Why Four Temperaments?

Why four temperaments?

Good question: Why are there only four temperaments?  How can we know that four is the right number?  Could there be ten or hundreds of temperaments?  Alternatively, could it be something else besides temperament that lies at the core of who we are?  If some supreme being were to shake the universe and in a deep authoritative voice announce, “four temperaments and only four,”  that would be impressive.  In fact, it would probably even be believable for most of us, perhaps.

Can we scientifically test somehow to determine if there are only four temperaments?

Can we test humans to scientifically determine the number of different temperaments?  No.  Because how can you scientifically test something that isn’t matter or energy?  Certainly not scientifically.  Science is limited to testing matter and energy and then speculating about what we can’t test.  

Do you recall that science advances one funeral after another?  In other words, the nature of science is to progress from current knowledge, through mistakes, to apparent certainty.  In short, until all relevant facts are known and repeatably tested, there is no final answer.  As a result, we are all left still on the road to certainty.  

Weighing the available evidence of four temperaments.

However, there’s another path that leads to knowing.  It’s called “weighing the available evidence.”  So what evidence is there for four temperaments? 

To begin with, consider the compelling story of over 28 centuries of consistent observation of how humans have been designed, which returns consistently to four clearly observable temperaments. 

Similarly, as science keeps adding or refining its observations over the vast span of recorded history, we have refined our understanding of ourselves.  We observe four variations of each temperament.  We call those variations the sixteen types.  In other words, we observe the same four temperaments, but four variations for each of the four temperaments, totaling sixteen variations.  

Applying the scientific method

In addition, the method often used to find answers repeatedly observes and tests probable theories of how one can describe humans.  Then, those theories are repeatedly tested against the mounting evidence — whatever it continues to indicate.  Finally, an assessment of the mounting and now super-abundant evidence provides an opportunity for a firm decision to be made. 

I have just described what we call the scientific method.  It seeks to understand how we are made at the core by thoughtful people reporting the result of their own subjective evaluations.  Many of these folk are among the greatest minds of the ages. 

What’s more, many like myself, who have been using temperament for decades can testify to the accuracy of temperament.  We’ve seen multiple hundreds of cases of people who have verified how they have been designed deep on the inside (their temperament).  As a result of this new self-awareness, they have awakened to a life-changing understanding and application of what they have verified of themselves.  

A response to your objection

Objection:  You say that I used the word “subjective.” How can we trust subjective evaluations?  

To this, we can respond, “You tell me of any other way of evaluating subjective issues than evaluating subjective evidence?”  Subjective evidence’s value lies in its strength.  Therefore, consistent results over centuries, in different cultures, and from all walks of life provide overwhelming evidence for its validity.  

Why is this story so compelling?  

  1. In different cultures and many countries, the repeated results add up to a multitude of witnesses verifying its truth.  The variety covers a vast array of personages from Hippocrates and Plato to the present day.  
  2. Granted, no one can know exactly how many people have discovered their temperament.  But in the last five decades, the estimation is that at least 60 million people have identified their temperament as one of four.  They have claimed the unique design of their inner core, the central driving factors shaping their lives.   
  3. In 1927, Roback’s A Bibliography of Character and Personality listed over 5,000 reports establishing the importance of understanding what we now call temperament.  The sheer volume of writings about it helps us understand how much interest there has been in temperament over the centuries.  
  4. People see themselves in a refreshing, life-changing light as the core of who they are becomes strikingly apparent to them.  They include people from all walks of life.
  5. Also, consider that great novelists have cast their characters according to the four temperaments.  The realism of their characters has added to their success as outstanding novelists.  (A fascinating read is Stephen Montgomery’s three volumes, The Pygmalion Project – The Artisan, The Guardian, and The Idealist). 
  6. In addition, there is the success of applying this knowledge. It gives direction, confirmation, and illumination.  It adds practical application to the solving of many issues and problems that life habitually throws at us.  
  7. Finally, you can verify this compelling story.  Add to the evidence of its dominant success for yourself by completing the InnerKinetics Temperament Key to discover how it reveals your true self.  (Of course, it is dependent on honest answers.  So, follow the instructions at the link that will direct you through the quick assessment.) 

Evidence speaks and YOU are its source

As previously stated, the evidence is compelling, as it reveals the pattern of how we think, feel, and act: our particular individual temperament.  No one is telling you what temperament you are.  You are telling us.  Your answers to the temperament key lead to your temperament’s revelation.  But remember, we still all remain unique individuals.  Our similarity to others leads us to a goldmine of how we function and are designed.  

Indeed, this concept of our uniqueness and how we function would not have survived if it were not true.  Nor would it have multiplied through the ages if it were not true.  It awaits your personal verification.


Lean into the whole truth.  Discover the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are.  Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth.  Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide that help.  If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation.  An InnerKinetics consultant will call you to answer questions and schedule your meeting. Schedule an Initial Consultation. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.

Who Am I?In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans.  You can get your copy HERE.  (Psst!  Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)


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