Psychology and Psychiatry

Temperament properties

Temperament properties are subjective mental properties that are stable and characterize the dynamic activity of the psyche and its processes, for example, during play, study, work, etc. Individual or personal characteristics of temperament can be explained by different levels of formation of the properties of the nervous system. Temperament as one of the personal properties of the individual is determined by innate human parameters. The basic properties of man, causing him as a person, have a manifestation not only in his makings, but also necessarily in temperament.

The main properties of temperament

The main properties of temperament include such subjective characteristics of the individual, which determine the dynamic criteria of absolutely all subspecies of his activity; give the characteristic to features of course of processes in mentality; possess stability; for a long time persist, to put it after birth.

The properties of temperament in psychology, according to most, have a direct dependence on the properties of the nervous system of the subject. The combination of certain properties of the nervous system and the properties themselves determine the peculiarities of the flow of processes in the psyche, in turn, they predetermine the psychological categories of temperament.

The main properties of temperament that determine the subject activity of an individual and his sphere of communication are switching, activity, productivity, inhibition, rate of reactions, and excitability. If you apply activity to the cognitive processes of the psyche, then it is characterized by a possible degree of concentration of attention, memory, imagination, thinking on a particular object or its criteria.

Pace is expressed in the speed of work of the corresponding mental processes. Productivity in cognitive processes is evaluated by their products, the results that have been obtained in a certain period of time. Productivity will be higher where for the same time you manage to hear, see, remember, imagine or decide more.

Productivity should be limited from performance. Characterized by the ability to maintain the same rate of work for a certain amount of time. Switching, braking and excitability determine the rate of formation and occurrence, switching or termination of one or another cognitive process of the psyche from one particular object to another or from one type of action to another.

If we apply activity to objective activity, it means the amplitude and strength of the movements associated with it. The tempo in the subject activity is determined by the number of operations performed, movements for a certain amount of time. It is the pace and activity that directly determines the productivity of activities associated with the movement, if you do not impose other requirements on the corresponding actions.

If you apply activity to communication, then this characteristic of temperament is manifested in verbal and non-verbal communication. For example, a subject with high activity will have a more pronounced speech, facial expressions and gestures than a subject with reduced activity. In communication, people who have an excitable temperament property come in easier and faster. And people who have the inhibited property of temperament stop communicating much easier and faster, less talkative, it is difficult for them to switch from one topic of conversation to another. Productivity of communication is called the ability of perception, and the communication of information for a certain amount of time.

Depending on the personality characteristics of temperament properties, they are characterized by sensitivity and reactivity. Sensitivity is determined by the strength of external influences or influences, which is necessary for the emergence of an individual's mental response, and the speed at which such a reaction appears. Reactivity is characterized by involuntary reactions to internal or external manifestations of the same force. Activity shows how strongly and energetically an individual influences the world around and overcomes various obstacles to achieving goals, for example, purposefulness or perseverance. It is the ratio of activity and reactivity that determines the activity of the subject from internal causes or from random external circumstances, from intentions, goals, and beliefs.

The ratio of such categories as reactivity and activity determines from which circumstances human activity depends to a greater degree: on random external or internal factors (mood) or on purpose, belief or intention.

Plasticity shows how flexible and easy a person is to adapt to external influences. Rigidity shows the inertia of the subject's behavior.

The rate of manifestation of reactions is characterized by the rate of flow of various mental processes and reactions, for example, the dynamics of gestures, the speed of thinking.

Introversion and extraversion show the orientation of a person to himself or to the external environment. These parameters determine what the subject’s activity depends on: from images, thoughts that are connected with the future or the past (introvert), or from external impressions that are currently occurring (extrovert).

Emotional excitability shows how weak influence is necessary for the manifestation of emotional reactions, and with what speed it will occur. Emotional excitability (sensitivity) is determined by how little impact is needed to form a reaction and how quickly it can occur.

Properties of the nervous system and temperament

The properties of temperament in psychology are not completely unchanged. They begin to manifest themselves not from birth, not all at once, but develop gradually according to a specific sequence, which is conditioned by both the general laws governing the formation of nervous activity and the specific features of a certain type or type of nervous system.

