Galen's Personality Theory

The theory was created around 2000 BC. It is one of the oldest personality theories around. 









Galen's inspiration came from the four elements which include fire, earth, water, and air. As well as Ancient Greek medicine and philosophy. Galen associated the four temperaments to humors. The temperaments include warm, cold, moist, or dry. The combinations of warm and moist, warm and dry, cold and dry or cold and moist are the dominated combos. The humors include sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic. A temperament is the combo of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics of a person. A humor refers to personality. Sanguine is optimistic. Its' fluid is blood. Its corresponding trait is openness to experience. Choleric is irritable. Its' bodily fluid is yellow bile. Its' corresponding trait is agreeableness. Melancholic is depressed. Its' bodily fluid is black bile. Its' corresponding trait is neuroticism. Phlegmatic is calm. Its' bodily fluid is phlegm. Its' corresponding trait is neuroticism. Humors' also corresponded with the weather. Sanguine corresponds with spring. Choleric corresponds with summer. Melancholic corresponds with autumn. Phlegmatic corresponds with winter.  
Galen used temperaments to refer to bodily dispositions. Bodily dispositions determined a person's susceptibility to certain diseases. The overall concept of Galen's theory is that each type is believed due to the surplus of one of the bodily fluids in which is in agreement to their character. This theory is used in accomplice to medical theories. If your humors and temperaments are in balance it means that you are healthy. Galen believed that if there was an excess or deficit of one of the humors it is cause by disease and disability. Deficits can be cause by vapors that were taken in by the body. 

The weaknesses to this theory is that it is over simplistic. It fails to notice the multi-dimensional and continuous nature of personality traits. Also individual differences is more quantitive and not qualitive. Critics believe that one of the weaknesses is that it is missing a temperament. They believe there should be a fifth one. The theory is now discredited. The strengths to this theory is that it is person-centered. It is also simple. It is useful when completing a personality type profile. It also helps in improving how people get along.

Galens' theory  seeks to explain personality and medical information such as diseases. The sanguine temperament is impulsive. People who have this enjoy making new friends and love to daydream. They are not shy. They do not lack in confidence. They are also very creative. The downfall is that they tend to be late, doesn't finish tasks, and tends to be forgetful. The choleric temperament is leader-like. They have a lot of ambition. They have the ability to dominate people of other temperaments. They tend to be controlling. They can either be extremely organized or extremely disorganized.  They also tend to have mood swings. The melancholic temperament tend to be thoughtful. They are very considerate and have the tendency to worry a lot. They are very creative. They find the tragedy and cruelty in the world interesting. They are perfectionists. They are independent. Sometimes they can be so involved with what they are doing that they forget others. The phlegmatic temperament tents to be relaxed. They can be  attentive or sluggish. They can be shy. They prefer stability over uncertainty. They are affectionate and can be very accepting of others. They are not a fan of change.
They like consistency.  


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