Appreciating Differences - MBTI - Jack Falt - Ottawa area, Ontario, Canada

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Book Review by Jack Falt

Partow, Donna, A Woman's Guide to Personality Types: Enriching Your Family relationships by Understanding the Four Temperaments, Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1998, 2002, ISBN 0-7642-2547-2,  265 pp incl. tear-out cards with key points about each 'temperament.' B(Originally published under the title A Woman's Guide to the Temperaments)

This book was promoted by so I assumed that it was a Keirsey/Berens related temperament book. However, it turns out to be one of the other 'temperament' systems that is out there. (I've put quotes around the word 'temperament' to indicate that it is not the same as temperament described by Keirsey.) This particular system claims to be based on the four temperaments of Hippocrates, but it veers off in a different direction, and comes up with quite different descriptions. The originator of this system was Dr. Tim LaHaye, a Christian pastor. The author also says her system is similar to the DISC system. The book has a very strong Christian tone to it with many Bible quotes.

Linda Berens, in a private conversation with me, says that these four 'temperaments' are really not the Keirsey temperaments, but are closer to what she calls interaction styles. In the table below, I have listed the Keirsey temperaments with Hippocrates= terms. In the book Partow links Hippocrates's terms with hers and with the DISC system. Berens also links her interaction styles with the DISC terms. The problem is that Partow's descriptions certainly don't relate to Keirsey's temperament descriptions, and I can't see much resemblance to Berens's interaction styles terms either. I don't know enough about the DISC system to know if Partow's are similar to the DISC descriptions or not.

I am writing this review for those who have a knowledge of Jung/Myers theory, Keirsey/Berens temperaments, and Berens interaction styles. Probably like many of you, when I get a new MBTI book, I immediately go to my type and see if it seems to fit. I find that I can relate to the descriptions in most MBTI/temperament books. What I find interesting about them is that not only do the descriptions fit fairly well for me, but they add additional insights that I had not considered before.
Temperament -
Hippocrates Partow DiSC System Interaction Styles - Berens
SJ-Guardian Chloric Powerful D-Dominant In-Charge
SP-Artisan Sanguine Popular I-Influencing Get-Things-Going
NT-Rational Phlegmatic Perfect S-Supportive Behind-the-Scenes
NF-Idealist Melancholic Peaceful C-Conscientious Chart-the-Course

I found a struggle to read because the system is so different from the ones I am familiar with. As I read a specific temperament,' I couldn't relate it to any person that I know. I would read a sentence and think that relates to so and so, but then the next entence seem to not relate to them at all. That being said, let's look at the book itself.

The author uses four words beginning with the letter 'P' to label her four 'temperaments': Popular, Perfect, Powerful and Peaceful. She admits that only 4% of the population fit the pure descriptions and that most people are a combination of two 'temperaments.' To me this isn't a very useful system if 96% of the population don't fit into any of the four pure categories.

The book itself is quite ambitious and well laid out. It devotes a chapter to each of the 'temperaments' of women. They include the positive and negative characteristics, and a section suggesting areas for improvement. There is a chapter for each 'temperament' of men, including his strengths and weaknesses, and what he needs from a woman. The combinations of marriages between the four 'temperaments' are also described. Then there is a chapter for each 'temperament' of children with descriptions of them as babies, children and teens.

I wouldn't recommend this book to MBTI people for two reasons: It is confusing to read about a system describing personality that is so different but seems to be based on the same concepts (Hippocrates) but really isn't. Also, the descriptions don't seem to match real people as I know them.

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