The reason for the individual behavior of the individual lies in the properties of the nervous processes, such as inhibition and arousal, and in their various combinations. Pavlov considered the fundamental three categories of nervous processes that predetermine the typology of nervous activity or system. These include: the strength of the manifestations of processes, poise and mobility of manifestations. Strength is an indicator of the ability of the nervous system to endure strong stimuli. Balance shows the ratio of the two processes - inhibition and excitation. Mobility is an indicator of the rate of change of two processes - inhibition and excitation.

Properties of the nervous systems are private or partial and common. The first show private, personal special features, the second determine the characteristics of the temperament of the individual.

The physiological basis of temperament is the interaction of two signaling systems with the brain subcortex, and not the activity of the cortex itself. Also identified additional properties of the system. These include: lability, agility, concentration. Lability is characterized by the rate of occurrence and the direct course of two processes - inhibition and excitation. Dynamism is characterized by the speed and ease of generating reflexes. Concentration is an indication of the limits of differentiation of stimuli. In the course of numerous studies, an interrelation has been revealed, characterized by a significant dependence of the properties of temperament on the dominant properties of mental activity. It was also found that the properties of temperament, which are based on the types of nervous systems, are more stable and constant in comparison with other features of the psyche of individuals.

According to I. P. Pavlov, the personal characteristics of the subject’s behavior and the dynamics of mental activity are dependent on individual differences in the functioning of the nervous system. It has long been established by psychologists that the weakness of the nervous systems is not negative. It is just the way the body works that the stronger nervous systems successfully cope with certain life problems, and the weak ones cope with others. The advantage of a weak nervous system is its high sensitivity. In order to study the properties of the nervous systems it is necessary to study them, taking into account all the peculiarities of behavior and actions of people in various life situations.

Summing up the above, it should be concluded that the subject’s existing complex of personal typological characteristics of its nervous structures mainly determines the temperament, on which his personal style of behavior as well as the activity as a whole depends on. Any characteristic of the nervous system has a certain number of manifestations, each of which is not evaluated unambiguously either useful or harmful. Depending on the nature of the activity or on the situation and any of these manifestations can be unfavorable and favorable.

Psychological properties of temperament

J. Strelau brought the following psychological properties of the temperament of its main types.

  • Sanguine temperament type is characterized by high reactivity along with balanced activity and reactivity. A person with this type of character possesses mobile mimicry and expressiveness of movements, and is notable for liveliness. May laugh for insignificant reason and conflict due to minor facts. In the face of a sanguine person it is quite easy to guess his attitude towards a person or object, state, mood. Since the sanguine sensitivity threshold is high enough, it may not notice weak light and sound stimuli. Sanguine person has tirelessness due to high activity. He is disciplined and can quickly concentrate. A sanguine person, in the presence of desire, can restrain the manifestation of involuntary reactions or feelings. He is characterized by resourcefulness and flexibility of mind, quick movements and pace of speech. However, at the same time, it is prone to variability of moods, feelings, aspirations and interests. A sanguine person very easily converges with completely different people, quickly and freely adapts to a new situation or requirements, and is prone to quick switching. He reacts more to external images than to ideas about the future or the past. Sanguine is a pronounced extrovert.
  • Choleric type of human temperament is characterized by low sensitivity with high reactivity and activity. However, he still has reactivity dominates over activity, so his temper is unbridled, often unrestrained, impatient and quick-tempered. Choleric is more inert and less plastic than sanguine. Therefore, it is characterized by a greater stability of aspirations, interests, and greater perseverance. He has difficulty switching attention. Choleric closer to extrovert.
  • Phlegmatic type of temperament is characterized by high activity, which significantly dominates over a little reactivity, emotionality and sensitivity. If you see a laughing company and one of them is not smiling, then it will be phlegmatic. It is usually hard to sadden or laugh. Even with serious trouble, he remains calm. You can learn the phlegmatic by his inexpressive and slow movements, facial expressions and speech. Phlegmatic hard to switch attention and adapt to the new environment, to rebuild habits and skills, along with this, he is quite efficient and energetic. Its distinguishing features are patience, self-control and endurance. It is hard for him to come together with new people, he very poorly responds to external images and impressions. Phlegmatic is an introvert. Its main disadvantages include inactivity and inactivity. It is characterized by solid constancy of personality.
  • The melancholic type of temperament is characterized by low reactivity and high sensitivity. Great inertness in conjunction with hypersensitivity leads to the fact that literally every minor occasion causes him to tears. Melancholic is characterized by excessive sensitivity and painful sensitivity. A melancholic person has a quiet voice, avarice, inexpressive movements and facial expressions. Also characterized by self-doubt, timidity, even the slightest difficulties can make him give up. He does not differ vigor, perseverance. Melancholic is quite easy to tire, and does not have sufficient performance. He is characterized by distractibility and instability of attention, slowness of mental processes. Most people with this type of character are introverts. They are indecisive, shy, timid. Along with this, in a familiar setting for a melancholic person, he can quite successfully carry out his life tasks.

