Rus Articles Journal

Temperament, character, the identity of

Character - a fascinating subject for reflections, supervision, knowledge of and others. Practically everything depends on character in human life: as he builds the life as lives in a family as he communicates with friends and colleagues as he raises children.

Since very ancient times of people were occupied by questions: How to learn the character? How to understand character of other person? Whether there are similar characters which can be united in groups? Character is congenital or is formed during lifetime? Doctors, philosophers and scientists investigate these questions already more than two and a half thousand years.

“Hundred babies. I incline over a bed of everyone. Here they whose life is estimated for weeks or months... That in the beginning it seemed to me accident, repeats during many days. I write down, allocating trustful and mistrustful, quiet and whimsical, cheerful and gloomy, uncertain, timid and hostile.

Always cheerful: smiles before feeding, wake it - sleepy, will open eyelids, will smile and will fall asleep.

Always gloomy: with concern meets you, already ready to begin to cry, in three weeks smiled, and that for a moment, only once...

I Examine a throat. Live, rough, passionate protest. Or it will only annoyancely be wrinkled, will impatiently shake the head and already good-natured smiles. Or he suspiciously alerted at each movement of others hand, falls into anger earlier, than felt pain...

Mass inoculation of smallpox: to fifty children an hour. It is already experiment. And again - at one immediate and vigorous reaction, at others - gradual and weak, and at the third - indifference. One baby is content with surprise, another reaches concern, the third sounds alarm; one quickly equilibrates, another long remembers, does not forgive...“

(From Janusz Korchak`s records)

Everything began

with the description of four types of temperament. It was made by the antique doctor Hippocrates in the 5th century B.C. It is remarkable that Hippocrates was interested in human physiology, but not his behavior. According to the theory of that time (quite fantastic) was considered that at an organism there are four main liquids: blood, slime, yellow bile and black bile, and at each person prevails one of them. From Latin roots of such liquids there were also names of four temperaments: sanguine person (blood), phlegmatic person (slime), choleric person (yellow bile), melancholiac (black bile). The word “temperament“ meant mix or a ratio of liquids in all organism. So, Hippocrates did not connect temperament with mental human life; he spoke even about temperament of separate bodies, for example, of heart or a liver.

But over time there were conclusions about what mental properties the person in whose organism blood, yellow bile etc. prevails have to have. So there were psychological portraits of four temperaments. The first attempt was made the whole seven centuries later after Hippocrates - the antique doctor Galen in the 2nd century AD. Is much later, at the end of the 18th century, psychological portraits of temperaments were made by the German philosopher I. Kant, and then, with different variations, they repeated at many and many authors. From the very beginning it were not so much scientific how many art pictures.

Here, for example, as descriptions of temperaments at the famous French writer Stendhal Stendhal look. Painting history in Italy. CC. T. VIII. We bring in strongly reduced look.

Sanguine temperament

“The sanguine person - the person with dazzling complexion, quite full, cheerful, with a broad chest which comprises capacious lungs and testifies to active heart, therefore, fast blood circulation and high temperature.

Sincere properties: the raised condition of spirit, pleasant and brilliant thoughts, kind and tender feelings; but habits differ in inconstancy; there is something lightweight and changeable in the sincere movements; mind has not enough depth and force. The sanguine person cannot charge protection of important fortress, but he should be invited to a role of the kind courtier. The overwhelming mass of French - sanguine persons and therefore in their army during retreat from Russia there was no order.

Choleric temperament

Bile - one of the most peculiar elements in a human body. In the chemical relation this substance combustible, proteinaceous, foaming. From the point of view of the physiologist, it is very mobile liquid, strongly exciting and acting like yeast.

