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Renamed Fifth Temperament Becomes TV Trope

April 3, 2013

In a type forum discussion, someone had read up on temperament on the Fig Hunter site (which is a good, colorful site discussing the four temperaments plus twelve blends, LaHaye style), and asked me what the APS I mention was. So I happen to do some searching, and find that this Fig Hunter person (a guy who calls himself “Pseudolonewolf”) is mentioned on the TV Tropes site:
He was known for creating these web games. It also mentions that his site discusses the four temperaments, which links to this “wiki” entry, “Four-Temperament Ensemble”:
The temperaments are used with the various “tropes”.

But rather than just four temperaments, there is the fifth one, but it is called “Leukine“, instead of “Supine”; and its humour is “white blood cells“. [edit: this has since been changed several times, with Supine later being added, and now it reads “a neutral temperament has been used, labeled sometimes as the Leukine, other times the Supine/Eclectic”, and after 3-21-15 omits anything about “white blood cells”; it’s often used for lead or secondary characters and their “Video Games” page uses “Eclectic” regularly with the other four].

I recognized a lot of the basic information on the page (particularly the factorial definitions) as coming from my own breakdowns of the five temperament system, though the terminology was changed (and stuff like the associations with hair color and various other tropes were added).

I had long ago conceived of the idea of the fifth humor and that name, but did not share it much. Searching for it, the only places I had coined it were on the Mindtweaks blog (where the interactive five temperament graphic on my temperament page comes from), and INTPCentral, one of the type forums; back in 2008 and 2009. In my Personality Glossary, on this blog, I allude to it (without using the exact term) by having an entry called “leukocytes”, which explains how white blood cells could be the fifth humor, because it “serves” the body by removing harmful things from the bloodstream, matching the Supine who is described as having a “servant’s heart”.

This also creates a remarkable symmetry:
The people-focused or “responsive” temperaments (Supine and Sanguine) are both forms of blood (red and white).
The task-focused, “directive” temperaments (Melancholy and Choleric) are both bile.
The extroverts (Sanguine, Choleric) are colorful (red, yellow),
and the introverts (Melancholy, Supine) are black or white.
Phlegmatic, in dead center, is an in-between substance, in both texture and color.


Someone must have gotten the information from one of those places, and I don’t know how they got it onto TV Tropes. Fig Hunter does mention the fifth temperament Supine, as part of “misconceptions” (, but suggests it is really a Phlegmatic (which is a bit more emotional in their view), while APS’s “moderate” Phlegmatic is really a PhlegChlor or ChlorPhleg blend. (And thus with “blends”, you don’t need a fifth temperament).

Those “opposite” blends do “average out” to something like a Phlegmatic, but still, APS sorts the temperaments out according to the different “areas of need”. A “Phlegmatic Choleric”, for instance, specifically refers to a Phlegmatic in Inclusion and Choleric in Control. It could also be someone in one of the areas who expresses like a Phlegmatic; i.e. moderately, but responds as a Choleric; i.e. task focused.

It’s true that his conception of the Phlegmatic does sound like a Supine:
“The most important defining trait of the phlegmatic is their submissiveness. This is…born out of the desire to NOT BE A BOTHER and to NOT OFFEND and to NOT INTRUDE and to NOT DO SOMETHING WRONG. They feel that they don’t know best – because of this, they rarely, if ever, argue, and find it terrifying if they’re forced into an argument – and that other people should make decisions for them (they struggle to make decisions at all), in most aspects of life.
Actually, ‘cannot make decisions’ is probably one of the most defining traits. If you’re laid-back, quiet and unemotional but don’t struggle with decisions, chances are you aren’t phlegmatic.”

In APS, the Phlegmatic is not described a being that submissive or unable to make decisions (which may have been a bit of an exaggeration even for the Supine, outside of the Compulsive variation). There is actually a greater emphasis on the opposite; of them being “stubborn“. This is obviously what Fighunter sees as a “Choleric” influence in a PhlegChlor blend. So he’s making “struggling with decisions” so definitive of the temperament, that to lack it is to be another temperament. So no wonder the APS Phlegmatic must be a blend with the opposite.
But the real key of the Phlegmatic temperament is the low energy reserve, which is what will make them “submissive” sometimes; “stubborn” other times, and generally wanting to share responsibility in decision-making. It’s all about taking “the path of least resistance”, the expend the lest energy. That’s what makes the Phlegmatic the center temperament; halfway between the Choleric and the true reserved/people-focused temperament; hence, appearing to be a PhlegChlor.
A true Phlegmatic-Choleric blend would look similar, but the behavior of the two temperaments would actually be split between social skills and leadership skills (he would be laid back socially, and a bit more aggressive and critical in taking action), or within one of those areas; it would simply be a Choleric who is either a bit less aggressive or less critical. As he says on his rundown of the blends, a P/C would actually resemble a Melancholic more. [i.e overall, and moreso than resembling a Phlegmatic, though it would initially resemble one on the surface]. A C/P would “have a ‘leader’ streak about them so they tend towards a dominant state of mind in interactions”. This would not be true of the pure Phlegmatic in the APS, who would not have enough energy for that.
The Supine doesn’t have a low energy reserve. It’s in fact just as driven as the other corner temperaments, but by a need of acceptance (like the Sanguine) and a fear of rejection (like the Melancholy). Recall, Phlegmatic was once considered to be the absence of temperament. Clearly, the temperament he’s describing is energized in the directions of submissiveness, unobtrusiveness [i.e. reserved], and wanting others to make decisions. So overall, the behaviors are similar, but the motivations are different.