The study of the properties of temperament showed that the type of temperament itself in the subject is an innate characteristic of the personality, but psychologists failed to fully understand what properties of the innate organization depends on temperament itself.

Mental properties of personality temperament

Today in psychology, despite the fact that temperament is one of the most ancient terms, its clear definition does not exist. Therefore, depending on theories, diagnostics of temperament properties, various studies, psychologists at different times gave completely different definitions.

If the psyche is a certain property of the nervous system, then the individual (personal) personality traits, including the temperament properties, are determined by the individual (personal) properties of the nervous system. They can be judged only by the subjective features of nervous activity.

According to Pavlov, the subjective characteristics of various phasic (temporary) conditioned reflexes are indicators of certain properties of the nervous system. He described the general typology of the nervous system according to certain combinations of these properties. Therefore, the correlation of individual mental properties with the subjective features of phasic (temporal) reflexes is one of the most reliable distinctive features of temperament. However, this does not mean that the correlation of mental properties with any other subjective features of nervous activity does not apply to the mental properties of a personality temperament.

An interrelation of subjective mental properties has been discovered not only with phasic conditioned reflexes, but also with conditioned tonic reflexes. In such features, the subjective properties of the nervous system are also manifested, and therefore the psychic properties of the person interacting with them also determine the properties of temperament.

Since the properties of any system depend on all properties of the human body as a whole, it is logical to assume that the properties of temperament depend on all properties of the human body. However, this dependence has a more indirect, indirect character, and the dependence of temperament directly on the properties of the nervous system is direct.

The same moving features of the psyche depend on the will and emotions. That is why they are ultimately determined by the ratio of volitional and emotional characteristics of the individual. It is this ratio that underlies the characteristic features of the concept of temperament. Consequently, it can be concluded that the subjective features of the emotional-volitional sphere express the properties of temperament.

Due to the fact that temperament is determined by the general typology of the nervous system, its psychological signs can only be the subjective characteristics of the emotional-volitional region, which are stable, consistent and persist for a long part of life. It is the individual characteristics that occur dynamically in emotional and volitional processes from early childhood and persist for a long time, refer to the mental properties of temperament. For example, anxiety states, which were first identified in early childhood, may persist in later life, until adulthood.

The basic properties of temperament can not only determine the dynamic nature of mental activity, but also determine the dynamic nature of individual mental processes. For example, the stability and strength of emotions characterize the dynamism of emotional processes, and extroversion and introversion determine not only the dynamism of emotional processes, but also the dynamism of intellectual processes. Черты характера, мотивы и отношения, хоть и обуславливают динамичность деятельности психики в целом, однако определяют не динамичность свойств отдельных процессов психики, а поведение и поступки человека в зависимости от ситуации.

An experimental study of the properties of temperament showed that formal criteria, such as sensory thresholds of perception, the speed of formation of a conditioned reflex, accuracy and speed of execution, are the main characteristics by which extroverts differ from introverts.

Properties of temperament and character

In principle, temperament is not the determining factor of character traits, however, there is a certain interrelation between character traits and temperament: the dynamism of character traits depends on temperament. For example, communication in a phlegmatic person and a sanguine person will have a different manifestation.

