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Four Temperaments

Protector (SJ), Creator (SP), Intellectual (NT), Visionary (NF)

The idea of four temperaments has for many centuries been proposed by psychologists, philosophers and other thinkers as a way to group and describe people with reasonable accuracy. David Keirsey noted that the 16 personality types could be grouped into four temperaments. Your temperament can be thought of as the “big picture” of your personality while your type is more specific.

As mentioned in the personality theory article, your temperament can be identified by the strength of your preferences. If you prefer Sensing (S) and Perceiving (P), for example, your temperament would be SP (Creator).

Temperaments Population Chart

The Four Temperaments

A summary of each of the four temperaments along with common career matches and famous people is provided below.

SJ – The “Protector”
Protectors (SJs) are dependable, altruistic and honest. They are driven by a strict work ethic and place a high premium on helping others and serving the community. Protectors are gifted leaders because of their natural ability to organize, plan and strategize. They thrive in situations where they know what is expected. They appreciate rules and structure.

SP – The “Creator”
Creators (SPs) are naturally artistic, brave and adaptable. They appreciate the beauty in nature, fashion and decoration. Their adventurous nature makes them excitable, energetic and spontaneous. Driven by their curiosity and playfulness, Creators are willing to try almost anything. They are likable and popular. They love to tell a good story.

NT – The “Intellectual”
Intellectuals (NTs) are intelligent, independent and determined. They are high-achievers, driven not only to acquire but also to master large amounts of information. They are self-sufficient, logical and value reason. They seek to know everything and will question anything. Their keen interest in investigation makes them great researchers and inventors.

NF – The “Visionary”
Visionaries (NFs) are empathetic, generous and original. They are caring individuals who are not only sensitive to the feelings of others but also very adept at identifying them. They are idealistic and are driven by values they deeply believe in and defend. Visionaries desire to understand themselves and to be understood for who they really are.

Take the Personality Test to learn your temperament and personality type. It includes 20 pages of results about you, for free. No registration or email required.

SJ Temperament – The Protector

Sensing (S) + Judging (J)

Protectors (SJs) are observant, stable and motivated by a need to maintain security. They are realistic, routinized administrators requiring tasks be completed correctly and that people behave appropriately. SJs make thorough examinations to ensure everything is done according to plan. They make sure no more and no less credit is given than due. When a need arises, they are quick to provide a solution, provided that the need is justified. SJs are not driven by impulse, but rather by concrete fact.

By virtue of their reliable, diligent, industrious, persevering nature, they make excellent leaders. Protectors are dependable, altruistic and honest. They are driven by a strict work ethic and place a high premium on helping others and serving the community. Protectors are gifted leaders because of their natural ability to organize, plan and strategize. They thrive in situations where they know what is expected of them since they appreciate rules and structure.

SJ Temperament Population / GenderThey are protective of the people they love, dutiful and very loyal. They value tradition and morality. Protectors often excel in school and perform with high standards. They do not appreciate when others break rules or challenge their authority. They dislike change and unpredictable situations.

“I thought I heard someone laughing just now. If anyone present wishes to make me the subject of his wit, I am very much at his service — with my sword — whenever he has leisure.” — Reepicheep

SJ Personality Types

The four SJ “Protector” personality types are listed below.

ESTJ – The “Overseer”

Overseers are responsible and hard working. Tradition and loyalty are deeply valued by them. As quintessential leaders, they provide structure and high standards to followers. When making decisions, they rely on logic and facts. ESTJs are efficient and thrive on routine and stability.

ESFJ – The “Supporter”

Supporters are friendly and nurturing. They seek to preserve tradition and observe rules. They are deeply caring and want to be liked. Their caretaking nature is one of their hallmarks. They are supportive and generous. ESFJs have a desire to please and help others.

ISTJ – The “Examiner”

Examiners have a keen sense of right and wrong. They are responsible, dependable and loyal. As gifted administrators, they value thoroughness, integrity and honesty. They are practical and believe that work comes before play. ISTJs always have a plan and are prepared.

ISFJ – The “Defender”

ISFJ Defenders are kind, loyal and considerate. They desire to serve and protect others sacrificially. They serve behind the scenes without seeking recognition. ISFJs like routine and have excellent follow-through skills. They possess rich inner lives, are private and quietly friendly.

Famous SJs

Here is a list of famous protectors. See the full list of personality types of famous people here.

