The 4 types of human temperament

Sherman Hoover

In this article we will talk about one of the oldest personality type classification systems in the world, that of the four Temperaments. The origins of this typology belong to Greek-Arabic medicine, where it was used for many years to treat diseases. In fact, this system is still used today by traditional medicine practitioners around the world..


  • The four temperaments
  • Blood personality type
  • Phlegmatic personality type
  • Choleric personality type
  • Melancholic personality type

The four temperaments

It is based on the four personality types that Hippocrates, one of the best known doctors of ancient Greece, established based on the behaviors of the human being.

This typology was based on an old medical concept that proposed that people have four different types of “humor”. When they spoke of "humor" they referred to the bodily fluids that are present in the human body. Different people have different proportions of these fluids; the predominance of a fluid defines its temperament and psychological type. These are the four temperaments and their predominant moods (body fluids):

  • Optimistic: the blood
  • Phlegmatic: phlegm
  • Choleric: yellow bile
  • Melancholic: black bile

The dominance of a humor is said to affect one's personal appearance and behavior. However, most people do not have a pure temperament, but a mixed type of temperament in which one of the four types predominates.

Modern medicine rejects this typology, but many new theories of personality develop from this ancient concept, often disguised under different names. For example, Dr. Helen Fisher's personality types: Explorer, Negotiator, Director, and Builder, bear a striking resemblance to the sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic types, respectively. Luckily this does not minimize the value of your original research..

Modern psychology is not much kinder to the concept of the four temperaments, and in general, most personality theories rule them out entirely. Despite this, the use of terms - sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic - persists in the scientific language of psychology..

Blood personality type

It is characteristic of lively, cheerful, optimistic, kind, communicative, warm but thoughtless people and with a quite variable mood. They love adventure and have a high tolerance for risk. Blood people generally cannot tolerate boredom and will eagerly seek variety and entertainment. Needless to say, this trait can negatively affect your romantic relationships at times. Because this temperament is prone to pleasure-seeking behaviors. Their constant cravings can lead to overeating or substance abuse.

These people are very creative and can become great artists. Also, they are fantastic entertainers and will naturally do well to choose careers in the entertainment industry. Their natural abilities will also serve them, if they so wish, for jobs related to:

  • marketing,
  • to travel,
  • fashion,
  • kitchen,
  • sports.

Phlegmatic personality type

Someone with the phlegmatic personality type is generally a person in search of interpersonal harmony and close relationships. Phlegmatic people are faithful spouses and loving parents. They preserve their relationships with old friends, distant relatives, and neighbors. They tend to avoid conflict and always try to mediate among others to restore peace and harmony.

They are generous and inclined to help others. The ideal professions for personality types are usually related to:

  • Nursing,
  • teaching,
  • psychology,
  • childcare,
  • social services.

Choleric personality type

Someone with the pure choleric temperament would be a basically goal-oriented person. People with this personality type are highly intelligent, analytical, and logical. They are not usually very good companions. They do not like to chat for the sake of chatting, they enjoy more deep and meaningful conversations. They would rather be alone than in the company of shallow and superficial people. Ideally, they want to spend time with people who have similar career interests..

The ideal jobs for the personality type are related to the following sectors of activity:

  • administration,
  • technology,
  • statistics,
  • engineering,
  • programming,
  • business.

Melancholic personality type

People with melancholic personalities are introverted and cautious. They are quite reserved and are always attentive to whatever is going on around them. They take their time to calculate each and every one of your movements and prefer to act on their own. They love life with family and friends and, unlike their sanguine temperament, they do not seek novelty and adventure. In fact, they avoid it at all costs. A person with a melancholic temperament is very unlikely to marry a foreigner or leave his native land to go live in another country. They are very social and try to contribute to the community. They are also usually extremely orderly and fantastic managers..

The perfect trades for the melancholic personality type are usually in:

  • management,
  • accounting,
  • social work,
  • administration.

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