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Temperament is called the ratio of stable individual characteristics of the person. The word is derived from the Latin temperamentum — the ratio of parts. Type Temperament is an inherent property of the nervous system, but may change slightly under the influence of living conditions or education.

The first showed interest in the temperament of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. He identified four types that they were understood in purely physiological terms. However, his classification of people on the sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic in psychology lasted long enough and was later supplemented by psychological characteristics.


Sanguine easily converges with people, cheerful, easy to switch from one activity to another, but does not like repetitive work. It is easy to control your emotions, quickly assimilated into the new environment. His voice — loud, fast, definitely, accompanied by expressive facial expressions and gestures. However, this temperament characterized by a certain duality. If the stimulus is constantly changing and constantly supported to change impressions, sanguine manifests itself as a man energetic, active, energetic. If the effects of time-consuming and monotonous, the sanguine person loses interest in the case, it becomes sluggish and unresponsive. In sanguine quickly arise feelings of joy, sorrow, affection and ill, but they are no different duration and depth — they can disappear as quickly as they had appeared, or been reversed.

Phlegmatic temperament

A man of this temperament slow, calm, sedate. In the work he shows thoroughness, thoughtfulness, perseverance. Phlegmatic usually brings the follow through. All mental processes in phlegmatic proceed slowly. His feelings are expressed outwardly weak. In dealing with people phlegmatic always even-tempered, calm, moderately sociable, his mood is stable, he calmly accepts any events and phenomena. Phlegmatic hard to ruffle or hurt emotionally. In humans, the phlegmatic temperament is easy to develop self-control, composure and tranquility. But the phlegmatic is to cultivate other qualities: mobility, activity, prevent lethargy and inertia that can easily be formed under certain conditions. Sometimes a person with a temperament may develop an indifferent attitude to work, the conditions of life, to himself.

Choleric temperament

People of this temperament are fast, extremely mobile, unbalanced, high-strung, all mental processes are they fast, intense. The predominance of excitation over inhibition inherent in this type of nervous activity, evident in incontinence, temper, irritability. We choleric hasty speech, sudden gestures. Imbalance is inherent choleric, evident in his work: he enthusiastically and even passion takes on the case, working with enthusiasm, overcoming difficulties. But the supply of nervous energy can quickly become exhausted in such a person, and then there may come a sharp decline in activity: inspiring and lifting disappear mood plummets.

In dealing with people choleric can prevent sharpness, irritability, emotional incontinence, which often makes it possible to objectively evaluate the actions of people. Too straightforward, short temper, impatience sometimes make difficult and unpleasant stay of such persons in the team.

The melancholic temperament

In the melancholic slow mental processes occur, they are difficult to respond to strong stimuli. Prolonged stress causes people of this temperament delayed action, and then completely stop it. In melancholic usually passive to have little interest (because the interest is also related to stress). Feelings and emotional states such people emerge slowly, but distinguished by the depth, strength and long duration. Melancholic very vulnerable, hard to carry resentment and frustration, though outwardly they expressed feelings too. They are prone to isolation and loneliness, avoid contact with strangers, often confused and often awkward in a new situation. All new and unusual causes of melancholic state of inhibition.

Thus, each type of temperament tend to blend their own mental, and emotional activity. Physiologist Pavlov developed a theory about the relationship of temperament to the type of nervous system. He identified three main properties nervous system: Strength, balance (that is, the balance between inhibition and excitation) and the mobility of nervous processes (ie, the rate at which the change from one process to another nerve). The result was the following scheme.

— Sanguine temperament has a strong balanced fastest type of nervous system.

— Phlegmatic temperament has a strong balanced slow type of nervous system.

— Choleric temperament has a strong unbalanced type of nervous system.

— Melancholic temperament has a weak nervous system.

However, to date the division into choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic and melancholic used more in popular psychology. This classification, which is based on the account of general human activity (including motor manifestations) and emotionality is considered outdated and irrelevant to science.

In general, there are many discrepancies in the understanding of the term "temperament". Many psychologists believe that this term is completely replace the concept of "character." Others insist that the boundaries between the character and temperament to some extent blurred, but, nevertheless, it's different personality characteristics.

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