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Psychology : Self-Improvement

Temperament, Character And The 4 Personality Types: Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholic

Temperament, Character And The 4 Personality Types: Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholic

by Anna Kardell
personality types, sanguine personality, phlegmatic, choleric, melancholic personality

Scientists say that about half of the human personality variations are defined by genetic factors. However, the personality is made up of two completely different traits: character and temperament. Most of us are a unique blend of four different personality types, and all these features are present in some degree in us. Some personality traits are still predominant and they largely dictate our basic personality.

The difference between character and temperament

Character traits are born out of our own life experiences, and are influenced by habits, preferences and values from our parents, society norms regarding the expression of love and hatred, of what others consider to be normal and acceptable and many other cultural aspects.

Temperament, unlike character, is the trait that balances your personality. Temperamental traits are inborn tendencies inherited from parents and are expressed in how one personally sees things, thinks and feels, being present from early childhood.

The 4 main types of personality

Since the time of ancient Greece it is known that there are four personality types: sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic. These four personality types are more or less present in all of us and define how we think, feel and behave.

Long ago, each of these personality types has been associated with the existence of a dominant present in body fluids: sanguine type – blood, phlegmatic - phlegm, choleric - yellow bile and melancholic type - black bile. Recent studies show that these four basic personality types are associated with certain chemicals such as dopamine for sanguine, estrogen for phlegmatic, testosterone for choleric and serotonin for melancholic.

Distinctive features of the 4 personality types


Sanguine type is characterized by spontaneity, optimism, enthusiasm, energy, flexibility in thinking, novelty seeking, impulsivity and curiosity. All these features are associated with specific genes affected by the levels of dopamine. Such people usually have expressive faces. Their favorite words are'' adventure'','' energy'' ,'' fun'','' activity'','''travel”.


Phlegmatic personality type is defined primarily by social skills, ability to express feelings and to read other people through facial expressions and body language. Phlegmatic are great at connecting facts and have the ability to see the "big picture" of an issue or situation. They have a great capacity for empathy, care of others, are agreeable and emotionally expressive. Some of these features are related to estrogen, which is present in both women and men. From the physical point of view, phlegmatic types have smooth skin, full lips, round face and small nose. Their favorite words are "passion", "passionate", "sensitivity" and "sweet".


Choleric is associated with the level of testosterone in the body, which is also present in both men and women. Choleric people are focused directly on the task to carry out, are tough, analytical, logical and have a greater capacity to develop strategies. Physically, they often have square jaws, high cheekbones and large foreheads. They often use words like "intelligence", "ambition", "challenge".


Those who are part of the melancholic type tend to be calm, loyal and tidy. Melancholic types are cautious and always following the conventional rules of society. This personality type is related to serotonin. Their favorite words are "family", "loyal", "respect", "care", "values" and "moral".

In order to better understand yourself, I encourage you to take the following 5 free personality tests.

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