Some specific properties of temperament contribute to the formation of character traits, while others, on the contrary, oppose. Depending on the temperament, it is necessary to use an individual approach in influencing the child in order to form the necessary character traits. There is also an inverse relationship between manifestations of temperament and character: thanks to certain character traits, an individual can restrain undesirable manifestations of temperament in certain circumstances.

So, character is interconnected with temperament. He, like temperament, is a practically unchangeable and stable manifestation of the mental properties of the personality. Temperament affects the configuration of the manifestation of character, enhancing or diminishing certain traits. For example, perseverance in the choleric type of temperament is manifested in vigorous activity, in phlegmatic in concentration and reflection. The choleric model of labor consists in energy, passion, and phlegmatic in methodicalness and slowness. But on the other hand, the temperament is also restructured under the influence of character. For example, a person with a strong character can suppress certain negative aspects of temperament and control their manifestation.

The character of a person is very much manifested in communication interaction with people, namely in the manner of behavior and ways of responding to various actions or actions of people. For example, the manner of communication can be delicate, rude, tactful, arrogant, arrogant, arrogant, polite, etc. In contrast to temperament, the character of the subject is determined not by the specific properties of the nervous processes, but by upbringing, the culture of the person.

The structure of the personality includes such basic character traits as prudence and rationality or their opposite properties that determine the actions and behavior of the individual when choosing the direction of activity. Purposefulness, perseverance, consistency, and others, as well as alternatives to them, refer to actions that are aimed at achieving certain goals.

In these properties, the character comes close both to the temperament and to the volitional sphere of the person. Introversion and extraversion are instrumental traits that are responsible for calm and anxiety, switchability and rigidity, restraint and impulsivity. The actual diagnostics of temperament properties and shows a very close relationship of temperament with other mental properties of the personality, and above all with character traits.

Characteristic properties of temperament

The characteristic properties of temperament include distinctive personal characteristics of the subject, determining the dynamic aspects of all its activities, and show the peculiarities of the processes in the psyche. And also possess more or less stability of character and persist for a long time. They appear immediately after birth.

The psychophysiological assessment of types of temperament includes four parameters: vigor or endurance, plasticity, emotionality or sensitivity and speed. These components are conditioned both biologically and genetically. Temperament is directly dependent on the subjective properties of the nervous system, which are the main characteristics of the functional systems that supply the integrative, synthetic and analytical activities of the brain and nervous system as a whole.

Therefore, it can be concluded that temperament belongs to the psychobiological category, i.e. temperament properties cannot be 100% inborn, as well as to have one hundred percent dependence on the environment. The properties of temperament are initially genetically defined and relate to the individual-biological properties of the personality, but in the process of incorporation into various activities, they gradually transform and form a generalized, new, individual system of invariant qualities independent of the content of such activity.

The properties of temperament are manifested differently depending on the main types of human activity - communication and objective activity.

Diagnostics of temperament properties showed that the tempo, speed, switchability, activity (vigor), emotionality and balance characterize and determine the temperament of the individual. And the most typical combinations of these properties determine the typology of temperament.

The tempo is the periodicity and cyclical nature of the movements of the subject, performed during the execution of any activity. It is expressed in the number of movements made over a certain period of time, i.e. the more movements, the greater the pace.

The speed characterizes the speed with which the movements are performed or the processes occurring in the psyche of the individual.

Switching is manifested in the transition from one activity to another, from one state to another, switching from one process to a completely different one. The faster the transition, the more pronounced the switchability.

Activity (energy) is manifested in the amount of pledged energy in the action performed by the individual, and in the amount of energy expended to perform any activity.

Emotional background or emotionality is expressed in the strength and variety of the flow of typical experiences of the subject.

Balance is determined by the ratio of the processes of inhibition and excitation, both in the behavior or activity of the subject, and in the human nervous system itself. Balanced call such a person in whom the two processes are approximately the same in duration and strength of manifestation. And in an unbalanced person, on the contrary, these two processes differ in the strength and duration of their manifestations. In this case, excitation is understood as a transition from a state of rest to a state of activity, inhibition, on the contrary, is a transition from an excited state to a state of passivity.