What is temperament?

In the dictionary of theRoyal Spanish Academy (RAE), the term temperament means in its first meaning, character, way of being or reacting of people“.

On the other hand, temperament forpsychology, means theimmediate and automatic reaction to a stimulus, which constitutes an emotional phenomenon inherited throughhuman geneticsand therefore is part of their habitual behavior.

Note: Being in this way, we can say that temperament is part ofthe arsenal of learned behaviors, which are stored in theunconsciousand are part of geneticinheritance.

What are the characteristics of temperament?

Due to thepsychological and behavioral aspects of people, temperament has the following characteristics:

1. It constitutes a person’s reaction to their environment

The temperament comes to correspond to the degree of emotional intensity, with which a human being reacts to the stimuli that he perceives directly or indirectly and that become an automatic response.

To highlight: Most of these reactions, if not all, are previously stored in the memory of the unconscious and are the product of similar experiences lived in the past that are acquired since childhood, added to those acquired by inheritance.

2. It is determined by the type of nervous system of each individual

Characteristics of The Nervous Systemsupport personality and behavior,determining the characteristics of temperament. Thus, if the nervous system is balanced it will show one type of temperament and if it is weak it will show another type of temperament.

You should know: From the type of nervous system, a classification of the different types of temperament identified by some authors arises.

3. It has several properties

The temperament enjoys qualities such as sensitivity, reactivity, activity level, the balance that exists between reactivity and activity, rhythm, plasticity, introversion and extroversion.

Note: These properties somehow define the type of temperament of each person,   which makes it unique within the individuals of its species.

4. It involves inherited and stable personality elements

Temperament, as previously identified, comprises the combination of certain psychological and physiological elements, which have been transmitted through the Genotype of our parents or grandparents.

In this context, temperament is made up of all those heritable psychological factors,   which in some way have been part of our behavior for generations.

5. It manifests itself innately and remains throughout life

As previously mentioned, temperament is the manifestation of learned behaviors, which are inherited or belong to new experiences and are stored in long-term memory in the unconscious, to manifest innately in similar situations.

To highlight: According to scientific articles, temperament ends up shaping personality and character shapes temperament.

6. You can be influenced by living conditions and education

The temperament can also be influenced by the interaction with the environment that surrounds the individual , as well as the teaching and education process that they may experience, but in itself this element is unchangeable because it represents what we really are

Important: You must differentiate between the meaning of temperament and character, since the second refers to the work of molding that first initial trait , that is, what is modifiable is the character and not the temperament.

What are the types of temperament?

Next, we briefly describe types of temperament that have been classified by the literature according to authors:

1. Blood

You should know: It is also characterized by a low level of activity and concentration , and has a high degree of flexibility in the face of changes that occur in the environment, among other aspects.

2. melancholy

These types of people with a melancholic temperament are emotionally sensitive, creative, introverted, selfless and perfectionist.

Note: They find satisfaction in activities that require effort and personal sacrificetag. They are perfectionists, so they are afraid of failure and mood swings easily and show a propensity for sadness.

3. Choleric

People dominated by the choleric temperament are especially energetic, proactive and independent, seek to undertake an activity and are sometimes inflexible in their postures.

To highlight: This temperament usually manifests assertiveness and they are people who feel they have leadership, which is why they can sometimes cause many interpersonal conflicts due to the fact that they reach situations of anger that they must control .

4. Phlegmatic

The Phlegmatic temperament is is characterized by serene and calm behaviour , is persevering and bases its actions on rationality .

These people value precision very much, they are calm and do not show their too much , coming to manifest a cold personalitytag. They also do not like being the center of attention or holding a leadership role.

You should know: The imbalance in temperament are subjects of study of behavioral psychology, because they represent mental health problems.

Key Findings

  • Temperament corresponds to the way people react to the presence of stimuli.
  • Temperamental reactions are innate and immediate and are associated with behaviors that are stored in the unconscious.
  • The temperament is constituted according to the type of predominant nervous system .
  • Temperament is part of genetics and is inherited through generations.

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