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Types of temperament - history of the study

Temperament types by Hippocrates - the oldest of the psychological typology. Phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine, and melancholic - these words are familiar even to those who are very far from psychology. Meanwhile, at different times, many psychologists, psychiatrists, and physiologists have tried to make an assessment system of human characteristics. In this case, each allocated its properties and characteristics of personality temperaments and in accordance with this emphasis on different traits.

 

For example, Carl Jung and Hans Eiseneck viewed personality from the perspective of psychological attitudes and divided people into introverts and extroverts, Ernst Kretschmer believed that character depends on the physique and distinguished astenics, athletics and picnics, and Aristotle considered six types, answering the questions "Who?", "What?", "Why?", "When?", "How?" and "Where? However, it is the Hippocratic teachings on the types of temperament for more than two millennia that remains the main typology of man.

 

As you know, the ancient Greek physician and healer Hippocrates identified four types of human temperament, depending on the type of higher nervous activity: sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic. Consider the features and characteristics of personalities belonging to different types, and how did Hippocrates come to this division of temperaments.

 

The concept of the temperament of personality according to Hippocrates

Description of 4 types of temperament by Hippocrates: phlegmatic, sanguine, melancholic, choleric. According to the theory of Hippocrates, temperament - the features of human behavior associated with the predominance of a major fluid in his body (vital fluid). Depending on this, according to the scientist, the personality was characterized by certain features. The scientist believed that a high concentration of lymph makes a person calm and balanced, yellow bile - unrestrained and impulsive, blood - cheerful and agile, black bile - melancholic and sad. Based on this concept, were allocated four types of temperament, which are widely known to this day - phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine, and melancholic.

 

At the beginning of the XX century, Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov linked the types of temperament by Hippocrates with the general properties of nervous processes and proved that every man has an innate type of nervous system, little dependent on education and the impact of others. Under the physiological basis of each of the temperaments, he understood the type of higher nervous activity, which is determined by the ratio of equilibrium, strength, and mobility of inhibitory and excitatory processes. Thus, sanguine, in his opinion, refers to a strong, agile, and balanced type, and the melancholic - to the weak, with a weak force of excitation and inhibition.

 

4 types of temperament: description and main features of phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine, and melancholic

Here is a brief description of the types of the human temperament of Hippocrates (with full you can get acquainted with the relevant articles).

 

The four types of temperament:

Sanguine - balanced, optimistic, cheerful. Sanguine temperament characterizes a person as cheerful, emotional, sociable, living the mood. He is easily experiencing failure, creates a pleasant microclimate in any team, but does not always deliver on its promises, sometimes too hasty in the affairs and judgments and overconfident.

 

Holeric - hot, unrestrained, bold, energetic. These people are enterprising, with passion takes on any work (except routine), and easily overcome difficulties. They are able to catch information on the fly, have leadership qualities, but impatient, irascible, and prone to emotional breakdowns.

 

Phlegmatic - calm, reserved. He poorly adapts to new situations and in adverse conditions can be passive and lethargic, while characterized by composure, patience, entrepreneurial spirit. In a society, phlegmatic moderately sociable does not like idle talk and is not subject to panic in stressful situations.

 

Melancholic - sensitive, not energetic, reacting painfully to adversity, prone to discouragement. People with a melancholic temperament are prone to pessimism, overly suspicion, and jealousy, but have analytical thinking, creative work, are subtly sensitive, and bring things to a conclusion.

 

Temperament and character
Often the concept of "temperament" is identified with the character. But what classification of any psychologist you would consider, it is wrong, a general description of the temperaments of Hippocrates point of view. Of course, the relationship of temperament and character is present, but these concepts do not mean the same thing. Thus, the temperament is given to man by nature and throughout life, if it changes a little, and nature is formed and changed all the time. People with the same temperament can be completely different characters, which is associated with the impact of society, education, profession, interests, hobbies. And imagine how similar all people would be if we all had only 4 types of character with little difference.

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