Temperament theory has its roots in the ancient theory of HUMOURISM. Greek physician Hippocrates  (460–370 BC) who developed it into a medical theory. He believed that certain human moods, emotions, and behaviours were caused by an excess or lack of body fluids (called “humours”), which he classified as blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Galen (AD 129 – c. 200) developed the first typology of temperament in his dissertation De temperamentis, and searched for physiological reasons for different behaviours in humans. He classified them as hot/cold and dry/wet taken from the four elements.There could also be “balance ” between the qualities, yielding a total of nine temperaments. The word “temperament” itself comes from Latin “temperare“, “to mix”. In the ideal personality, the complementary characteristics were exquisitely balanced among warm-cool and dry-moist. In four less-ideal types, one of the four qualities was dominant over all the others. In the remaining four types, one pair of qualities dominated the complementary pair; for example, warm and moist dominated cool and dry. These last four were the temperamental categories which Galen named “sanguine“, “choleric“, “melancholic“, and “phlegmatic” after the bodily humours. Each was the result of an excess of one of the humours which produced the imbalance in paired qualities.

However, in real life, most people have mixed temperaments when it comes to their own personal constitutional makeup, and those who are purely of a single temperament are relatively rare.  Some people can be quite mixed when it comes to their constitutional makeup, having each of the Four Temperaments substantially represented.Nevertheless, since our constitutional nature and temperament has a lot to do with our vulnerabilities or predisposition to certain types of pathology and disease, modern physicians simply leave the whole question of temperament to nothing more than asking the patient what diseases run in the family.  One’s temperament or constitutional makeup is generally inherited from one’s parents.

In order to qualify purely as one of the Four Temperaments, you need to have the vast majority of the different parameters being scored with the same letter.  As I said earlier, those who are pure types, or very nearly so, are relatively rare; these relatively pure types can follow the guidelines given in the one of the previous four pages that applies to their temperament in a simple, straightforward manner. 

However, most people tend to be of dual temperament, with one of the letters being the clear winner, with a strong secondary, and the other two getting left way down below somewhere; sometimes the primary and secondary temperaments can actually be quite close to each other in terms of their relative strength, or even tied with each other.  Still a few others will have three of the four letters relatively even and balanced, with the fourth lagging way behind – then their constitutional makeup is not distinguished by any strength or preponderance, but rather by a deficiency or weakness.  The rarest type of person is the one in whom all the Four Temperaments are relatively equal and balanced.

if you should be of a dual or mixed temperament, then there are basically three ways in which this can manifest.  First, the characteristics of each temperament can be perfectly blended, either as a kind of midpoint on a polarity or continuum, or as two colors are blended together to yield a third.  Secondly, you can have a kind of “patchwork quilt” blending of temperaments, in which your complexion will be of one temperament, and your digestive habits of another temperament, for example.  And finally, the two dual temperaments within you can be battling for supremacy, with first one of them in the ascendancy, then the other, often determined by exogenous factors like dietary indiscretions, environmental influences, etc…  Each of your dual temperaments, when provoked by the right factors, will come to the fore and assert itself.

A temperament blend is made up of one of the primary temperaments and also includes a secondary temperament that creates the blend. Working through this map will help you to better recognize the various temperament blends in the people you interact with. And with recognition, comes understanding. As a result, you will be in a better position to persuade and influence these people to your way of thinking in a variety of social situations.


Before you categorically categorise yourself, or feel you could easily fit into two of the temperaments, consider the following:

  • We’re all a combination of all four temperaments, but one dominates.
  • A true reflection of physical appearance is determined by how you look(ed) in your early 20s.
  • Don’t confuse habits with tendencies or preferences. For example, because ice is almost always served with cold drinks, you may believe that you like ice, on reflection cold drinks may not be your preference.
  • Personality traits should be identified when you’re relaxed and away from environmental factors that can alter personality, like a stressful work environment.
  • When evaluating personality traits, consider how other people see you, especially those who know you well like family and friends. For example, if you have a calm nature in general but can become very angry when seriously provoked, it doesn’t mean you have a bilious temperament (known to be short-tempered).


In the medical thinking of Avicenna, the father of Greco-Arabic or Unani Medicine, there could only be eight mixed or dual temperaments, even though, if you “do the math” and figure out all the possible combinations of two of the Four Temperaments, listing the primary temperament first and the secondary temperament second, you get the number twelve.  Obviously, from this grand total of twelve possible mixtures, Avicenna cast out four as being basically unstable or ephemeral in nature, and those were the mixtures involving temperaments that had the same primary or active quality of either Hot or Cold.  And so, Avicenna cast out any primary / secondary mixtures involving Choleric and Sanguine (both Hot), as well as Melancholic and Phlegmatic (both Cold).  In the first pairing, the doubled heat would dry up the moisture of the Sanguine Temperament, resolving to purely Choleric.  In the second pairing, the doubled Cold would condense the residual moisture of the Melancholic Temperament, resolving to purely Phlegmatic.  Although this is the traditional Unani viewpoint, you don’t have to accept it.