So again, I don’t know who brought “Leukine” over to TV Tropes. (And as can be seen above, the site makes the error of assuming the fifth temperament is the “neutral” one, or “Ambiverted and dually-oriented” rather than the Phlegmatic, though the 9-25-14 edit had it all right]

In any case, on that forum, someone mentioned that the term was actually already owned as a trademark! He said “Bayer”, but now I’m seeing a company called “sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC”, that uses “Leukine” as a brand of medication called Sargramostim, which increases white blood cells. It’s even the name of the site for it:
So the name probably can’t be used.

I then came up with alternatives; “Leukocine” and “Leukoplasmine” (Since the actual fluid white blood cells lie in is “plasma”. There was also “Plasmatic”, but that’s too much like Phlegmatic).

It doesn’t seem like the Arno’s have trademarked “Supine”, so these names are probably unnecessary. I had assumed it must have been trademarked, because of the way the nearly identical Worley Identity Discovery Profile had to rename it to “Introverted Sanguine”, along with the rest of the FIRO structure (“Expressed”=”Demonstrated”; “Inclusion”=”Social”, etc) which it had not licensed.
It would be good, because the new temperament could be initialized as “L”, so Sanguine could remain “S”, instead of making Supine “S” and Sanguine then becomes “G”. (This sometimes trips me up. If I used Supine, I would probably make it “U”).

Well, I had been waiting for the theory to gain more exposure! Like is this being used on TV somewhere?

In any case, in passing, I had found that one of my sites was linked to in a TV Tropes article: “The Scrappy”, since I defended the ridiculously hated cartoon character Scrappy Doo. (The link seems to have been since removed. It had said “He has his fans…” with “his fans” as the link).

See also

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  2. No, this is purely by me, though as I said, I don’t know who brought the concept to TV Tropes.
    Who is your cousin? Does he use a five temperament theory or something?

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  5. Bassball_Batman permalink

    There is something called “leukocin” (without the final e) as someone made a search. (Maybe it’s some kind of drug or vitamin?)
    I think to avoid confusion with other names (which is difficult since most seem to be used for something once in a while), “leucosine” might be our best bet. I plan on publishing something soon somewhere online that employs “leucosine” as the temperament name, such that it’ll be more well-known and accepted. It should help solve many a dilemma of more than one kind. Heck, some day possibly well-known and accepted on TV Tropes. Who knows?

  6. That one character makes a difference in trademarks. If they left off the E, they can’t claim the word with the E.

    I don’t see anything in a search that’s trademarked. “leukocin” and “leukocidin” are some sort of toxins involving bacteria or something that destroyed leukocytes. (The first one looks like a misspelling of the second one). It’s a scientific word, and not owned by anyone (You might see “PVL – Panton-Valentine leukocidin”, but that’s just something named after someone, and notice the lowercase “l”. The word is not trademarked).

    But again, it wouldn’t make a difference anyway, if we use the E. (I like the “-ine” ending because it’s used in Supine and Sanguine).

    And again, it seems you could just use “Supine”, because it doesn’t seem the Arno’s/NCCA have put a trademark on it. The name is already more known than introducing a new name.

    What exactly are you creating with the temperaments?

  7. Bassball_Batman permalink

    So far I wanted a webpage that explained the temperaments… if possible, on Fig Hunter (because opening the current Fig Hunter page from a search engine yields a page that says “This page is still being written” and that we can “look at the old temperaments page.” Since that page is being updated anyway, maybe I can contribute.

    Though I’m not much of a story writer, eventually I’d like to get a fictional story out (maybe a TV series?) about five 3rd-world orphans who were taken in by orphanages temporarily and learned from the streets how to fight. Those five moved out on their own soon after and team up as missionaries of some sort, yet are able to defend themselves if they need to. They received English last names at the orphanages, but they legally changed them each to suit the role he plays (e.g. “Hardin” to “Hardcore”, “Parker” to “Parkour”). And each first name according to the temperament he embodies (Cole, Mel, Lucas, Sancho, and Phil).

    • I don’t quite understand that cluster of sites (that site; also there’s discussion boards, blogs, wikis, different domains, etc. Most of it on gaming, but then there’s the temperaments as well. What you saw was the one on the “temperaments” domain rather than “www”). I guess it’s one guy (“Pseudolonewolf”) with several online projects? It seems all of that is from years ago, so I don’t know if he’s still working on it or taking contributions. (The one you saw might be outdated, and he’s not creating another page for temperament anymore. Or maybe the one up now is the new page, and he simply created it on the same address linked to as the “old” one).

      You could always create your own page. Using your WordPress account, even.

      I’ve always said I always wanted to see a show made out of LaHaye’s temperament characters (Martin Melancholy, Sparky Sanguine, Rocky Choleric and Phil Phlegmatic), and add one for the fifth temperament.
      It could be animated, and maybe get Danny Antonucci to do it. He did Ed, Edd & Eddy, and that seemed like a fitting animated “situational comedy” style.

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