Keirsey temperament classifier: what is it and what categories does it contain?
This questionnaire allows you to evaluate yourself on behavioral aspects related to your personality.
Keirsey's temperament classifier is a tool used in the field of personal growth and Human Resources. It allows to know what type of personality one has, and to relate it to a useful role in daily life.
This questionnaire is interesting because it is based on the ancient idea of temperament, already described by the classical Greeks, but reformulated from a modern point of view. Let's take a closer look at this interesting and complex model.
Keirsey's temperament classifier: what is it?
Keirsey's temperament classifier is a model and, at the same time, questionnaire designed to help people understand themselves. It was developed by the American psychologist David Keirsey.Keirsey, who was inspired by such ancestral concepts of temperament as those proposed by Hippocrates and Plato, as well as by more recent ones, such as those of Myers-Higgs and Ernst Kretschmer.
In this model, Keirsey has a somewhat particular view of temperament. While temperament is traditionally seen as a personality style, relating it to the emotional reaction that a subject can make to different types of events, Keirsey's conception also includes aspects related to intelligence and intelligence and to the emotional response of a subject to different types of events. includes aspects related to intelligence and preferences, something related to the dimension of intelligence and preferences.Keirsey's conception also includes aspects related to intelligence and preferences, which can be related to the dimension of openness to experience of the Big Five factors model.
The questionnaire used consists of 70 questions, each with two response options in which the person's preferences are measured. Although it can be related to the concept of intelligence, it does not measure it, nor does it measure how well we are able to perform specific skills.
Upon completion, the subject who has completed it will have feedback on which behaviors he or she is most accomplished at.. These behaviors allow to know how one is oneself, as well as to understand in first person how one behaves. It also shows what one's strengths are, not in terms of measured abilities, but what one believes oneself to be strongest.
This questionnaire is usually used on an individual basis, and is very easy to use. Some organizations, such as the U.S. government, educational institutions, and even large corporations such as Coca-Cola or Bank of America use it to have an elaborate profile of the person who is applying for a job offer.
The Keirsey's rings
Before going into more detail about the temperaments proposed by Keirsey, it is necessary to explain his proposal based on four levels, which he calls rings as if they were the rings of a tree trunk. These structure and configure each of the temperaments, roles and variant roles that make them up.
1. Outer ring: abstract and concrete
According to Keirsey, everyone has a knowledge of the world constituted by two processes that are not necessarily mutually exclusive: observation and introspection.
Within the model, observation is understood as the collection of information coming from the outside, in an objective way and captured by the senses. For example, when we are looking at a painting, eating an apple or listening to a melody, we would be observing according to the model.
Introspection would mean that the subject shares his inner world, his ideas, his thoughts, his thoughts.. That is, he creates something that does not exist, in order to give it shape in the real world himself.
There are people who resort more to the external world, which is more objective and concrete, while others choose to resort more to their abstraction.
The more concrete people would be those who would have their feet on the ground, focused on the concepts they make.The more concrete people would be those with their feet on the ground, focused on concepts that refer to very concrete elements of their environment, while those who are more abstract would be those with their head in the clouds, focused on general and broad concepts.
2. Second ring: cooperatives and pragmatists
The most cooperative people are those who are concerned about the opinions and thoughts of others, taking special interest in their emotions and concerns.
Pragmatic people, on the other hand, focus more on their own thinking, and focus all efforts on using methods that really work rather than on the opinions of others.They focus all efforts on using methods that really work rather than on knowing the opinion of others when it comes to taking a certain action.
These are the first and second rings of this tree proposed by Keirsey, which make up the four temperaments of the model: rational (pragmatic and abstract), artisans (pragmatic and concrete), idealists (cooperative and abstract) and guardians (cooperative and concrete).
3. Third ring: proactive and reactive
In the third ring a distinction is made between those who communicate with others by informing them about an action to be taken, the proactive, and those who, in order to inform, give orders and direct, the reactive. Each of the four temperaments has these two roles. This makes up to 8 main roles in the model.
4. Fourth ring: expressive and attentive
Finally we have the fourth ring, in which we we can find the variant roles, which are two for each general role of the model.which makes a total of sixteen of them.
The expressive role refers to those who choose to express, that is, to clearly show their intentions, while the attentive ones choose to work more covertly.
The 4 temperaments of the model
Having seen the structure of the temperaments, we proceed to explain, in more detail, each of them:
From Keirsey's model, the "artisan" temperament is defined as that of a person who tends to adapt to a person who tends to adapt to the situation and tends to perform a particular action.. They are pragmatic and concrete. Artisans require constant stimulation, and they want to improve their skills to become virtuosos in what they like to do. They want to stand out for what they like to do.
They tend to be good at working with their hands, as well as having good mental agility to adapt to changing environments and situations. They are good at problem solving.
The proactive artisan role is that of the operators, whose most prominent skill is exploration, and its two variant roles are the operators, whose most prominent skill is exploration.and its two variant roles are the 'crafters' or artisans (attentive) and promoters (expressive).
The reactive artisan role is that of entertainers, who are good at improvisation. Its two variant roles would be composers (attentive) and performers (expressive).
Their behavior is organized rather than intuitive, and they seek security.. They are cooperative and concrete. They feel a great need to belong to someone, to be attached to someone else. Responsibility and duty are extremely important to guardians. They are very good at organizing, checking and are a good source of trust for others. They need to have well-organized schedules. Their greatest strength is logistics.
The proactive proactive gatekeeper role is that of administrators, who are very good at regulating and organizing. This role includes inspectors (attentive) and supervisors (expressive).
The reactive guardian role is that of conservators, whose most developed ability is to provide support to others.. Of roles within it we have the protectors (attentive) and the providers (expressive).
Idealists are cooperative and abstract. For them, the most important thing is the meaning of oneself. They seek their personal identity, their growth as individuals.. Their most developed natural ability is diplomacy. This temperament is typical of people who inspire confidence, who inspire.
In the idealistic proactive role we have the mentors, who are in charge of helping others to develop. Among them are counselors (attentive) and teachers (expressive).
In the idealistic reactive role we have the promoters, who are very good at mediation. Within them we have the healers (attentive) and the champions (expressive).
Rational people are pragmatic and abstract. For them, what is important is knowledge and competence.. They want to be good at what they are doing, and they work to master what they would like to master without the need to be pressured by others. They are good at strategy, theorizing, coordinating projects, developing concepts and are good at engineering.
Of rational proactive role we have the coordinators, who are good at commanding. Within them we have the masterminds (attentive) and the field marshals or commanders (expressive).
In the reactive role we have the engineers, whose most developed skill is that of construction. Within them we have the architects (attentive) and the inventors (expressive).
- Cattell, R.B., (1947). Confirmation and clarification of primary personality factors. Psychometrika, 12, 197-220.
- Keirsey, D. (1978). Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence (1st ed.). Prometheus Nemesis Book Co. ISBN 1-885705-02-6.