Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Realm of Personality?

No, this is not a post about the late '80's group Living Colour.

Dick and I have long been admirers of Florence Littauer's Personality Plus book. And for just as long, we've had a running debate over whether I'm melancholy or sanguine. (And whether or not he has a personality at all.)

Since some of you seemed to enjoy the Versus post, I thought you might enjoy taking Florence's personality test as well.

An on-line version can be found here.

And if you'd like to have a hardcopy to test a family member or co-worker you can get that here.

There are other versions out there using animals, Star Trek characters, etc. But I've always preferred the Littauer test.

Try it out. It's fun. You may well learn something about yourself. And if you share your results in the comments, I'm sure Richard will oblige you by insisting you're wrong.

BTW, I've included the meanings of the personality types below according to the Greeks, but I highly recommend reading Florence's book for a complete understanding.

Good luck and keep a good humour!!

The sanguine type is cheerful and optimistic, pleasant to be with, comfortable with his or her work. According to the Greeks, the sanguine type has a particularly abundant supply of blood (hence the name sanguine, from sanguis, Latin for blood) and so also is characterized by a healthful look, including rosy cheeks.

The choleric type is characterized by a quick, hot temper, often an aggressive nature. The name refers to bile (a chemical that is excreted by the gall bladder to aid in digestion). Physical features of the choleric person include a yellowish complexion and tense muscles.

The phlegmatic temperament. These people are characterized by their slowness, laziness, and dullness. The name obviously comes from the word phlegm, which is the mucus we bring up from our lungs when we have a cold or lung infection. Physically, these people are thought to be kind of cold, and shaking hands with one is like shaking hands with a fish.

The melancholy temperament. These people tend to be sad, even depressed, and take a pessimistic view of the world. The name has, of course, been adopted as a synonym for sadness, but comes from the Greek words for black bile. Now, since there is no such thing, we don’t quite know what the ancient Greeks were referring to. But the melancholy person was thought to have too much of it!


Rich said...

Phlegmatics rule.

I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

I took the test, answered all 40 questions by looking deeply into my soul. When I pressed the score test button, it told me I had 0% in everything. Silly page didn't acknowledge that I'd answered all the questions.

So I have no personality. (as if y'all didn't know.)


Rich said...


I'd bet every cent in my wallet that you have a personality.

Just checking here, that's, ah, four dollars and thirty-eight cents. And if I wanted to get real specific, I only said cents (not dollars), so that reduces the amount to $.38. But I'd certainly bet that!

I think I'll try it to see what happens. Will let you know.

Really, though, all you need to do is ask me, and I can tell you what you are.

Anonymous said...

My guess is melancholy.


Rich said...

And melancholies are okay. There's nothing wrong with melancholies. They're at least out there thinking around instead of bee-bopping around like the sanguines or ordering others around like the cholerics.

It's just that phlegmatics are cooler. :)

DugALug said...

I got the same zero result. But I know I am a gutter rat or something like that.

God Bless

Rich said...

Yeah, I went there, too, and it's not registering that the questions were answered.

The best thing to do at this point is just say, "Nice post, Ken. Really nice." And walk away.

Rich said...

Also, I can go along with the fact that I'm far more Golden Retriever than any of the others on the animal test, but the Star Trek test is bunk. Me? I disagreed with the logical part. Somehow, I'm Mr. Spock. Go figure.

Diabolical Genius said...

Your reactions to the non-functioning on-line test have revealed more about your personalities than the test would have.

DugALug said...


I once took a left-brained right-brained test and score 51-left and 49 right. In other words, I was no-brained.

To me all these tests are somewhat bogus. Florence Littauer's test is particularly annoying to me. It is not because the test is wrong or inaccurate, but more that so many people use this test to justify sinful nature.

I have heard comments like, "well He is so choleric, he just wants to put someone in their place." This doesn't excuse a sinful nature.

Just a side-thought.

God Bless

Diabolical Genius said...


You're absolutely right, and it's exactly the kind of astute observation that's typical of the no-brained gutter rat type of personality.

It's probably why some people cling so tightly to the Phlegmatic label. The label is salve on the bad feelings that they have when they perceive failure in a situation that sanguines are good at.

The truth is that every personality type no matter what you call it can have positive or negative impacts on those around us. I fully expect to see people in heaven that had a personality that I didn't like.

C.S. Lewis has an intersting take on this in the book Mere Christianity in the Morality and Psychoanalysis section. Link here:

I do think that going through the test and then having a person that you are close to evaluate you with the same test is revealing. It's interesting to try and understand why your perception of yourself differs from someone else's perception of you.

The next step that I'd like to address in a future post is how God sees your personality, how you perceive that he sees it, and how that impacts your perception/ belief about his personality.

DugALug said...


Interesting. I love Lewis. I disagree with Lewis' conclusion on a Christian society, but I certainly see his point.

The gutter teaches us rats a lot of things, but I might be a fiery phoenix or a lazy lizard. It is just hard to say... WITHOUT A TEST THAT ACTUALLY WORKS.

God Bless

Rich said...

It's probably why some people cling so tightly to the Phlegmatic label.

And who would do something like that? Only a complete and total loser... oh, oops... you were talking about... ooooooh.

The truth is that every personality type no matter what you call it can have positive or negative impacts on those around us.

Of course, and this is illustrated throughout history.

I fully expect to see people in heaven that had a personality that I didn't like.

YES!!! YES!!! A MILLION TIMES YES!!!We may very well see each other in heaven, Kenneth! The one attribute that we'll all share is that none of us deserved it.