Psychology and Psychiatry

Types of temperament

Types of temperament - is the union of the subjective characteristics of the personality of the individual, possessing stability and some degree of innateness, associated with dynamic manifestations, but not meaningful. They are the basis for the development of the subjective nature of the individual. The types of temperament are determined by the typology of the higher nervous activity of the subjects and reflect the emotional sphere of individuals.

In the types of temperament reflects all the psychological and physiological activity of man. For the first time, the antique physician K. Galen identified the types of temperament. He divided the four main types of temperament, depending on the prevalence in the human body of a particular juice (for example, bile).

Types of human temperament

Today, there is the following subdivision into personality temperament types: choleric type; melancholic type; sanguine type; phlegmatic type.

♦ People of the choleric type of temperament are usually not very balanced, they are characterized by incontinence, hot temper, and sometimes unbridled temper. Choleric people are characterized by a rather hot-tempered character, along with quick receptivity, after expressing violent emotions. They are easy to ruffle. They are said to flare up like a torch. However, they are also easy to put out like a torch. In such a person, all emotional experiences are pronounced, characterized by great intensity and transience.

Choleric - are hot and passionate people, characterized by a sharp change of feelings, which differ in depth. Such feelings capture the choleric person entirely and for a while. He can experience both sorrows and joys equally deeply. All his experiences are expressed in facial expressions and gestures, sometimes even very violently manifested. Choleric different strength and speed of reactions. Such a person is simply not able to perform monotonous work. Often takes to work with great enthusiasm, but is prone to rapid cooling of the fuse. Then he can relate to work disregard, "carelessly".

In communication is characterized by sharpness and impatience. His gestures and facial expressions are quite energetic, and the pace of work is quite fast. Often, adolescents with a choleric type of temperament at puberty bring a lot of trouble to teachers and parents. They can break lessons, be rude, get involved in fights and the like. They can be characterized as children prone to activity and mobility. Such children are perky and martial instigators who are able to engage their peers in various adventures.

♦ Individuals of the melancholic type of temperament are characterized by an imbalance of character, the depth of experiences of absolutely any events with a completely weak and sluggish external manifestation. The reaction of such people is slow. Melancholic is easily noticed by their facial expressions and movements. They are characterized by inexpressiveness, slowness, monotony, restraint, poverty.

People of a melancholic type have an inexpressive and quiet voice. Such people are overly sensitive and vulnerable. Melancholic is always afraid of difficulties and is characterized by high anxiety. Such people try to avoid any difficulties and unforeseen situations. For them, it is preferable to perform actions that do not require mental stress.

His moods and feelings are pretty monotonous, but are resistant. Their character is rather asthenic. Therefore, when they talk about melancholic, they always represent a rather gloomy and eternally sad person. Melancholic people are very vulnerable, they react painfully to external stimuli, they are very hard to live through any life difficulties. They are characterized by non-communicativeness and isolation.

For melancholic people, the absence of decisiveness and strength, constant decadence, and frequent vacillation are quite characteristic. In a deeper manifestation, melancholic is manifested in passivity, lethargy, and disinterest in affairs. Melancholic usually represent as people "not from this world", aerial and ephemeral creatures, people who are not very adapted to life.

Children of a melancholic type of temperament cannot and cannot resist injustice, they are often teased and offended, they tend to fall under the influence of other people or children. These children are quite difficult in the team. In adolescence, the melancholic type is manifested in timidity and shyness, often tearfulness.

♦ Sanguine temperament is characterized by a balanced, quick and moderate reaction force along with the relative weakness of the intensity of mental processes. This type of temperament is distinguished by the rapid transition of some processes of the psyche to others. The sanguine person is inclined to work for a long time, without getting tired, if the activity is diverse, he quickly learns new professional skills and knowledge. It is characterized by the ease and speed of the emergence of new emotional states that do not differ in depth, as they quickly replace each other.

Sanguine people can easily be identified by their expressive and rich facial expressions, by emotional manifestations, which are always accompanied by various expressive movements. Such people are notable for their cheerfulness and mobility. Sanguine enough impressionable, his brain quickly responds to any external stimuli and has a much less focus and depth in their subjective experiences.

People with this type of temperament can easily cope with solving problems that require quick ingenuity, provided that such a decision is not particularly serious and difficult. Sanguine people easily take on all sorts of things, but they also quickly drop them when there is interest in others, often hasty in making decisions.