SANGUINE / Phlegmatic:  In this pairing of temperaments, moisture or wetness is stronger than in the purely Sanguine temperament, and the level of heat or warmth is considerably reduced, although still slightly to moderately warm.  Since the Wet quality is common to both of the mixed temperaments, not unduly aggravating excessive phlegm and dampness is more of a therapeutic consideration than it is for the purely Sanguine.  Edema and venous congestion impeding the return of Blood to the heart can also be a consideration, since venous Blood is colder in temperament than arterial Blood.  Digestion and pepsis are still basically good and hearty, but bogged down by more phlegm and dampness than in a purely Sanguine temperament.  The vascular and vital functions of Blood are still robust and dominant, but not as strongly as in a purely Sanguine temperament, as secondary Phlegmatic concerns are also present.

PHLEGMATIC / Sanguine:  
In this pairing of temperaments, the coldness and wetness of the Phlegmatic Temperament have taken the upper hand over the warmth and moisture of the Sanguine Temperament.  Phlegmatic issues such as phlegm congestion, digestive sluggishness, lymphatic congestion, water retention and edema will be primary concerns, even though they will not be as severe or pronounced as in a purely Phlegmatic temperament.  Similarly, the digestive and metabolic fires will be low, but not quite as low as they are in a purely Phlegmatic temperament, tending to generate more phlegm than blood, but not as severely so as it would be in a purely Phlegmatic temperament.

CHOLERIC / Melancholic:  In this pairing of temperaments, the heat and dryness of the Choleric Temperament has the upper hand over the colder dryness of the Melancholic Temperament.  Humorally speaking, this mixed temperament is characterized by excesses as well as pathological aggravations of both Black and Yellow Bile, with Yellow Bile predominating.  Accordingly, hotter, more vehement symptoms of GI inflammation, hyperacidity, ulceration, etc… will predominate over the more chronic and indolent manifestations of these disorders, although the heat and choler will be slightly cooler than that of a purely Choleric temperament.  When there aren’t any acute flareups, more chronic or indolent bilious disorders, of the Melancholic type, will linger in the background. 

MELANCHOLIC / Choleric:  
In this pairing of temperaments, the relative coolness, chronicity and indolence of the Melancholic humor and temperament have the upper hand over the relative heat, acuteness and vehemence of the Choleric.  Accordingly, acidity, ulceration and bilious upsets in the GI tract tend to be more towards the Melancholic end of the spectrum, although slightly more vehement and volatile than in a purely Melancholic temperament.  Chronic bilious disorders are common in those of this mixed temperament, and digestive conditions may be quite difficult to resolve, involving pathological forms of both Black and Yellow Bile.  This blending of temperaments is also more nervous, deficient and aesthenic in nature than the previous one, which tends to be more vehement and robust in its overall expression. 

CHOLERIC / Phlegmatic:  In this pairing of two contrary temperaments, the heat, expressiveness and volatility of the Choleric Temperament predominates, while the secondary Phlegmatic Temperament gives it more flourishing, fecund moisture than a purely Choleric temperament.  Although the core digestive and metabolic characteristics of the Choleric Temperament predominate, phlegm congestion and Phlegmatic weight gain and sluggishness can be secondary issues.  There can also be a propensity for morbid humoral accumulations involving both turbid dampness as well as putrefaction, purulence and pus formation, which can sometimes be discharged through the skin or a suitable orifice, such as the anus or the vagina.  A chief concern is the purification and detoxification of the vital fluids – the blood and lymph, as well as other serous fluids.  Psychologically, this mixed temperament can be particularly intense, combining Choleric expressiveness and volatility with Phlegmatic sentimentality and emotional depth. 

PHLEGMATIC / Choleric:  
In this pairing of two contrary temperaments, the wetness, torpor and sluggishness of the Phlegmatic Temperament prevails over the heat and volatility of the Choleric.  Although superficially, all seems to have a Phlegmatic placidity and stability, given the right conditions and provocation, Choleric flareups can come at any time, erupting from the watery depths of the dominant Phlegmatic nature.  And so, for example, although the usual digestive predisposition is towards a slow, lethargic digestive fire and phlegm accumulation in the stomach and GI tract, this temperament is not immune from occasional flareups of hyperacidity, acid reflux, etc…  The same goes for toxic or purulent conditions of the blood, lymph and other serous fluids – although eruptions and flareups are less frequent, they do happen under the right causes and conditions, and when they do, Phlegmatic dampness prevails over Choleric purulence and putrefaction.  Psychologically, although this dual temperament may have some emotional intensity, it is usually more subdued and deep seated, and less apparent. 

