Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 89
Personality traits/temperament/personality traits/Ancient Philosophy/Deary:
Theophrastus (371–287 BCE) enumerated various typical human ‘characters’ that the translator also reckoned could be called traits (Rusten 1993)(1).
The humoral theory of bodily health, illness and personal wellbeing that can be traced to Hippocrates and Galen (Stelmack and Stalikas 1991)(2), and which held sway for about 1,500 years, described four temperaments, or personality types, which map rather well on to the quadrants provided by the two orthogonal dimensions of Neuroticism and Extraversion: melancholic, choleric, sanguine and phlegmatic.

1. Rusten, J. (ed.) 1993. 3astus: Characters. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
2. Stelmack, R. M. and Stalikas, A. 1991. Galen and the humour theory of temperament, Personality and Individual Differences 12: 255–63


Ian J. Deary, “The trait approach to personality”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Ancient Philosophy
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-04-22
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