A person of sanguine type is quite sociable, easy to make contact. However, his relationships with other people are often characterized by superficiality, since the sanguine person calmly and easily part with attachments, rather quickly forgets joys and sorrows, reconciliation and resentment. Their gestures, facial expressions and other movements are very expressive, and their speech is fast. Sanguine persons are prone to leadership, they can take responsibility and command. They love to be ahead, in the spotlight.

♦ People of phlegmatic type of temperament, first of all, are characterized by low mobility, their gestures and movements are rather slow, even sluggish. One should not expect quick actions from such people, as they are not energetic. Such people have a weak emotional excitability. Phlegmatic differ evenness of feelings and moods, which change quite slowly. Characterized by calm, measured, calm. Such a person is quite difficult to bring out of himself, from his calm and even emotional state. He is rarely agitated and for him the affective manifestations are far away.

In the external manifestation is characterized by monotony, expressionless gestures and gestures. His speech is slow, not alive, not accompanied by expressiveness and gestures.

Before doing anything, phlegmatic people can long and very thoroughly comprehend future actions. However, if the phlegmatic person made a decision, then he will perform it calmly and purposefully. Such people are usually very attached to the work, which is more familiar to him, and with great difficulty can be restructured to other activities. They are able to rebuild only if they are warned in advance, and they can all comprehend, think through and get used to this thought. When the phlegmatic person got used to and thought about the upcoming change of activity, such a shift itself would be much easier and easier for him.

But do not think that any person can be attributed to one of these four types of temperament. The types of personality temperament described above are quite rare in real life in their pure form. Usually, each person combines the different features of these types. This is called a mixed type of temperament. Only if a person has some distinct temperament traits, then can it be attributed to one of the above types of temperament.

Psychological types of temperament

Psychological basic types of temperament are characterized by the following characteristics: sensitivity, reactivity, activity, the ratio of activity and reactivity, rigidity and plasticity, reaction rate, introversion, extraversion, emotional excitability.

Sensitivity is characterized by the number of the smallest forces of external actions that are necessary for the appearance of any, even the most insignificant, reaction of the psyche.

Reactivity is determined by the unintended nature of reactions or manifestations to internal or external actions of equal force (for example, insulting words, criticisms, etc.).

Activity shows how much a person can energetically (intensively) influence the world around and overcome the obstacles that have arisen in achieving various goals (for example, purposefulness, perseverance, concentration of attention, etc.).

The ratio of activity and reactivity characterize the degree of dependence of human activity. Activity may depend on both external stimuli and internal (for example, random events).

Rigidity and plasticity show the degree of adaptability of a person to external stimuli, circumstances (plasticity) or inertness and stagnancy of human behavior.

The reaction rate determines the speed of various reactions and processes of the psyche, such as: the rate of speech or the dynamics of gestures, speed of mind.

Introversion, extraversion shows the predominant dependence of the reaction and the activities of people. The reactions and activities of the subjects may depend on the external manifestations that arise at that moment (extraversion), or on the ideas, images, thoughts that are directly related either to the future or to the past, but not the present (introversion).

Emotional excitability is determined by the necessary amount of weak impact for the appearance of any emotional reaction, and with what speed it can occur.

Based on all the above properties, Strelau gave psychological characteristics of the main classical types of temperament, highlighted by Galen.

So, according to his theory, a sanguine person is a person who is characterized by increased reactivity and balanced activity and reactivity. His movements are fast, his mind is flexible, he has resourcefulness and a fast pace of speech, as well as quick start-up. It is distinguished by high plasticity, which manifests itself in a change of feelings, interests, mood, and aspirations. Sanguine temperament is characterized by extraversion.

A choleric person is a person who is distinguished by a rather small sensitivity, along with increased activity and reactivity. Since such people reactivity clearly prevails over activity, they stand out for their unbridled temper, lack of restraint, impatience, hot temper. Choleric is not particularly plastic and rather inert, when compared with a sanguine person. Therefore, he has a sufficiently greater stability of interests and aspirations, perseverance. He has difficulty switching attention. Choleric refers more to extroverts than introverts.

The phlegmatic person is a person with high activity, who very much prevails over insignificant reactivity, sensitivity and emotionality. Characterized by slow speech and movements. Phlegmatic is also quite hard able to switch attention and adapt to new environments. Along with this, it is distinguished by its working capacity and vigor. A phlegmatic person may rather weakly respond to external stimuli. Refers to introverts.

