/tem"peuhr euh meuhnt, -preuh meuhnt, -peuhr meuhnt/, n.1. the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition.2. unusual personal attitude or nature as manifested by peculiarities of feeling, temper, action, etc., often with a disinclination to submit to conventional rules or restraints.3. (old physiology) the combination of the four cardinal humors, the relative proportions of which were supposed to determine physical and mental constitution.4. Music.a. the tuning of a keyboard instrument, as the piano, organ, or harpsichord, so that the instrument may be played in all keys without further tuning.b. a particular system of doing this.5. Archaic. an act of tempering or moderating.6. Archaic. climate.[1375-1425; late ME < L temperamentum due mixture, equiv. to tempera(re) to mix properly + -mentum -MENT]
* * *In the psychological study of personality, an individual's characteristic or habitual inclination or mode of emotional response.The notion of temperament in this sense originated with Galen, who developed it from an earlier theory regarding the four "humours": blood, phlegm, and black and yellow bile. The subject was taken up in the 20th century by Ernst Kretschmer and later theorists, including Margaret Mead. Today researchers emphasize physiological processes (including the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems) and culture and learning.
* * *in psychology, an aspect of personality concerned with emotional dispositions and reactions and their speed and intensity; the term often is used to refer to the prevailing mood or mood pattern of a person. The notion of temperament in this sense originated with Galen (Galen Of Pergamum), the Greek physician of the 2nd century AD, who developed it from an earlier physiological theory of four basic body fluids (humours): blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. According to their relative predominance in the individual, they were supposed to produce, respectively, temperaments designated sanguine (warm, pleasant), phlegmatic (slow-moving, apathetic), melancholic (depressed, sad), and choleric (quick to react, hot tempered). More recent theories emphasize the influence of the endocrine glands on emotional reactivity. Modern psychology attributes primary importance to the activity of the autonomic nervous system, particularly its sympathetic branch, in emotional reactivity: autonomic over-responsiveness is intimately linked with neurotic dispositions. Because such responses can be conditioned, individual differences in ease of conditioning (also probably innate) also play a part in determining temperament. See also character.
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