Introduction to Temperaments

Temperaments in Cognitive Typology

Temperament in Cognitive Typology refers to the compound attitude (I/E/N/S/T/F) held in highest regard by an individual. It is related to preferences, as defined by the MBTI, since it is a measure of an individual’s preferred and most subjectively valued dimensions, and those most associated with the ego. It is the only aspect of CT theory that roughly corresponds to the MBTI 4 Letter Code, although it is effectively a 3 Letter code according to Carl Jung’s initial designations of type.

Temperament is unrelated to Energetic Quadrants, as temperament refers to the compounding of I+N+S+F+T in different arrangements, independent of what metabolic functions are generating those effects. For example, an FE temperament is the conjunction of the F+E attitudes, whether they are coming from “Fe” or from a combination of Te+Fi or some other pair. For example an INF temperament can come from an NiFe but also from a TiNe with their ego in Fe. A clear way to think of temperament is as relatability based on shared interest in attitudes, despite differences in functions. Temperaments in CT also have crossover with the Big Five personality traits, specifically with Extroversion (E/I), Openness (N/S) and Agreeableness (F/T). They also relate more broadly to other psychometric categories as found in the ProScan Survey and Keirsey Temperament Sorter.

The Limits of Temperaments

Temperaments are a very low resolution (8 categories) that does not capture the nuances of people’s information processing but instead describes a more pragmatic orientation to life in the form of habits and behaviors. For example, using temperaments an SiTe, NeTi and TiNe may all identify as INT or “INT(P)” but there will still be considerable differences among them in how they approach every set of information. Thus while all three will affiliate with INT, many of their personal idiosyncrasies, as caused by their processing differences, will fall through the cracks. Temperament is structurally restricted in its resolution, as it is a quantification of the most broad and superficial aspects of our personality.

It’s also important to note that not everyone has a temperament, and temperament is only ever noticeable when there’s a lack of integrating between dualities and a clear one-sidedness has developed. So a type such as an SeFi l–l (with conscious Se+Ni) may not lean significantly towards either S or N in temperament, although an SeFi l— is more likely to affiliate with the S attitude. Temperament is typically depreciated in Cognitive Typology as an insufficient method of describing people, although its is still acknowledged as an emergent effect of functions coming together.

Now temperament can bring groups of people together who wish to rally around a given interest, regardless of how their mental processing arrives at that destination. One way to think of temperament is as cross-quadrant relatability based on shared interest in attitudes, despite differences in functions. So a TiNe ll–, an NeFi l-l- and an SeTi l–l may all relate to the ENT temperament, even though they are in three different function quadrants. All three share an affinity for the E attitude, N attitude, and T attitude and may form a friend group around comic-con, video games and Dungeons & Dragons.