“Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify” — Sydne J. Harrison.
According to Honors de Balzac, temperament is the thermometer of character. In other words, our character, behaviors, and personality are shaped by our temperament.
It is a reflection of our personality, emotions, belief system, and attitudes. Every human being possesses unique peculiarities and differences which come to play in their actions and reactions to events.
Temperament is the thermometer of our character.
This unique difference reflected by our actions and reactions to events is identified as temperament; and understanding exactly what your temperament is will enable you to know and forge a better relationship with yourself, understand your reactions to other people, and relate better with them.
What is Temperament?
Cambridge Dictionary defines temperament to be — the naturally predisposed combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person.
Temperament is an individual’s behavior or nature and it is manifested in their different feelings, response to situations, actions, temper, and so on.
In the field of psychology, temperament focuses on an individual’s characteristics, assumed to be biological and genetic(from birth), and has to do with an individual’s effective re-activity, self-regulatory, and motor responses to the stimuli around him/her which play a significant role in social functioning and interaction.
Rothbart in his book — Becoming Who You Are, wrote “Doug Derryberry and I defined temperament as constitutionally based individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation.”(Rothbart & Derryberry, 1981)
The term “constitutionally” refers to the biological basis of temperament. By reactivity, he meant how we are disposed to emotional, motor, and intentional reactions.
One’s disposition to a reaction can be measured by the latency, intensity, peak intensity of reaction, fear, approach, and the length of time it takes to recover from a reaction.