  • Warren Buffet
    Investor, Businessman
  • Harry Truman
    American President
  • Queen Elizabeth II
    Queen of England
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    American President
  • John D. Rockefeller
    Industrialist
  • Sam Walton
    Founder of Walmart
  • Rev. Billy Graham
    Evangelist, Writer
  • Alfred Tennyson
    Poet
  • George W. Bush
    American President
  • William McKinley
    American President
  • Don Knotts
    Comedian
  • Sally Field
    Actress
  • Jack Benny
    Comedian, Actor
  • Terry Bradshaw
    Football Player
  • Mary Tyler Moore
    actress, comedian
  • George Washington
    American President
  • Herbert Hoover
    American President
  • Evander Holyfield
    Boxer
  • Barbara Bush
    American First Lady
  • Robert E. Lee
    U.S. Army Officer
  • Jimmy Stewart
    Actor
  • Cliff Clavin
    Cheers
  • Rachel Lynde
    Anne of Green Gables
  • Joe Friday
    Dragnet
  • Princess Leia
    Star Wars
  • Dr. Watson
    Sherlock Holmes
  • Lucy van Pelt
    Peanuts Comic
  • Donald Duck
    Disney Character

SJ Career Matches

SJs are commonly skilled at and often find satisfaction with the following careers.

  • Police
  • Military
  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Administrator
  • Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Judge
  • Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Researcher
  • Scientist

SJ Statistics

Here are some quick stats on the estimated frequencies of this personality type. For more statistics, see this page.

  • SJs (Protectors) make up about 41% of the general population.
  • There are slightly more female SJs than there are male (37.5% of males, 43.5% of females).
  • More SJs have been American Presidents than any other temperament.
Take the Personality Test to learn your temperament and personality type. It includes 20 pages of results about you, for free. No registration or email required.

SP Temperament – The Creator

Sensing (S) + Perceiving (P)

Creators (SPs) are observant, experiential and primarily driven by sensation. They are flexible, aesthetically-aware, “here and now” people that, with hardly a moment’s notice, will go where their senses lead. SPs naturally make an effort (with a realistic approach) not to miss an opportunity that may prove to be thrilling, pleasing or otherwise valuable. Creators are laid back, open-minded and love to feel alive. They have a tendency toward athletics and anything that involves creating or crafting.

SPs are naturally artistic, brave and adaptable. They appreciate the beauty in nature, fashion and decoration. Their adventurous nature makes them excitable, energetic and spontaneous. Driven by their curiosity and playfulness, Creators are willing to try almost anything. They are likable and popular as they love to tell a good story or joke.

SP Temperament Population / Gender Pie ChartCreators are flexible in different situations and with different types of people. They love being the center of attention. They learn best through their senses, in interesting environments and when the information is practical. Their love for people and interest in business makes them gifted negotiators. Creators usually do not enjoy elaborate discussions or analysis.

“I don’t understand it. Jack will spend any amount of money to buy votes but he balks at investing a thousand dollars in a beautiful painting.” — Jacqueline Kennedy

SP Personality Types

The four SP “Creator” personality types are listed below.

ESTP – The “Persuader”

Persuaders live in the “here and now.” Their strength lies in their ability to persuade others and get things done. They are enthusiastic and lively. They think on their feet and thrive in crisis situations. The rush that risk-taking situations produce is very appealing to the Persuader. They are straightforward, realistic and take criticism well.

ESFP – The “Entertainer”

ESFPs are fun-loving and outgoing. They seek an audience to listen to their stories and adventures. They love being the center of attention. They are people-oriented and dislike being alone. Their harmonious and lively nature makes ESFPs popular and very likeable. They enjoy action, new experiences and a life filled with excitement.

ISTP – The “Craftsman”

ISTPs are adventurous and independent. They are fearless and thrive on challenging situations. They are gifted problem solvers. Their mechanical and technical nature enables them to operate many kinds of tools and instruments. They are proud of their relatively effortless ability to acquire skills. They are freedom-seeking and unemotional.

ISFP – The “Artist”

Artists live in the present and yearn for freedom. They are artistic, aesthetically inclined and sensitive. They are happiest when they are being creative and expressing themselves. They are loyal, warm and private. ISFPs are cooperative and adaptable. They seek the balance between closeness and independence.

Famous SPs

Here are some famous SP personality types. See the full list of personality types of famous people here.

  • Lucille Ball
    Actress (I Love Lucy)
  • Jack Nicholson
    Actor
  • Madonna
    Singer, Actress
  • Simon Peter
    Disciple of Jesus
  • Ernest Hemingway
    Novelist
  • Eddie Murphy
    Actor, Comedian
  • Mozart
    Composer
  • Elizabeth Taylor
    Actress
  • Donald Trump
    Businessman
  • Elvis Presley
    Singer, Actor
  • Bill Clinton
    American President
  • Michael Jordan
    Basketball Player
  • Pablo Picasso
    Painter, Sculptor
  • Kyle Petty
    NASCAR Driver
  • Marie Antoinette
    Queen of France
  • Ronald Reagan
    American President
  • Marilyn Monroe
    Actress, Singer
  • Chuck Yeager
    U.S. Air Force Pilot
  • James Dean
    Actor
  • Bruce Lee
    Martial Artist, Actor
  • Jacqueline Kennedy
    American First Lady
  • Vincent Vega
    Pulp Fiction
  • Maggie Fitzgerald
    Million Dollar Baby
  • Homer Simpson
    The Simpsons
  • Louie DePalma
    Taxi
  • Sonny Corleone
    The Godfather
  • James Bond
    James Bond Films
  • Tim Taylor
    Home Improvement

SP Career Matches

SPs are commonly skilled at and often find satisfaction with the following careers.

