Category Archives: Temperament research

It’s a Slow Idea


Many people have asked why is Keirsey Temperament Theory not known broadly as “it should be.”

For a long time, I couldn’t give a good answer.

The answer is: “It’s a Slow Idea.”

My father outlines “The History of Madness”  in his lectures.  And the Wholistic Theory of Madness is a slow idea, its roots going back to over a century with my father adding the idea of Temperament in the last half century.   Fast Ideas about “madness” have been around since Homo Sapens possessed language.

The roots of the Idea of Keirsey Temperament also go back to ancient times.

In addition, there is the idea of: Slow Ideas <=> Fast Ideas

The root of this idea appeared just recently, thanks to Atul Gawande.

Continue reading It’s a Slow Idea

The Binding Counselor

“He was frail and drained of energy;
his eyes were dull, his face contorted with pain

— and I was, frankly, worried about his health.
Was this drawn and ailing man slumped in a wheelchair the legendary healer I had read about?
Had I come west on a wild goose chase? ” [The Voice (Kindle Locations 70-71)]

Yes, he was the legendary psychotherapist.  Wild goose chase? — maybe, actually in retrospect, no ambiguity here.

“Dr. Erickson asked to be excused, and then, about an hour later, I was astonished to see him wheel himself back into his study, fully alert and revitalized, cheerful, eyes twinkling, ready to get to work.”  [The Voice (Kindle Locations 72-73)]


A Paradox.

“Dr. Erickson encouraged me to continue my studies and develop my own ideas and techniques, both for my own therapy and for my patients. This respect for my ability to find my own best solutions was fundamental to Dr. Erickson’s philosophy of healing, and was one of the most important lessons he taught me in our time together. In this and in so many ways, his tutelage and sensitivity were nothing less than inspiring.”  — Brian Alman [The Voice (Kindle Locations 82-85).]

A Counselor.

Continue reading The Binding Counselor

The Double Edged Sword of Temperament

There are always peaks and valleys encountered in one’s life journey in time and space.


“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends.
But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy
is the quintessence of true religion”
Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Get action. Do things; be sane;
don’t fritter away your time; create, act,
take a place wherever you are and be somebody;
get action.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Fix reason firmly in her seat,
and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.”
Thomas Jefferson

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain
what I consider the most enviable of all titles,
the character of an honest man.”
George Washington

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Well, the road to the heavens is also paved with good intentions and bad intentions.  Because we never know, and never will know, the side effects of our actions that we in-tend — for our actions are ex-tensions that we can’t at-tend to, by definition.

And all of us have good intentions, in beginning, at least, and many still have good intentions to the end.

However, most people don’t enjoy directly dealing in the negative – they don’t like to think or talk about negative things, about themselves,

and sometimes others

Continue reading The Double Edged Sword of Temperament


That’s what he was asking him-self.


Why was his father so violent?

And Why — didn’t — he become violent?

He wasn’t as interested in who, when, where, or what: but why.  To answer the why, he also had to come up with the how — individuals become violent.

In asking these why questions, and researching for answers, he ended up with a useful and profound answer.

His answer is on the nature and nurture of the SELF: The Self as Soliloquy. And we all have a SELF.


But that’s not the whole story….

Continue reading Why?

Keirsey Research 2012 Election Tracking Poll: Obama Gets “F’s”, Romney Fails

Okay, I’ll admit up front to a bit of hyperbole with the headline, but this month we diced the numbers differently and have a slightly different spin.  But once again, before I get into the numbers, to try to head off the typical vitriolic commentary we see on any site that publishes anything connected to the election, here are the disclaimers:

  • This is a scientific poll.  We select respondents randomly, although there is self selection (as there is in any poll) in that every participant has completed the Keirsey Temperament Sorter-II at, and therefore has at least some interest in gaining self-awareness.
  • However, we do our best to correct for bias by including temperament in our screening factors.  That is, we do not allow for over representation by any of the 4 temperaments.
  • Polls represent preferences.  In the extremes between the two candidates, Idealist women vastly prefer President Obama, Guardian men prefer Governor Romney.  But, there are still plenty of Idealist women who prefer Governor Romney, and Guardian men who prefer President Obama.  So, if you post a rant below accusing the poll of being wrong or biased because you personally fall on the short side of a range, you will just look foolish.
  • Once again, well reasoned comments that focus on the Keirsey Temperament Theory aspect of the article are welcome.  I will delete ad hominem attacks on both the candidates and other posters  – to post these, please visit Yahoo News.