Melancholic is a person who has very high sensitivity along with very little reactivity. It is also characterized by inexpressive gestures, facial expressions, movements, low voice, poverty of movements. It is not energetic and does not have perseverance, it is distinguished by rather quick fatigue and low efficiency. Attention he is easily distracted and unstable. The rate of absolutely all processes of the psyche is characterized by slowness. Melancholic refers to introverts.

Pavlov deduced and proved the theory that the basis of the physiology of temperament is precisely the type of higher nervous activity, which is determined directly by the ratio of the defining properties of the nervous system, such as: strength, mobility and balance of the processes of inhibition and arousal in the nervous system. But the typology of the nervous system depends on the genotype, i.e. heredity. He identified four subspecies of the nervous system:

• a weak subspecies is a weakness of both the inhibitory and excitatory processes, it includes a melancholic;

• unbalanced strong subspecies is the strength of the irritable process and the relative strength of inhibition, this subspecies includes choleric or "uncontrolled type";

• a balanced, agile and strong type - this is a sanguine person or "lively type";

• balanced and strong along with the inertness of the nervous processes - it is phlegmatic or "quiet type".

Wundt admitted that the fundamental in those psychological properties, the compounds of which form different types of temperament, are two main (basic, basic) characteristics that are associated with the dynamics of the flow of subjects' emotional sphere. He attributed to them: the power of emotional reactions, on the one hand, and the degree of stability of emotional manifestations, on the other. It is strong emotional manifestations along with emotional instability and contribute to the formation of the properties of the psyche, which can usually be attributed to an individual with a choleric type of temperament. But instability, along with a slight force of emotional manifestations, is characteristic of holders of a sanguine type of temperament.

It was in this way that Wundt departed from the specifically descriptive typological characteristics of temperament and introduced two signs that can serve as an object of experimental analysis and research. And since the stability of emotional manifestations and their strength can be measured empirically, the attribution of a person to one or another typological characteristic of temperament can be based on objective information and research data.

A distinctive feature of Wundt's theory is that the typology is no longer tied only to those extreme manifestations of the psychological characteristics of various types of temperament. According to his theory, people who have different emotional power can be equally attributed both to the choleric type and to the melancholic type. The main thing is that they keep the balance of weakness and strength of emotion in the direction of strength.

Determination of the type of temperament

Different types of temperament can be determined using specialized techniques based on the use of tests and questionnaires. There are a lot of such methods. They consist in the fact that every person who wants to define his typological characteristic of temperament is asked to answer a series of questions that are aimed at recognizing in him his usual way of reacting internal and external stimuli, as well as his behavior. Basically, the questions are quite simple and concern the personal qualities of the subjects, behavior in specific situations from life.

The main recommendations for passing the tests are that the individual is asked to respond clearly, accurately, quickly, trying not to think too much about what came first, and that should be answered. In such tests, there are no known good or bad answers. Therefore, subjects are advised not to be afraid to answer correctly or incorrectly, badly or well. Indeed, the determination of the type of temperament depends largely on the integrity of the answers.

Why do we need to determine the types of temperament? Psychologists recommend nevertheless to determine their typological characteristics of temperament in order to know their strengths and weaknesses, and to be able to adjust them throughout their lives. It is also a good idea to understand temperaments also in order not to demand the impossible from the people who surround us or from the children. For example, you can not demand from the phlegmatic speed of work. You should not hurry a slow phlegmatic person, since it will not add speed of execution, but will only cause his aggression on you.

Knowledge of temperaments will greatly help in family life. Например, возьмем опять флегматика, перед любой работой ему нужно предварительно настроиться, поэтому лучше ему сообщать заранее о предстоящей генеральной уборке или поездке по магазинам. Ему требуется некоторое время, чтобы свыкнуться с мыслями о предстоящих, пусть и маленьких, но все же изменениях в его жизни. Зато, через время, он создаст себе нужный настрой, и все изменения пройдут комфортнее.

Also, the type of temperament can be determined by activity, appearance, facial expressions and gestures.

If there is a person among you who adapts easily in unfamiliar surroundings, communicates easily with other people and can quickly switch from one type of activity to another, does not like monotony in work, then most likely he is a person of sanguine temperament.

If you see a person in front of you who is distinguished by excitability and imbalance, heightened irritability, swiftness of actions, often under the influence of a rush, then this will be a choleric person.

