Do you have any idea what your personality type is? No, we are not talking about your introduction. In the four planes of personality, on which ones do you reside? Oh, you have no idea what this is? Step right up. Let’s have a little fun.
Keirsey, David (31AUG21- )
World War II veteran David Keirsey took a psychology book with him from post to post. After the war, he went to Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University to study anthropology, sociology, psychology, ethology and biology. The scientific cocktail fueled his investigation into the four personality types he traced back to observations of Aristotle, Hippocrates and Plato.
Working as an educational psychologist in correction facilities for youth, Keirsey refined his behavior observation techniques. Over the course of the 1950s and ’60s, he developed a theory which he published in the book Please Understand Me, in 1978. Keirsey defines 16 personality types within four classes.
In 1998, Keirsey published Please Understand Me II. It tackles the social psychology of personality types’ effects on mating, parenting, intelligence and leading.
Although based on similar ideals as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator™, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter™ translates into many different personality applications beyond occupational identity, to include love patterns, educational styles, organizational dynamics and more. It has been taken by more than 40 million people over the last 40 plus years, and its results have been used in non-profit, government, corporate and education settings worldwide.
Keirsey states the personality types are not merely collections of traits, but rather are products of the interaction between our words and deeds based on our observable behavior…in short, what we do and what we say. Each kind of personality has different strengths and weaknesses. Each contributes differently to occupations and society, while satisfying different personal needs.
Actions are broken into Utilitarian and Cooperative. Communication is split into Concrete and Abstract. The four kinds of personalities are based on the combinations of the two:
The Concrete Cooperators speak about their jobs, duties and responsibilities. They are careful planners who oversee and tend processes until results are complete. Guardians follow rules, obey laws and respect others’ rights.
The Concrete Utilitarians talk about the here and now, what they can see and touch in the moment. They do whatever it takes to get the quickest satisfaction, even when it means bending or breaking the rules.
The Abstract Cooperators speak of what is possible and their hopes. In keeping with their consciences, they attempt to meet goals without compromising their codes of ethics.
The Abstract Utilitarians talk of the solutions they envision to the problem of interest at the moment. They act efficiently to satisfy goals and are pragmatic about ignoring capricious rules in the pursuit.
Whilst everyone can identify in themselves one or more of the traits of all four personalities, one will surface as the most fitting during the Keirsey Temperament Sorter™ because subjects answer the questions as they see fit, rather than how they envision others seeing them.
The 16 kidneys can be grouped by fours, with one group under each class of personality.
- Field Marshall
Each of the 16 kidneys are based on four defining principles and represents a singular combination.
- Introvert vs. Extrovert
- Thinking vs. Feeling
- Sensing vs. Intuitive
- Judging vs. Providing
No one readily chooses one over the other after the first choice of introvert or extrovert. Most people feel they are a combination of the two choices. While that is true, one personality trait will prevail over the others through the Keirsey analysis.
Why would you want to know what your temperament is? You could…
- Find compatible friends and significant others for longer-lasting relationships.
- Understand workplace dynamics to avoid office politics.
- Create team synergy.
- Identify habitual behavior to affect change.
- Lead or follow to effectively expedite results.
- Release tension by identifying wrong fits in relationships and occupations.
- Stop sabotaging your own success.
- Identify learning style.
- Realize the logical progression of your own behavior.
- Observe others to adjust your approach to problems you must jointly solve.
If you want to do anything on the list, knowing yourself is the first line of offense.
Want to know how your words and actions hold up to what you believe your personality is? Kick the tires. Take it for a test drive. Let’s compare notes. Go to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter™ and see if you are a guardian, idealist, rational or artisan. It only takes a few minutes, and your report is free. Oh, and it is fun.
Did you take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter or have you taken it before? What personality class are you? Can you see yourself in the psychological description? Had you heard of David Keirsey or his work in social psychology before?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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