AQA Psychology - The Four Types of Temperament

Four Temperaments is a theory of proto-psychology that stems from the ancient medical concept of humorism and suggests that four bodily fluids affect human personality traits and behaviors. The temperaments are sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

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Personality compared to Temperament

Temperament defined

Your temperament is like an artist's canvas. It is your basic inherited style. It is the fabric underlying who you are. Generally speaking, two of the basic temperament types are outgoing or extroverted and two are more inward directed or introverted. This varies based on temperament blend and our individual personality development.

Personality defined

Your personality is like the painting on the canvas. It is what you have built on top of your temperament. Two people with like temperament may be very different in actual behaviour. Factors that affect personality include socialization, education, birth order, siblings or lack of siblings, and interpersonal pressures will cause us to adapt and change our behaviors.

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The Four Types of Temperament - Sanguine


The sanguine temperament is fundamentally impulsive and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are sociable and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean sensitive, compassionate and thoughtful. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence.

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The Four Types of Temperament - Choleric


The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were choleric. They like to be in charge of everything. However, cholerics also tend to be either highly disorganized or highly organized. They do not have in-between setups, only one extreme to another. As well as being leader-like and assertive, cholerics also fall into deep and sudden depression. Essentially, they are very much prone to mood swings.

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The Four Types of Temperament - Melancholic


The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and thoughtful. Melancholic people often were perceived as very (or overly) pondering and considerate, getting rather worried when they could not be on time for events. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art - and can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. Often they are perfectionists. They are self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of others.

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The Four Types of Temperament - Phlegmatic


The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet, ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and are kind. They are accepting and affectionate. They may be receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators. They can also be passive-aggressive.

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Emma Louise


Rayanne :)

no problem :) ***


Very useful information for GCSE AQA Psychology students!

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