellularpathologie' (1858), building on the work of fellow cellular scientists Theodor Schwann, Johannes Muller, Matthias Schleiden and earlier, Robert Brown.
Beware of erroneous correlations between the various sets of four temperaments, humours, elements, body organs, star-signs, etc - it's easy to confuse so many sets of four. I believe the above to be reliable as far as it goes. Please let me know if you spot a fault anywhere. Also remember that the correlation between these sets is not precise and in some cases it's very tenuous.
The above table of correlated four temperaments and other sets of four is not designed as a scientific basis for understanding personality - it's a historical over view of the development of the Four Temperaments - included here chiefly to illustrate the broad consistency of ideas over the past two-and-a-half thousand years, and to provoke a bit of thought about describing words for the four main character types. Keep the Four Temperaments in perspective: the history of the model provides a fascinating view of the development of thinking in this area, and certainly there are strands of the very old ideas that appear in the most modern systems, so it's very helpful and interesting to know the background, but it's not a perfect science.
You'll see significant echoes of the Four Temperaments in David Keirsey's personality theory, which of all modern theories seems most aligned with the Four Temperaments, although much of the detail has been built by Keirsey onto a Four Temperaments platform, rather than using a great amount of detail from old Four Temperaments ideas. The Four Temperaments model also features in Eysenck's theory, on which others have subsequently drawn. To a far lesser extent the Four Temperaments can also be partly correlated to the Moulton Marston's DISC theory and this is shown in the explanatory matrix in the DISC section. Jung, Myers Briggs® and Benziger's theories also partly correlate with the Four Temperaments; notably there seems general agreement that the phlegmatic temperament corresponds to Jung's 'Intuitive-Thinking', and that the choleric temperament corresponds to Jung's 'Intuitive-Feeling'. The other two temperaments, sanguine and melancholic seem now to be represented by the Jungian 'Sensing' in combination with either Jungian 'Feeling' or a preference from the Myers Briggs® Judging-Perceiving dimension.
The Four Temperaments are very interesting, but being over two-thousand years old they are also less than crystal clear, so correlation much beyond this is not easy. Connections with modern theories and types and traits, such as they are, are explained where appropriate in the relevant sections below dealing with other theories.
Dr Stephen Montgomery's 2002 book 'People Patterns' is an excellent guide to the Four Temperaments, in which he provides his own interpretations, and explains relationships between the Four Temperaments and various other behavioural and personality assessment models, notably the David Keirsey model and theories. Incidentally Montgomery is Keirsey's long-standing editor and also his son-in-law. Keirsey's acknowledges Montgomery's depth of understanding of the Four Temperaments in Keirsey's book, Please Understand Me II, which also provides a very helpful perspective of the Four Temperaments.
Read more @ http://www.businessballs.com/persona...ylesmodels.htm