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Author Topic: Four Temperaments  (Read 4671 times)

Chocobo_Fan

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Four Temperaments
« on: May 08, 2010, 03:03:15 AM »

The four temperaments are "personality types", like horoscopes or star signs, only actually accurate. Horoscopes are inaccurate because they rely on external variables, such as "if you were born on this day when the stars were in this alignment, your personality is this!", which is silly. Temperaments are more like "if your personality is this, then you can be described by this category". They are not labels or things that circumscribe you, simply handy descriptions. Instead of having to say "introverted, pessimistic, emotional, moved by beauty, cares for order" and so on, you can just say "Melancholic".

A very, very useful and extensive article about them can be found here. Tell me what you think -- what temperaments do you think you are? What temperaments do you think the characters from TRPG are? Do you think the temperaments are complete hogwash? Please tell me what you think.
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Ertxiem

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 06:10:11 AM »

I haven't read the article you suggested, so I'll talk a bit about horoscopes.
Without going into much detail, if you try to predict the future of 500 million people simultaneously, you're bound to fail or (if you don't want to fail) you'll end up giving generic predictions that apply to everyone (instead of only that specific group of people) or you'll have vague predictions. The same happens when you try to describe someone using their star sign or something related to the date of birth.
From what I know, the temperaments are based on the characteristics of the individual, thus their description makes sense to that individual, although the descriptions are somewhat vague because you have a small number of temperaments and a large number of people.
Furthermore, everyone will have a mix of the temperaments (some more marked than others) and their importance may change from day to day, not drastically, but enough to make a difference.
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Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 07:36:49 AM »

Please read the article before making an argument like that...it explains a lot of general things about the temperaments, such as general misconceptions, why they're different from horoscopes and things, etc. It does, in fact, notice that everyone is a "blend" of two temperaments, which allows for a bit more precision, since that makes twelve categories instead of four.

While I understand what you're saying, the article does address such things. I'd encourage you to try and find them in people you know, like your friends and family. You'll probably be able to see how they apply to real life better that way.
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Guye

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 11:32:51 PM »

There have been dozens of different attempts at categorizing personality. I prefer the Myers-Briggs typology. Of course with the handful of concrete knowledge we have on human thought and personality, none of them are going to be as accurate as you might like. That being said, I think the "Temperaments" setup is a bit too... unrefined. Its just taking a few broad categories and saying they exist and how they can be combined to explain each other. It doesn't really use any true scientific reasoning. Just a kind of, "Hey have you guys noticed" approach that has evolved over hundreds of years. That's not to say that broad observation isn't a useful tool in evolving a theory. Besides, I think a value like "introverted", which you dismiss so readily in your original post, is an integral part of what a human is and how they deal with, express, and even feel emotions.

Of course all that being said, if I was to follow along with this particular categorization system, I would say that I'm Choleric/Phlegmatic. That hardly begins to describe me, but its a start.
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Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 01:28:07 PM »

(Are people reading the entire article...?)

Of course they apply in broad strokes...that's exactly what the article says, multiple times. And yes, "introverted" and "extraverted" are very important defining personality traits. I wasn't trying to "dismiss" them, simply saying that they are traits that fall under that category. Such traits are actually very important defining qualities of the Melancholic and Sanguine temperaments.

As the introduction says, temperaments won't describe you completely. Being Choleric/Phlegmatic doesn't mean you're exactly like every other Choleric/Phlegmatic. Even if it can't describe you completely, they can be observed in real life.
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Guye

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 11:40:00 PM »

Saying your not perfect is no defense against criticism. Yes the article does make mention of its weaknesses. It even occasionally defends them. But more often than not it just reiterates that its, at its core, just a bland categorization system, taking broadly defined categories and given them arbitrary labels. It doesn't attempt to quantify anything. It merely gives a name to things we already know. It doesn't attempt to explain anything. It just states what it already obvious. I'm not saying that it's bad. Just saying that your insinuation that I simply didn't read the article is somewhat presumptuous and that my criticisms of the article are, in fact, valid.

In retrospect, I realize that came off a bit harsh. I apologize, but I do not retract it. I STAND BY MY WORDS!

As a way of apologizing I will attempt to categorize... SET! Hmmmm ... ... ... Phlegmatic/Sanguine!!! ... maybe Phlegmatic/Melancholic? ... Choleric/Phlegmatic? Ehh... screw it.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 12:08:56 AM by Guye »
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Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2010, 04:56:04 PM »

Quote
Saying you're not perfect is no defense against criticism.

