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).
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.
SJ Temperament – The Protector
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.
They 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.
Here is a list of famous protectors. See the full list of personality types of famous people here.
- Warren BuffetInvestor, Businessman
- Harry TrumanAmerican President
- Queen Elizabeth IIQueen of England
- Lyndon B. JohnsonAmerican President
- John D. RockefellerIndustrialist
- Sam WaltonFounder of Walmart
- Rev. Billy GrahamEvangelist, Writer
- Alfred TennysonPoet
- George W. BushAmerican President
- William McKinleyAmerican President
- Don KnottsComedian
- Sally FieldActress
- Jack BennyComedian, Actor
- Terry BradshawFootball Player
- Mary Tyler Mooreactress, comedian
- George WashingtonAmerican President
- Herbert HooverAmerican President
- Evander HolyfieldBoxer
- Barbara BushAmerican First Lady
- Robert E. LeeU.S. Army Officer
- Jimmy StewartActor
- Cliff ClavinCheers
- Rachel LyndeAnne of Green Gables
- Joe FridayDragnet
- Princess LeiaStar Wars
- Dr. WatsonSherlock Holmes
- Lucy van PeltPeanuts Comic
- Donald DuckDisney Character
SJ Career Matches
SJs are commonly skilled at and often find satisfaction with the following careers.
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.
SP Temperament – The Creator
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.
Creators 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.
Here are some famous SP personality types. See the full list of personality types of famous people here.
- Lucille BallActress (I Love Lucy)
- Jack NicholsonActor
- MadonnaSinger, Actress
- Simon PeterDisciple of Jesus
- Ernest HemingwayNovelist
- Eddie MurphyActor, Comedian
- Elizabeth TaylorActress
- Donald TrumpBusinessman
- Elvis PresleySinger, Actor
- Bill ClintonAmerican President
- Michael JordanBasketball Player
- Pablo PicassoPainter, Sculptor
- Kyle PettyNASCAR Driver
- Marie AntoinetteQueen of France
- Ronald ReaganAmerican President
- Marilyn MonroeActress, Singer
- Chuck YeagerU.S. Air Force Pilot
- James DeanActor
- Bruce LeeMartial Artist, Actor
- Jacqueline KennedyAmerican First Lady
- Vincent VegaPulp Fiction
- Maggie FitzgeraldMillion Dollar Baby
- Homer SimpsonThe Simpsons
- Louie DePalmaTaxi
- Sonny CorleoneThe Godfather
- James BondJames Bond Films
- Tim TaylorHome Improvement
SP Career Matches
SPs are commonly skilled at and often find satisfaction with the following careers.
- Sales Agent
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.
NT Temperament – The Intellectual
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.
NTs 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.
Some famous NTs are listed below. See the full list of personality types of famous people here.
- Thomas EdisonInventor
- Margaret ThatcherBritish Prime Minister
- Franklin RooseveltAmerican President
- Harrison FordActor
- Thomas JeffersonAmerican President
- Julia ChildChef, Author
- Walter RaleighWriter, Poet, Explorer
- Nikola TeslaInventor, Physicist
- Bill GatesMicrosoft Founder
- Sir Isaac NewtonAstronomer
- Jane AustenAuthor
- C. S. LewisApologist, Author
- SchwarzeneggerActor, Calif. Governor
- Walt DisneyEntrepreneur
- Lance ArmstrongCyclist
- Meryl StreepActress
- Carl JungPsychiatrist
- Albert EinsteinPhysicist
- Abraham LincolnAmerican President
- SocratesGreek Philosopher
- Susan B. AnthonyCivil Rights Leader
- GandalfLord of the Rings
- ‘Doc’ BrownBack to the Future
- Cosmo KramerSeinfeld
- Bugs BunnyLooney Tunes
- Mr. DarcyPride and Prejudice
- Michael CorleoneThe Godfather
- DataStar Trek
NT Career Matches
NTs are commonly skilled at and often find satisfaction with the following careers.
- Systems Analyst
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.
NF Temperament – The Visionary
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.
As 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.
Here is a list of famous NF Visionaries. For the full list of personality types of famous people please see this page.
- King DavidKing of Israel
- ShakespearePoet and Playwright
- Peyton ManningNFL Quarterback
- Mikhail GorbachevLeader of Soviet Union
- Dr. SeussWriter, Cartoonist
- Diane SawyerJournalist
- Nelson MandelaPresident of S. Africa
- Martin L. King, Jr.Minister, Activist
- Sandra BullockActress
- Regis PhilbinTelevision Personality
- Charles DickensNovelist
- Upton SinclairAuthor, Journalist
- Mark TwainWriter
- Robin WilliamsActor
- Bob DylanActor
- Albert SchweitzerTheologian, Physician
- Princess DianaPrincess of Wales
- Audrey HepburnActress
- Helen KellerAuthor, Activist
- Johnny DeppActor
- Dr. Doug RossER
- Kevin ArnoldWonder Years
- Luke SkywalkerStar Wars
- Tin ManWizard of Oz
- CalvinCalvin and Hobbes
- Anne ShirleyAnne 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
- Charity Worker
- Human Resources
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.