Modeling human temperament and character on the basis of combined theoretical approaches

Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Xenia Gonda

Research output: Article


Background: Although there are several models on the structure of human temperament, character and personality, the majority follow a single approach, providing a unilateral and overly theoretical construct which is unsuitable for clinical application. The current study aimed to develop a complex and comprehensive model of temperament and character by empirically combining relevant existing theories. Methods: The study included 734 healthy general population subjects aged 40.80 ± 11.48 years, who completed the TEMPS-A, TCI and NEO-PI-3 questionnaires. Data were analyzed in a multistep approach using Exploratory Factor analysis and forward stepwise linear regression. Results: The results yielded two highest order factors (Self and Self-Environment Interaction), six middle order factors (Emotional Self, Cognitive Self, Social Emotionality, Emotional and Cognitive Control, Ethical Emotionality and Behavior, Social Emotionality and Behavior) and 12 factors at the bottom (Ego Resiliency, Ego Strength, Intrapersonal Emotion, Personal Space Cognition, Interpersonal Cognition, Emotional Creativity, Externalized Interpersonal Emotion, Internalized Interpersonal Emotion, Emotional Motivation, Self-Discipline, Ethical Values and Ethical Behavior). Conclusions: The current study developed a complex hierarchical model of temperament and character on the basis of empirical data from several temperament theories. An important feature of the new temperamental model is the frequent admixture of emotional and cognitive processes within the same module. This model expands the field to include elements probably corresponding to meta-cognition mechanisms and complex interactions between affective and cognitive control, which may provide useful in understanding and treating affective disorders as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalAnnals of General Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - szept. 17 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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