Now, on the to the meat and potatoes.  First off: the over all numbers really haven’t changed

Continue reading Keirsey Research 2012 Election Tracking Poll: Obama Gets “F’s”, Romney Fails

Keirsey Research 2012 Election Tracking Poll: The Temperament Gap Holds Steady

The Keirsey Research 2012 Presidential election tracking poll continues to show a consistent gap when comparing the preferences of the 4 Temperaments.  In a nutshell, if only Guardian men were allowed to vote, Mitt Romney would easily be elected as the next president of the United States.  Unfortunately for him, no such restriction exists, and the overwhelming preference of Idealists and Rationals, as well as marked preference of all Artisans and of Guardian women, is Barack Obama.  We have sliced and diced the data in many directions this month, with graphs and charts to help explain what is going on, and why Romney faces such an uphill battle to November.

First, a short word about our poll and validity.  Since we analyze and present our data with a Temperament stratification, we have received a number of emails from readers questioning our results.  These emails usually take the form of, “Your data shows that [ex] Idealist women strongly favor Obama.  I’m an Idealist woman, and I am voting for Ron Paul.  Your data is wrong!”

To start, this is a poll.  It shows that just as there are Guardian men who are planning to vote for Obama, there are Idealist women who are planning to vote for Romney (or Ron Paul).  Those are the smaller bars on the charts.  The data indicates the preferences of the majority of voters, not that all people of a particular group will vote identically.  Our poll is statistically valid to within 1-2% at it’s highest level, ie the entire sample of 1000 US registered voters who are planning on voting in the upcoming election.  At the individual temperament / gender level, it is accurate to +/- 5%, as each of these groups is a smaller subset of the 1000.  However, since we are running a tracking poll, and the results have been consistent now for 3 months, our confidence level is very high.  But back to the individual noting that they are an outlier of the majority of their Temperament group, I will give a specific example – Dave Keirsey and I are both Rational males.  We don’t plan on voting for the same candidate.  Each of us, in our heart, thinks of the other as an outlier.  So it goes.  (The fact that everyone in our poll has enough of an interest in self-awareness to spend 10-15 minutes taking the KTS-II may introduce some bias into the poll, but as you will see our representation by political party mirrors the US general population, so we have satisfied ourselves that interest in self awareness is not limited by political belief).

On to the results.  The poll was conducted during the first week of July 2012.  The sampled participants are representative of the 2010 US Census data by sex, age, and geographical region. Continue reading Keirsey Research 2012 Election Tracking Poll: The Temperament Gap Holds Steady

Keirsey Research Poll: The Temperament and Gender Gap Is Bad News For Mitt Romney

The Gender and Temperament Gaps we saw in our April poll are consistent. President Obama still commands a large lead over Governor Romney among women, Idealists, and Rationals. In fact, the only segment of the US voting population that favors Romney is Guardian men. The two candidates are evenly balanced among Artisan men.

We initially randomly surveyed 1000 adult US registered voters who are planning on voting in November between May 28 and June 1. The sample population was balanced according to US 2010 Census data by age group, gender, and geographic region. Our data showed such a wide gap between the two candidates that we ran the poll again during the week of June 5-10. The results of both polls were consistent. These results vary substantially from most current polls that show Obama and Romney virtually tied. But, we stand on our numbers – for our thoughts on why this gap exists, see our previous article:  The Last Accurate Poll?

The poll results are presented below in 2 graph forms – bar graphs showing the results of the June 5-10 poll, and line charts showing the tracking from the first poll (May 28-June 1) to the second. We will continue to run our poll on a monthly basis (or ad hoc interim polls if events warrant), so the tracking graphs will show changes as we get closer to the election.

Continue reading Keirsey Research Poll: The Temperament and Gender Gap Is Bad News For Mitt Romney