You are annoyed by a colleague with his slowness, slowness and amazement with his calmness, then most likely the phlegmatic person is working with you.

If you meet a person who is always in himself, too sensitive, prone to strong feelings because of the slightest disturbances, does not converge well with others, is closed, then this is a melancholic.

However, in real life to identify the true melancholic or, for example, sanguine, rather difficult. Mostly we are surrounded by people of mixed type. Slow person may well have the excitability of choleric and vice versa.

Temperament Type Test

As already stated above, there are many tests and techniques that determine the types of temperament and their properties. Basically, the study of the temperament of the individual can be directed either to his general characteristic, or directed to an in-depth study of its properties.

According to the questionnaire Rusalova can determine the formal dynamic properties of individuality. The questionnaire is presented with 150 questions that are aimed at clarifying the ordinary behavior of the individual. The subjects are presented with a number of typical situations where they need to give one answer, the first one that came to mind.

The method of determining the type of temperament that prevails in a particular individual is presented by Belov and consists of the consistent presentation of four cards to the subject. In each of the suggested cards twenty properties are written, which are characteristic for one or another type of temperament. The subject will need to mark on each card those features that are most characteristic of him.

The most popular method for determining the types of temperament is a test in the form of questions, developed by Eysenck. It involves the diagnosis of the types and properties of temperament. This method is concluded in that the subject is asked 100 test questions that characterize the characteristics of their behavior and feelings. In cases where the feature or property described in the test coincides with the subjects' ideas about themselves, they are recommended to put a “plus” sign, if not, then the “minus” sign. These questions should also be answered quickly, honestly and without thinking. This questionnaire is designed to determine the level of neuroticism, introversion and extraversion, psychoticism.

The study of the psychological structure of temperament according to Smirnov's questionnaire allows one to detect the polar properties of temperament, such as: extraversion and introversion, balance and excitability, the reaction rate is slow and fast, activity is low and high. In this questionnaire, the sincerity scale was additionally developed, allowing to make an assessment of the veracity and reliability of the answers received and the results in general.

According to the Smishek questionnaire, it is possible to diagnose types and identify accentuations of temperament and character traits. The basis of this questionnaire is the theory of Leongard accentuated personalities. Accentuated personalities - these are personalities that have certain features that have a high degree of severity. Leonard singled out 10 such types of accentuations: demonstrative, emotive, excitable, pedantic, affectively exalted, stuck, cyclothymic, hyperthymic, anxiously bold, dysthymic.

In psychology, along with the term "temperament" is widely used the term "character", which means literally - a sign, feature, print. Character is a set of subjective features of the individual, which are stable, are formed and manifested in the process of communication, activity, thereby causing the typicalness of behaviors. Among the variety of character traits distinguish between leading and secondary. If these features are in harmony with each other, then such a person can be considered the owner of such qualities as integrity of character. And if such features contrast sharply with each other, then this means that there is inconsistency in character.

In the process of socialization, the individual, in addition to such personality traits as honesty, deceit, rudeness, politeness, tact, acquires such temperament properties as introversion and extroversion. That is why psychologists have a question about the relationship between character and temperament. That is why many questionnaires are also equipped with a scale of introversion and extraversion (for example, the Eysenck test).

There is also a technique for determining the type of temperament according to Obozov. It uses fifteen empirical characteristics in which temperament manifests itself. This technique allows you to determine the type of temperament, even without the participation of the test. To determine its type, a line-by-line selection is made of the level of manifestation of each of the fifteen character traits listed. So, for example, in the "balance of behavior" scale, the subject is more consistent with the line "well balanced", and a bit less suitable is the line "perfectly balanced." In this case, two points are assigned to the first line, and one point to the second. The remaining lines in this scale receive a mark of "0" points. Other indicators are also evaluated for all remaining character traits. Next, you should calculate the number of points for each column separately. The type of personality that scored the most points and is the main one for the subject.

We must always remember that it is impossible using one or another of the above methods, one hundred percent to calculate the type of temperament. Temperament is not absolutely inborn property. Also features of temperament can be enhanced and reduced in the process of human life. After all, temperament is just the biological basis of all personal qualities that a person brings up and develops in his life activity. And knowledge of one’s personal characteristics and oneself as a whole will allow one to choose such a style of interaction with others and such an activity that will bring even greater success and realization of personal potential.