  • Paramedic/EMT
  • Police
  • Detective
  • Pilot
  • Sales Agent
  • Farmer
  • Athlete
  • Photographer
  • Musician
  • Artist
  • Comedian
  • Actor

SP Statistics

Here is some interesting information about SPs. To see more, please see this page.

  • SPs (Creators) make up about one-third of the general population.
  • There are slightly more male SPs than there are female (34% of males, 32% of females).
  • Many of the world’s most talented artists, entertainers and athletes have been SPs.
Take the Personality Test to learn your temperament and personality type. It includes 20 pages of results about you, for free. No registration or email required.

NT Temperament – The Intellectual

Intuitive (N) + Thinking (T)

NTs (Intellectuals) are introspective, logical and on a constant quest for knowledge. They are practical and unsentimental in their approach to problem solving. The actions of an NT are precise and follow a systematic course. Abstract, theoretical and technically adept, NTs are naturally inventive. They can also be described as being analytical, intellectual, inquisitive, independent and complex.

Intellectuals are intelligent, independent and determined. They are high-achievers, driven not only to acquire but also to master large amounts of information. They are self-sufficient, logical and value reason. While Intellectuals have a desire to know everything, they also tend to question anything. Their keen interest in investigation and questioning make them great researchers and inventors.

NT Temperament Population / Gender Pie ChartNTs are good at seeing the “big picture.” They work well alone and are able to concentrate and study for long periods of time. Intellectuals enjoy abstract and theoretical discussions. They respect brilliance and self-reliance in others. Intellectuals dislike illogical instructions and emotional conversations.

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” — C.S. Lewis

NT Personality Types

The four NT “Intellectual” personality types are listed below.

ENTJ – The “Chief”

Chiefs are natural and decisive leaders. They are analytical, efficient and hard working. They live in the world of ideas and have a great ability to debate. Their goal-oriented and self-confident nature enables them to take charge. They thrive on achievement.

ENTP – The “Originator”

ENTPs are innovative, flexible and see possibilities. They are enthusiastic about generating ideas. They are intellectually quick and skilled. They thrive at finding solutions to technical problems. They are gifted at coming up with new approaches.

INTJ – The “Strategist”

INTJs are private, independent and self-confident. They strive for achievement. They are gifted strategists with analytical, conceptual and objective minds. They are flexible and like to formulate contingency plans. They see the reasons behind things.

INTP – The “Engineer”

Engineers are easygoing yet private. They are logical and enjoy analyzing complex problems. They thrive on the theoretical and like to figure out how things work. They do not like rigid rules and often do not abide by them. They are independent intellectuals.

Famous NTs

Some famous NTs are listed below. See the full list of personality types of famous people here.

  • Thomas Edison
    Inventor
  • Margaret Thatcher
    British Prime Minister
  • Franklin Roosevelt
    American President
  • Harrison Ford
    Actor
  • Thomas Jefferson
    American President
  • Julia Child
    Chef, Author
  • Walter Raleigh
    Writer, Poet, Explorer
  • Nikola Tesla
    Inventor, Physicist
  • Bill Gates
    Microsoft Founder
  • Sir Isaac Newton
    Astronomer
  • Jane Austen
    Author
  • C. S. Lewis
    Apologist, Author
  • Schwarzenegger
    Actor, Calif. Governor
  • Walt Disney
    Entrepreneur
  • Lance Armstrong
    Cyclist
  • Meryl Streep
    Actress
  • Carl Jung
    Psychiatrist
  • Albert Einstein
    Physicist
  • Abraham Lincoln
    American President
  • Socrates
    Greek Philosopher
  • Susan B. Anthony
    Civil Rights Leader
  • Gandalf
    Lord of the Rings
  • ‘Doc’ Brown
    Back to the Future
  • Cosmo Kramer
    Seinfeld
  • Bugs Bunny
    Looney Tunes
  • Mr. Darcy
    Pride and Prejudice
  • Michael Corleone
    The Godfather
  • Data
    Star Trek

NT Career Matches

NTs are commonly skilled at and often find satisfaction with the following careers.