Sincere properties: the raised impressionability, the movements sharp, gusty. The flame devouring the person of bilious temperament generates thoughts and inclinations self-sufficing and exclusive. It gives it almost constant feeling of alarm. Without effort the feeling of mental well-being which is given to the sanguine person is absolutely unfamiliar to it: it finds rest only in the most intense activity. The person of choleric temperament is intended to great causes by the corporal organization. Yuli II, Charles V, Cromwell were choleric persons, according to Stendhal.


the Flegmatichesky temperament


Is inherent in much more northern people, for example, to Dutches. Visit Rotterdam, and you will see them. Here you are met requirements by the fat, tall blonde with unusually broad chest. You can conclude that it has strong lungs, big heart, good blood circulation. No, these voluminous lungs are squeezed by excessive fat. They receive and process only very small amount of air. The movements of the phlegmatic person are sluggish and sluggish. As a result the little and mobile Gascon beats the huge grenadier - the Dutch.

Sincere properties: the alarm from which there are great causes attracting the choleric person is absolutely alien to the phlegmatic person. Its usual state - quiet, silent wellbeing. Softness, sluggishness, laziness, dimness of existence is peculiar to it“.

Stendhal was a participant of war of 1812 and got to Moscow with Napoleon`s army. He expresses surprise on the fact that the Russians living in the country with severe climate have not phlegmatic temperament. Of it he was convinced by bravery of the Moscow carriers, and, above all, the fact that Moscow turned out empty.“ Disappearance of residents of Moscow to such an extent does not correspond to flegmatichesky temperament, - Stendhal concludes, - that the similar event seems to me impossible even in France“.

Melancholic temperament

“The melancholiac fluctuations and care in decisions distinguish constraint in the movements. Feelings it are deprived of a spontaneity. When it enters a drawing room, makes the way along walls. The simplest thing these people manage to state with the concealed and gloomy passion. Love for them always business serious. One young man - the melancholiac blew out the brains from - for love, but not because it was unfortunate but because he did not find forces to admit to a subject of the feeling. And the death seemed to it less burdensome, than this explanation“.

we find

all signs of everyday idea of temperaments which exists and today In Stendhal`s compositions.

In - the first, continues to be told about four types, calling by their names which still Hippocrates gave; in - the second, attribute to each type a physiological basis; in - the third, very wide range of actions and acts of the person, from protection of important fortress till ways of a declaration of love include in temperament.

However the so-called gippokratovsky doctrine about temperaments became property of history. Its four types already do not appear in scientific literature anywhere - fields the plan psychological, in the plan physiological though their descriptions still come across in popular magazines as “scientific“.

In serious researches searches of physiological bases of temperament continue. Scientists try to find these bases in a body structure, type of nervous system, power of biological requirements, functioning of the emotional centers of a brain. At the same time psychologists (together with philosophers and psychiatrists) enriched science with thinner and thought-over descriptions of behavior of people, and psychological portraits of temperaments are discussed as various types of character now. At the same time the place of honor as natural basis of character is allocated for temperament quite. By the way, about such “basis“ there is also a speech in a fragment from records of the remarkable doctor and psychologist Janusz Korchak with which we began this chapter.

a number of properties with which the nature allocates us help to find

of supervision over babies. It is big or smaller activity, sensitivity degree, brightness, coloring and intensity of emotions, etc. All this enters temperament, but does not make character yet. Babies are only in the beginning of the vital history - history of meetings of natural inclinations with specific conditions of life. If the child is sick, and he will be often examined, given injections or some other painful procedures, then at him vulnerability will become aggravated and to be formed uneasiness and vigilance. If it gets to the favorable, sparing situation, then at it instead of negative reactions trustfulness and sociability will develop. And so will be with any other properties. The temperament under the influence of life experience turns into character. Usually and say about character that it is an alloy of the born and acquired properties of behavior.

By the way, according to some anthropologists, different types of temperament and, respectively, character came to us from the remote human past. The primitive tribe needed active leaders, aggressive hunters, benevolent mirolyubets, quiet inquisitive minds. Each of these characters necessary for a tribe survival was fulfilled and fixed in generations.

From the book “We have different characters. . How to be?“