he previous two pairings of dual temperaments could be called the Cardinal or Extreme spectrum, since both of the temperaments concerned involve the extreme Cardinal elements of Fire and Water.  Since these two Cardinal elements drive all change, manifestation and physiological processes in the human organism, this pairing of temperaments is inherently volatile and dynamic, and can even be unstable, with first one temperament provoked, then the other.  There’s really no middle ground between Fire and Water, which represent the extremes of Yin and Yang according to the Greek system; combine them, and you produce steam, which is full of motive power and intensity.  The typical pattern for those of this pairing of mixed temperaments is to start out life hotter and more Choleric dominant, and then have the Phlegmatic heaviness and sluggishness accumulate with increased weight gain as one ages, and the metabolism and its vital fires start to wane.

SANGUINE / Melancholic:  In this pairing of temperaments, the Sanguine Temperament and its humor, Blood, which is the very essence of life, health and vitality, predominates, and the Melancholic Temperament and its humor, Black Bile, which is a sediment of Blood and the very antithesis of the Sanguine humor in its basic qualities and attributes, plays a secondary role.  As the first humor to arise from the second digestion in the liver, Blood could be called the first and greatest product of the liver; Black Bile, or the Melancholic humor, is stored in the spleen.  Therefore, this particular dual temperament is often characterized by digestive imbalances involving disharmonies between the liver (Blood) and the spleen (Black Bile).  It can also be characterized by residues of morbid Black Bile in the blood, which often unduly thicken the Blood and can also cause certain chronic skin conditions.  Balancing and harmonizing the digestive functions of the liver, spleen and stomach should be a key concern for those with this mixed temperament, as well as cleansing the Blood of residues of morbid Black Bile.

MELANCHOLIC / Sanguine:  
This pairing of mixed temperaments is closest to the Melancholic Temperament, with more Blood, and less of a tendency towards anemic and aesthenic conditions, than the purely Melancholic temperament.  The tendency towards Melancholic type digestive upset and disharmony is greater in this mixed temperament than in the previous one.  Also present is the Melancholic tendency towards arthritic and neuromuscular disorders, although not as severe as in the purely Melancholic Temperament.  The tendency towards chronic Blood dyscrasias  involving morbid residues of Black Bile is also there, with Black Bile predominating, with the same potential for chronic skin conditions.  Psychologically, in the previous mixed temperament, a Sanguine sense of optimism and wellbeing prevails, but with Melancholic dominance, a moody, withdrawn and nervous temperament is in the ascendancy. 

Since the previous two mixed temperaments both involve Blood, or the first humor to arise, which receives the richest, choicest share of nutrients from food and drink, as well as Black Bile, the last humor to arise, receiving the coarsest, poorest share of nutrients from food and drink, this pairing could be called the Nutritional polarity or spectrum.  As long as a nutritionally sound and complete diet is eaten, and the organs of the Natural Faculty, which involve the digestion and assimilation of vital nutrients, are in decent shape, there will be good health and an adequate supply of Blood; but with nutritional deprivation and nervous stress, the Melancholic component will be provoked or gain the ascendancy.  A common life pattern for those with this particular pairing of temperaments is to start out life towards the more robust, Sanguine end of the spectrum, and then as dietary and nutritional indiscretions, mounting worldly cares and stress, and the declining health and efficiency of the digestive organs increases past middle age, to move more towards the Melancholic end.



Each of the four branches of the Temperament Blends IQ Matrix explores three temperament blends that come in the form of very distinct patterns of behavior. The Temperament Blends IQ Matrix explores 12 temperament blends that are based on the work of John T. Cocoris.

Choleric temperament blends include the Executive, Director, and Strategist patterns. The Sanguine temperament blends include the Negotiator, Relater, and Performer patterns. The Phlegmatic temperament blends include the Inspector, Harmonizer, and Helper patterns. And the Melancholy temperament blends include the Trainer, Diplomat, and Analyst patterns. As you explore this map, you will become very familiar with the tendencies, motivations, and behavior of each temperament blend. You can then use this information to better influence and optimally guide people.

This map provides a roadmap and framework for understanding temperament blends and influencing people. Referencing it regularly and committing it to memory will help you to embed these concepts and ideas into your subconscious mind. A mind map, of course, does this beautifully because it mirrors the synaptic connections made in your brain as you try to establish new habits of thought and behavior. It brings together key concepts and ideas that help your brain to fully integrate and process this information. The brain, subsequently, rewires itself as it attempts to establish new habits of mind. It’s an ideal tool for creating lasting change and transformation.


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