  • Engineer
  • Scientist
  • Inventor
  • Programmer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Entrepreneur
  • Writer
  • Psychologist
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Lawyer/Attorney
  • Judge

NT Statistics

Here are some quick interesting stats about NTs. To learn more, please see this page.

  • NTs make up only about 12% of the general population.
  • Female NTs are the most rare of all temperament-gender combinations, at just 3% of all people.
  • Many notable thinkers, inventors and scientists have been NTs.
Take the Personality Test to learn your temperament and personality type. It includes 20 pages of results about you, for free. No registration or email required.

NF Temperament – The Visionary

Intuitive (N) + Feeling (F)

NFs (Visionaries) are introspective, intuitive and highly idealistic. They are subjective, compassionate “feeler” people that desire to contribute goodness and meaning to the lives of others. They are effective at doing this through their nurturing, insightful and encouraging nature. NFs despise conflict. They will do everything they can to make sure their loved ones get along with each other and are happy. NFs are imaginative, creatively inclined and passionate about their choice causes.

Visionaries are empathetic, generous and original. They are caring individuals who are not only sensitive to the feelings of others but also very adept at identifying them. They are idealistic and driven by values they deeply believe in and defend. Visionaries desire to understand themselves and to be understood for who they really are.

NF Temperament Population / Gender Pie ChartAs gifted teachers and mentors, NFs are interested in helping others grow and reach their potential. Visionaries are futuristic and charitable. In their relationships, they require authenticity, depth and meaning. They value harmony and enjoy pleasing others. Visionaries wither in critical and competitive environments. They dislike conflict and conformity.

Anne Shirley: Don’t you ever imagine things differently from what they are?
Marilla Cuthbert: No.
Anne Shirley: Oh Marilla, how much you miss.

NF Personality Types

The four NF “Visionary” personality types are listed below.

ENFJ – The “Mentor”

Mentors are driven by their desire to help others reach their fullest potential. They are affectionate, charismatic and deeply caring. ENFJs feel called to enrich the world with their altruistic contributions. They are often called upon to help others in times of need.

ENFP – The “Advocate”

ENFPs are enthusiastic, expressive and charismatic leaders. They are spontaneous, wild and posses a great zest for life. ENFPs are dreamers. They are driven by their values and strive to champion the causes they believe in. They are resourceful, visionary and creative.

INFJ – The “Confidant”

Confidants are complex, deep and intensely private. Their life’s mission is to develop and guide others. Personal growth drives them and anything short of that pursuit is meaningless to them. They are passionate about the causes they believe in.

INFP – The “Dreamer”

Dreamers are idealistic and deeply sensitive. They are characterized by their loyal and gentle nature. Beneath their easygoing disposition runs a passion for the causes they believe in and the people they selflessly care for. They are driven by their values and seek peace.

Famous NFs

Here is a list of famous NF Visionaries. For the full list of personality types of famous people please see this page.

  • King David
    King of Israel
  • Shakespeare
    Poet and Playwright
  • Peyton Manning
    NFL Quarterback
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
    Leader of Soviet Union
  • Dr. Seuss
    Writer, Cartoonist
  • Diane Sawyer
    Journalist
  • Nelson Mandela
    President of S. Africa
  • Martin L. King, Jr.
    Minister, Activist
  • Sandra Bullock
    Actress
  • Regis Philbin
    Television Personality
  • Charles Dickens
    Novelist
  • Upton Sinclair
    Author, Journalist
  • Mark Twain
    Writer
  • Robin Williams
    Actor
  • Bob Dylan
    Actor
  • Albert Schweitzer
    Theologian, Physician
  • Princess Diana
    Princess of Wales
  • Audrey Hepburn
    Actress
  • Helen Keller
    Author, Activist
  • Johnny Depp
    Actor
  • Dr. Doug Ross
    ER
  • Kevin Arnold
    Wonder Years
  • Luke Skywalker
    Star Wars
  • Tin Man
    Wizard of Oz
  • Calvin
    Calvin and Hobbes
  • Anne Shirley
    Anne of Green Gables
  • E.T.
    The Extra-Terrestrial

NF Career Matches

NFs are commonly skilled at and often find satisfaction with the following careers.

  • Social Worker
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Charity Worker
  • Activist/Advocate
  • Counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Human Resources
  • Trainer
  • Writer
  • Actor
  • Musician
  • Artist

NF Statistics

Here are some interesting facts about NFs. To learn more, please see this page.

  • NFs (Visionaries) make up only about 14% of the general population.
  • Female NFs outnumber male NFs nearly two to one, with males making up only about 5% of all people.
  • Many great idealist thinkers and leaders in the world have been NFs.

Personality Max has no connection to and is not in any way endorsed by David Keirsey.