What is My Temperament?

Take this quiz to find out!

What’s your personal temperament? Are you more introverted or outgoing? Emotional or analytical? In ancient Greece, it was believed that bodily fluids, or humors, influenced a person’s personality. Based on those humors, people can be classified into 4 distinct temperaments: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

While these concepts aren’t considered factual or used in psychology anymore, discovering your primary temperament can still be a fun way to learn more about yourself—or, at least, what ancient physicians would’ve said about you! Hit “Start Quiz” for a fun and easy way to help you better understand your distinctive temperament.

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Questions Overview

1. Would you say you’re more extroverted or introverted?
  1. I’m extremely extroverted! I love chatting with strangers and getting to know them.
  2. I’m fairly extroverted. I really like being the leader of my friend group.
  3. I’m extremely introverted. There’s nothing better than peace and quiet.
  4. I’m fairly introverted, but I love being around my family and friends.
2. Which type of job best suits you?
  1. Travel writer. I want to get out there and see the world.
  2. CEO of a company. Whatever I do, I want to be the boss.
  3. Artist. I love being able to think outside the box.
  4. Counselor. I hope to help others through my work.
3. How would you describe your typical energy levels?
  1. Extremely high! I have way more energy than many people I know.
  2. Fairly high. As a go-getter, I'm usually energetic and on top of things.
  3. Average. My energy levels remain fairly stable most of the time.
  4. Low. I’m super mellow and prefer to go with the flow.
4. Do you ever feel the need to please others?
  1. In a way. I’m a positive person, and I like spreading that positivity.
  2. Nope. I don’t really think about that too much.
  3. I worry about pleasing myself more. My inner critic can be pretty harsh.
  4. Yes, I’m always thinking about others' needs—often before my own.
5. What are your financial habits like?
  1. I buy stuff on impulse a lot. What can I say? I like nice things.
  2. I’m good at money management, but I’ll spend big on important things.
  3. I plan everything to a T, including my finances, so I’m pretty frugal.
  4. I tend to overspend on gifts for the people I care about.
6. Do you consider yourself a spontaneous person?
  1. Yes. I like doing things on a whim and making spur-of-the-moment decisions.
  2. Not at all. I like routines because they help me achieve success in my life.
  3. Not really. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I prefer routines when possible.
  4. Not always, but I can be indecisive—so I do end up changing my mind a lot.
7. How do you react to conflicts?
  1. I try to ease the tension with my wit and upbeat attitude.
  2. I stand up for myself, though I can get a little defensive at times.
  3. I tend to isolate myself. Strong emotions easily overwhelm me.
  4. I try to keep the peace. I just want everyone to get along.
8. Do you feel like it’s easy for you to make friends?
  1. Yes! I’ve always had a lot of friends. Meeting people is so much fun!
  2. Sometimes. I'm not shy, but I don't always connect with everyone on a deep level.
  3. No, but once I make a friend, they’re stuck with me for life.
  4. Generally, yes. I’m easy to talk to, so people like opening up to me.
9. Do you get angry very often?
  1. Sometimes, but I’m a happy-go-lucky person, so anger fizzles out fast.
  2. Yes. I have a pretty volatile temper, and I lash out if I feel provoked.
  3. No, I don’t anger easily—but when I do, I feel it very intensely.
  4. No, and I actively avoid it. Even when I’m upset, I try to stay calm.
10. Emotionally, I tend to be:
  1. Cheerful and optimistic.
  2. Self-assured and feisty.
  3. Introspective and moody.
  4. Calm and empathetic.
11. Do you get bored easily?
  1. Yes, very easily. I’m always looking for something new to do.
  2. No. My to-do list is endless! After meeting one goal, I move to the next.
  3. Never. Being alone is enjoyable for me, and I always have a lot on my mind.
  4. Not often. I rely on the people in my life for happiness and engagement.
12. What kind of friend are you?
  1. I’m a fun, outgoing friend who’ll encourage you to try something new.
  2. I’m an assertive friend who makes all the plans and will always stand up for you.
  3. I’m a reliable friend—always there when you need me and loyal to a fault.
  4. I’m a sympathetic, supportive friend who always has a shoulder for you to cry on.

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History of the 4 Bodily Humors & Temperaments

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, history’s renowned “Father of Medicine,” first came up with the idea that certain fluids in the human body—called “humors”—could affect a person’s moods and behavior. He identified 4 humors: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. While Hippocrates was incorrect in his belief that bodily fluids could alter moods, he was the first noted physician to investigate human behavior on a biological level rather than attributing all of it to the gods and fate.

Over the years, other notable figures like the Greco-Roman physician and philosopher Galen built on the theory. Galen theorized that each of the 4 humors influenced a different set of personality traits in addition to a person’s overall health. According to him, maintaining a healthy equilibrium of all 4 humors resulted in a well-balanced personality.

The 4 bodily humors and temperaments can be classified as follows:

The sanguine temperament is linked to blood. In fact, “sanguine” is actually the Latin word for blood. According to Galen, individuals with a sanguine temperament often have talkative, free-spirited, extroverted, and imaginative personality traits. On the downside, they have a tendency to be chaotic and easily distracted.

The phlegmatic temperament is linked to phlegm. Phlegm is the mucus that is often secreted in your lungs and airways when you have a cold. While it’s unpleasant to deal with, in this instance, Galen connected it to having a calm and easygoing personality. Phlegmatic people also tend to be slow-moving, passive, and prefer fixed lifestyles.

The choleric temperament is linked to yellow bile. Yellow bile, or gall, is stored in the gallbladder and released from the liver for the purpose of helping your body digest food. In terms of personalities and temperaments, Galen believed that yellow bile symbolized a fiery, ambitious, and short-tempered personality. Choleric individuals have a lot of enthusiasm but tend to overwhelm others on their path to success.

The melancholic temperament is linked to black bile. “Melancholy” is a common word for sadness and depression today, but that’s not entirely what having a melancholic temperament is about. In truth, “black bile” is actually just bile; ancient physicians may have seen bile around blood-rich organs like the spleen and kidneys, leading them to believe there was a distinct 4th humor.

Galen theorized that melancholic people were reserved, thoughtful, cautious, and deeply introverted. Because this personality type is also thought to be easily overwhelmed by the ups and downs of life, melancholic individuals can be moody and pessimistic.

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    Jun 15

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