Four broad temperament dimensions: description, convergent validation correlations, and comparison with the Big Five

Abstract

A new temperament construct based on recent brain physiology literature has been investigated using the Fisher Temperament Inventory (FTI). Four collections of behaviors emerged, each associated with a specific neural system: the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen/oxytocin system. These four temperament suites have been designated: (1) Curious/Energetic, (2) Cautious/Social Norm Compliant, (3) Analytical/Tough-minded, and (4) Prosocial/Empathetic temperament dimensions. Two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have suggested that the FTI can measure the influence of these neural systems. In this paper, to further the behavioral validation and characterization of the four proposed temperament dimensions, we measured correlations with five variables: (1) gender; (2) level of education; (3) religious preference; (4) political orientation; (5) the degree to which an individual regards sex as essential to a successful relationship. Subjects were 39,913 anonymous members of a US Internet dating site and 70,000+ members in six other countries. Correlations with the five variables characterize the FTI and are consistent with mechanisms using the proposed neuromodulators. We also report on an analysis between the FTI and the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, using a college sample (n = 215), which showed convergent validity. The results provide novel correlates not available in other questionnaires: religiosity, political orientation, and attitudes about sex in a relationship. Also, an Eigen analysis replicated the four clusters of co-varying items. The FTI, with its broad systems and non-pathologic factors complements existing personality questionnaires. It provides an index of some brain systems that contribute to temperament, and may be useful in psychotherapy, business, medicine, and the legal community.

Introduction

It is estimated that 40–60% of the observed variance in personality is due to characteristics of temperament (Cloninger et al., 1993; Bouchard, 1994; Loehlin et al., 1998; Robins, 2005). Temperament is a heritable pattern of cognition, emotion, motivation, and behavior influenced by experience (Terracciano et al., 2005; Roberts and Mroczek, 2008) but largely stable across the lifespan (Bouchard, 1994; McCrae et al., 2000; Roberts and DelVecchio, 2000). According to Rothbart et al. (2000), “Temperament arises from our genetic endowment. It influences and is influenced by the experience of the individual, one of the outcomes is the adult personality.” Although some theorists argue that there is no hard distinction between the two constructs of personality and temperament (McCrae et al., 2000), elements of temperament traditionally include behavioral dispositions from childhood to adulthood, observable in preverbal infants and generalizable to non-human animals (Rothbart et al., 2000; Clark, 2005).

Many psychologists have investigated the physiological foundations of temperament (Eysenck and Eysenck, 1985; Cloninger, 1987, 2000; Depue et al., 1994; Gray and McN). But almost all of these models (including the NEO-PI) were initially constructed from linguistic and/or behavioral studies. As temperament is biologically based, we reasoned that constructing a temperament measure directly from data on brain architecture and physiology ent, at a broader level that might reduce crossover found among traits in other models. Dopamine has been found to be associated with both Extraversion and Openness to Experience. Previous studies and evidence presented here suggests that the Curious/Energetic scale of the Fisher Temperament Inventory (FTI) ine system (Brown et al., 2013). Also, existing measures of personality and temperament use some pathological dimensions such as: Psychoticism (Eysenck and Eysenck, 1985), Neuroticism-Anxiety (Costa and McCrae, 1992; Zuckerman, 1995), and Aggression-Hostility (Zuckerman, 1995), language that implies dysfunction. Thus the FTI has a novel physiological and behavioral focus that provides new broad dimensions.

According to Funder (2001) there is still the question of whether the “Big Five subsume all there is to say about personality. The answer is almost certainly no: whereas almost any personality construct can be mapped onto the Big Five, you cannot derive every personality construct from the Big Five.” This appears to be particularly true https://besthookupwebsites.org/nl/friendfinderx-overzicht/ for aspects of temperament such as empathy, something not necessarily tied to agreeableness, as we report here. In fact, Big Five research has also identified a higher-order factor structure, or metatraits (see DeYoung and Gray, 2009) designated as stability and plasticity. Metatraits may be particularly useful a broad physiological factor structure may also be especially useful to understand personality and temperament. As researchers have noted, “…investigations must be integrated with knowledge of how personality is organized at the broadest levels, where large neural networks and broadly acting neuromodulators are likely to be important across situations” (DeYoung and Gray, 2009).

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