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

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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.

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