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Removed section[edit]

The theory of individual differences started from the concept of temperament suggested by Hippocrates and Galen. Hippocrates' four humours gave rise to four temperaments.[1] The explanation was further refined by his successor Galen during the second century CE. The "Four Humours" theory held that a person's temperament was based on the balance of bodily humours; yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood.[2] Choleric people were characterized as having an excess of yellow bile, making them irascible. High levels of black bile were held to induce melancholy, signified by a sombre, gloomy, pessimistic outlook. Phlegmatic people were thought to have an excess of phlegm, leading to their sluggish, calm temperaments. Finally, people thought to have high levels of blood were said to be sanguine and were characterized by their cheerful, passionate dispositions.[2]

There are debates between researchers of temperament and researchers of personality as to whether or not biologically-based differences define a concept of temperament or a part of personality. The presence of such differences in pre-cultural individuals (such as animals or young infants) suggests that they belong to temperament since personality is a socio-cultural concept. Researchers of adult temperament point out that, similarly to sex, age, and mental illness, temperament is based on biochemical systems whereas personality is a product of socialization of an individual possessing these four types of features. Temperament interacts with social-cultural factors, but still cannot be controlled or easily changed by these factors.[3][4][5][6] Modern theories of temperament converge to 12 components, all based on ensemble interaction between brain neurotransmitters.[6][7]

Therefore, temperament should be kept as an independent concept for further studies and not be conflated with personality. Moreover, temperament refers to dynamical features of behaviour (energetic, tempo, sensitivity and emotionality-related), whereas personality is to be considered a psycho-social construct comprising the content characteristics of human behavior (such as values, attitudes, habits, preferences, personal history, self-image).[4][5][6] Temperament researchers point out that the lack of attention to extant temperament research by the developers of the Big Five model led to an overlap between its dimensions and dimensions described in multiple temperament models much earlier. For example, neuroticism reflects the traditional temperament dimension of emotionality, extraversion the temperament dimension of "energy" or "activity", and openness to experience, the temperament dimension of Sensation Seeking.[6][8]

Hello Wikipedians, I am interested in adding a section on Galen's temperament theory of personality to this article. There's some content on the theory itself and how it was applied using the four humours. Since Galen was one of the first to describe personality, I thought it would be important to add. Adam firlotte (talk) 17:12, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree, this is an important historic root of personality theory (if not the most important one) and it should be mentioned.PizzaMan ♨♨♨ 17:09, 27 December 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Storm Paula, "Personality Psychology and the Workplace" Archived 2012-04-11 at the Wayback Machine, MLA Forum, 2006
  2. ^ a b Carlson, Neil, et al. 2010. Psychology the Science of Behaviour, p. 438. Pearson Canada, United States of America. ISBN 978-0-205-64524-4.
  3. ^ Rusalov, VM (1989). "Motor and communicative aspects of human temperament: a new questionnaire of the structure of temperament". Personality and Individual Differences. 10: 817–827. doi:10.1016/0191-8869(89)90017-2.
  4. ^ a b Strelau, J (1998). Temperament: A Psychological Perspective. New York: Plenum.
  5. ^ a b Rusalov, VM; Trofimova, IN (2007). Structure of Temperament and Its Measurement. Toronto, Canada: Psychological Services Press.
  6. ^ a b c d Trofimova, IN (2016). "The interlocking between functional aspects of activities and a neurochemical model of adult temperament". In Arnold, M.C. (ed.). Temperaments: Individual Differences, Social and Environmental Influences and Impact on Quality of Life. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. pp. 77–147.
  7. ^ Trofimova, IN; Robbins, TW (2016). "Temperament and arousal systems: a new synthesis of differential psychology and functional neurochemistry". Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 64: 382–402. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.03.008.
  8. ^ Trofimova, IN (2010). "An investigation into differences between the structure of temperament and the structure of personality". American Journal of Psychology. 123 (4): 467–480. doi:10.5406/amerjpsyc.123.4.0467.

Two dimensions[edit]

I've added the theory of tho dimensions. When i was taught this subject in my psychology bachelor, i first learnt the two dimensions as proposed by Eysenck and then the big five. In many factor analyses it's a matter of how strongly you boil down your factors whether you find the big five or these two dimensions. PizzaMan ♨♨♨ 17:07, 27 December 2019 (UTC)


The section "Psychiatry" seems to me to be irrelevant to the article. Consider removal or editing. Perhaps personality disorders could be mentioned there. Wikiation (talk) 19:17, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

@Wikiation: I agree. It's as if it was put in the article as an afterthought. I think any important information in that section is already well covered in other articles. Let's wait a couple of weeks to see if there are other opinions. Then if no one objects the section can be removed. Sundayclose (talk) 20:00, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
As you were writing your response I had already removed the section. You're free to re-add it if you want, but I don't think anyone will try to keep it in its current form.--Megaman en m (talk) 20:04, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
@Megaman en m: Great minds think alike, and apparently simultaneously. Sundayclose (talk) 20:06, 20 June 2020 (UTC)