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Steps to the Keirsey classic temperament mapping

July 26, 2014

Came up with this simple step by step approach to mapping Keirsey to the classic temperaments, from remembering awhile back, a leading theorist who was on a list, and I was explaining the correlation, and the person felt Keirsey doesn’t correspond to the temperaments (the way the Interaction Styles do).

But the matchup is very simple, from looking at the original temperament factors.

Galen’s system was based on hot/cold and moist/dry.
Sanguine: hot-moist
Choleric: hot-dry
Melancholic: cold-dry
Phlegmatic: cold-moist

Hot/cold became I/E, which is apart of the Interaction Styles. So moist/dry would correspond to informing/directing. “Directive” communication can be described pretty well as “dry”; even moreso than [necessarily] literal “directing”.

The problem is the Keirsey groups. He linked them based on characteristics rather than Galen’s factors.
The artistic SP was “Sanguine”, the more serious SJ was “Melancholic”, the more “emotional” NF was “Choleric” and the “calm” NT was “Phlegmatic”.

But to map them to the ancient temperaments, what we really need is to map them to hot/cold and wet/dry.
Hot/cold can’t be represented by I/E this time, as these temperament groups are “blind” to that factor. All four are evenly divided between E’s and I’s. So we need to see if we can find something else it corresponds to.

The factors he mapped them to were MBTI’s S/N and a new one he introduced, cooperative/pragmatic.
This latter one looks like it could fit hot/cold. Pragmatics are quicker to take action, based on what “works”. So they will be a bit more “aggressive”, sort of like extroverts in social interaction. Cooperatives will want to do “what’s right”, which will make them more “reserved” in taking self-initiated action, like introverts in social situations.

So then is S/N “moist/dry”? Doesn’t seem like it.
For one thing, assuming Keirsey was right in at least some of his matchings, S and N tie together what were opposites in Galen’s system. The Sanguine and Melancholic end up as both S’s! (And classically, they are both very “concrete” focused, though in their own respective ways).
To Galen, one was hot-moist and the other cold-dry. Nothing in common; opposite in both dimensions. The same with N’s being Phlegmatic (cold-moist) and Choleric (hot-dry).
Other versions of temperament theory, such as Kant’s, had perceptive factors that tied together the opposites. So there must be another factor we have to look for.

S/N ties SP with SJ and NT with NF.
Cooperative/pragmatic ties together SP with NT and SJ with NF. But we already figured that might be hot/dry.
So is there anything that ties together the remaining pairs? SP with NF and SJ with NT? Keirsey said they were total opposites and had nothing in common.

Yet Linda Berens did tie them together with a new factor called structure/motive. Now this sounds like it could be our missing factor of moist/dry. Moist/dry also became known as people vs task focus, and “structure” directly sounds like “task”, while “motive” sounds like “people”.
NT’s and SJ’s tend to operate from structures (such as plans or institutions), while SP’s and NF’s look more at people’s motives, to “work with them”. In common temperament descriptions, SJ and NT do sound more “task”-focused, and “dry” in communication, while NF and SP are more “people”-focused, and more “light” (or “moist”) in communication.

So with that, we end up with:

SP pragmatic-motive (hot-wet) = Sanguine
SJ cooperative-structure (cold-dry) = Melancholic
NT pragmatic-structure (hot-dry) = Choleric
NF cooperative-motive (cold-moist) = Phlegmatic
Since I deal in five temperaments, this last one could also be “Supine” (the true “cold-moist” where Phlegmatic is really neutral; lukewarm and a between a solid and fluid), which would have more of an emotional energy, thus perhaps fitting many NF’s better, according to the whole “emotional” description.
Still, since these temperaments are “conative” (about action, and by extension, “leadership”, and not “affective”, or the familiar “social” dimension of temperament), then the “emotional” NF can still be Phlegmatic also.

As I always point out, the benefit of this is a way to simplify types as a blend of two parallel temperament matrices. So ISTJ ends up as Melancholic in both areas, while ISTP is what LaHaye and others would call a “Mel-San”. Melancholic on the surface social area of interaction, but having the Sanguine’s extraverted Sensory focus (best represented in the ESFP), making him more active and “open” to new experiences than other Melancholics. Many ISP’s read Keirseyan profiles, in which the temperament (the primary unit in his theory) colors the whole type, making it seem more “extroverted”, but the “blend” way tells them they are Sanguine when it comes to “action” (conation), but are totally opposite in temperament socially. It’s also tells you a bit more than a name such as “Crafter”, and is simpler than using terms such as “Contender Artisan”.

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on thelostword and commented:

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