Temperament psychology is one of the oldest methods of explaining human behaviour.

It refers to the ancient Greek theory of humorism. Each person contains four bodily fluids (humors) in varying proportions. Each humor represents a different temperament. It is these humors that give us the basis for temperament psychology:

  • Blood – Sanguine
  • Phlegm – Phlegmatic
  • Yellow bile – Choleric
  • Black bile – Melancholic

To understand these temperaments and humors in more basic terms:

  • Sanguine and Choleric can be described as ‘Extroverted Personalities’.
  • Phlegmatic and Melancholic can be described as ‘Introverted Personalities’.

So what exactly are the Four Temperament Psychology Types?



Main attributes:

  • Carefree, impulsive, talkative
  • Curious, energetic, sociable
  • Cheerful, optimistic, risk-taker
  • Prefers groups, makes friends easily and is outgoing
  • Easily bored, hates monotony, welcomes change
  • Changeable moods, has ups and downs

The Sanguine temperament personality type is known as ‘The Talker’.

They are typically extroverted and enthusiastic and have a wide circle of friends. Childlike at heart, they have an innocent curiosity about them. They don’t mind a frank discussion. They will often have deep and meaningful chats with their nearest and dearest. Embarrassment doesn’t bother them.

You’ll find them living a luxurious lifestyle. That’s because these types love the finer things in life. Whether its expensive cars, the best hotels, or designer clothes. Despite being decisive and extrovert, Sanguines prefer to follow rather than lead a group. They’re also pretty creative. This can be in any form, whether it’s art, poetry, music, writing, film-making, theatre or business.

Friends and Family

They love to be the centre of attention and they’ll have loads of friends. They’ll be the ones in the middle of a party, holding court with a crowd around them laughing. This personality type is kind and warm-hearted. People gravitate to Sanguines; they’re just like magnets. They prefer a wide circle of friends, rather than just a one or two best friends.

Love and Partners

Sanguines love anything to do with the senses. As such, they’ll want to take you to the best restaurants, view exotic artists, and go to unusual musical acts. In other words, experience life to the full. This is why, when it comes to dating and partners, they are better off with other Sanguines who can share their passion.

Negative Traits

Sanguines don’t place a lot of importance on punctuality. Invariably, Sanguines are always turning up late. As they are impulsive types, they can be susceptible to addiction. For example, gambling, smoking, drugs or alcohol.

Sanguines find boredom intolerable, so they inevitably seek out thrills or behaviours that appease it. This is another way they’re susceptible to addiction. Sanguines are fun-loving but forget they have responsibilities. Their feelings and desires come before duty or obligations.



Main Attributes:

  • Cool, calm, collected
  • Shy, reserved, distant
  • Deliberate, well-balanced, unassuming
  • Empathetic, kind, content with life
  • Easy-going, imaginative, relaxed
  • Slow, determined, overcautious, dislikes change

The Phlegmatic temperament type is known as ‘The Watcher’.

Typically reserved and quiet, these guys are in no rush. Actually, when I say guys, this temperament personality is most often a female. And a quiet, peaceful one at that. Quite the opposite to our Sanguine friends in fact.

The Phlegmatic type can be described as inoffensive and adaptable. They are good at seeing the bigger picture. Even so, despite the fact they avoid conflict, you’ll often find them mediating and getting people to compromise. They’ll use their clever wit to diffuse an awkward situation.

Friends and Family

This personality type has a lot of friends and stays close to their family. Tactile and affectionate, you could call them a ‘people person’. They strive for peace and unity. They want everything to be stable. As such, they’ll do everything in their power to get people to cooperate in order to achieve this.

Phlegmatic types are great knowledge-seekers. They, like our Sanguine friends, have a thirst and a curiosity about the world. However, Phlegmatic types use their knowledge as a way to help others. For example, training to become a doctor or therapist or working in social services.

Love and Partners

Phlegmatics take dating very seriously. They search for ‘The One’. Therefore, you won’t ever find them on a speed-dating scene. For them, dating means long-term commitment and then marriage. Once these types give themselves to another they form a deep and intimate bond. As a result, they need a partner that feels the same way.

Negative Traits

Phlegmatics are renowned for doing good things. However, they can become a little judgemental and self-righteous. They dislike conflict so much that this can lead to some passive-aggressive behaviour. This involves refusing to change or remaining uninvolved.

Pages 1/2

Copyright © 2012-2020 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

Like what you are reading?

Sign up to our list of over 50,000 subscribers and get thought-provoking updates to your inbox!

*We respect your privacy and promise we will never spam you with unwanted emails.