It is when your argument is that it claims to or should be perfect:

There have been dozens of different attempts at categorizing personality. I prefer the Myers-Briggs typology. Of course with the handful of concrete knowledge we have on human thought and personality, none of them are going to be as accurate as you might like. That being said, I think the "Temperaments" setup is a bit too... unrefined. Its just taking a few broad categories and saying they exist and how they can be combined to explain each other. It doesn't really use any true scientific reasoning. Just a kind of, "Hey have you guys noticed" approach that has evolved over hundreds of years. That's not to say that broad observation isn't a useful tool in evolving a theory.

Your argument was that it wasn't perfect. My response was that of course it isn't; otherwise there would be millions or possibly billions of different temperaments, since everyone has a unique personality. The reason I thought you hadn't read the article is because it says it very clearly in the introduction and "general misconceptions" section.

I'm sorry if I sound angry or rude, but I've seen similar criticisms against the temperaments that the article tries to address, and I just wanted to clear that up, since so many people seem to instantly dismiss them.

Honestly, I feel like the best way to understand the temperaments (or any horoscope-type thing) is to see how it applies to real life. Seeing what you'd read, I'd encourage you to try and recognize it in people you know, or in media characters. (Set, for example, is Phlegmatic/Melancholic -- very submissive, peaceful, kind, and meek. If you read the Phlegmatic/Melancholic blurb I think you'll see that it fits. And Rahel, for example, seems to be Choleric/Melancholic -- dominant, stubborn, hard to get along with, analytical, and rational)

It's all your decision in the end, though, so if you really think that the temperaments are hogwash, then whatever, I won't try to convince you. I'm not very good at that anyway.
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Ertxiem

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2010, 05:14:55 PM »

Chocobo_Fan, you could make a pool with the 16 combinations of temperaments (4 "pure" + 12 pairs). And what is your temperament?

I read thought the page you referred (by the way, that page isn't finished). I think the categories are broad and somewhat vague. So, I think that the temperaments have a limited ability to explain people.

Anyway, I tried to apply it to what I think I am and I had a lot of doubts. I was only able to leave out one category...
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CraigStern

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2010, 06:42:22 AM »

The problem with personality categorizations is that no one behaves the same way at all times. Different parts of the brain with different priorities take over running the show based on outside circumstances. I strongly recommend reading this book if you're interested in this sort of thing. :)
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Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2010, 04:04:00 AM »

Hm...I think people think I'm talking about something else.

Craig, it's true that people act differently depending on moods or situations, but isn't it also true that they tend to have a "default" state that they are most of the time? That's what the article is trying to say, I think. Thanks for the book recommendation.

@ Ertxiem: According to the article, there aren't any "pure" temperaments -- everyone has a primary and a secondary. I'm Melancholic/Phlegmatic, or at least I think so. And yes, the page isn't finished, but it is very close. (The only thing the author still needs to do is the Sanguine blends) That page has actually gone through quite a few renovations as the author learned more about the temperaments.

If you're confused about what you are, that's okay. Most people are; you have to be very good at introspection. Try to keep in mind the general explanation things, like the introduction and "General Misconceptions" section. If you're Melancholic/Sanguine or Choleric/Phlegmatic, you might feel like "all" or "none" of the temperaments apply to you, due to being a blend of opposites and therefore well-rounded.
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Steelfist

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2010, 12:42:14 PM »

Choleric+Melancholic, although I would liken the effectiveness of this as trying to find your way around a city with the world map.
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FlyingFinn

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2010, 03:57:56 AM »

Iīm melancholic-sanguine, clearly. Description suits well, i also have been seriosly depressed in my childhood and I AM bi-polar.  ;D I think that itīs not smart to categorize personalities this way. Humans can be putted into boxes according to personalities but... how could i say it in english... world isnīt really made of terms. Terms are just our humans way to describe world, they are not telling how things are. Actually, every thing in this world is extremely complicated and i think that this model is really simplified way to describe human temperament. But truth is hard to achieve in anything, so i guess i just have to admit that this was interesting and entertaining theory. :)
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MikeW781

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Re: Four Temperaments
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2010, 11:00:11 AM »

I'm an odd mix of Sanguine-Choleric. I agreed almost totally with the Sanguine list, so I think that temperment is dominant
The problem i have with this is the "temperments don't change" bit. People almost always change personalities AT LEAST once between birth and adulthood.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 12:42:45 PM by mikew781 »
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