Difference Between Temperament and Personality

Temperament and personality are two aspects of a person’s life that are related to each other in many ways. Each of them needs to be developed from an early stage with proper care.

This is because they may stick with a person throughout their life even if they turn out to be negative. Therefore, there are several differences between them that need to be understood for this purpose.

Temperament vs Personality

The main difference between temperament and personality is that temperament only revolves around behaviour and its consistent differences that are based on biological factors whereas personality revolves around behaviour, cognition, and even emotions, which are based on biological as well as environmental factors. This also reflects the fact that temperament cannot be modified whereas personality can.

Temperament vs Personality

Temperament is a broad term that refers to patterns of a person’s behaviour throughout his life. It cannot be affected by external factors and is only due to biology.

A person’s temperament cannot be learnt, modified, or adapted in coherence with different situations. However, children are able to reflect their temperament more than adults can.

Meanwhile, the definition of personality is not yet agreed upon universally. However, most people who use the term generally refer to the patterns of behaviour, emotion, and cognition that a person exhibits.

It can be influenced by a variety of factors and a person can change and modify it numerous times throughout their life.

Comparison Table Between Temperament and Personality

Parameters of ComparisonTemperamentPersonality
MeaningIt refers to the style, patterns, and intensity of the behaviour of a person.It refers to the patterns of behaviour, emotions, and cognition that a person exhibits.
ConnotationIt revolves around reactions and sensitivity.It revolves around the content of the reactions.
NatureIt is inherited.It is acquired.
InfluencesIt is only influenced by biological factors.It is influenced by environments, interactions, and even biological factors.
PermanencyIt is permanent and cannot be modified.It is not permanent and can be modified.

What is Temperament?

Temperament has a very broad definition. It refers to the patterns, style, and intensity of behaviours that a person exhibits. These are influenced only by biological factors, which means that they are inherited.

There is very little scope for them to change or modify as they mostly revolve around a person’s sensitivity and reactions, which lead to certain behaviours.

It is impossible for temperaments to be learned or acquired by individuals. It remains constant throughout a person’s life from the time of birth. Interestingly, it is easier to perceive the temperament of a child than it is of adults.

For this reason, studies regarding this concept are often carried out surrounding children.

Even though temperament is only influenced by biological factors, it affects a person’s life in many ways. It can manifest itself emotionally, mentally, and even physically.

A great example of this is when parents and their children both have a very active temperament, it is easy for conflicts to arise between them.

However, there are several things that can be understood from a person’s temperament as well. For example, a parent can make efforts to recognize patterns in their children’s behaviour.

Subsequently, they can make choices about how to react to them based on these inferences.

What is Personality?

Personality includes a person temperament along with other aspects such as emotions and cognitive capabilities. All these factors together make an individual’s personality.

However, it can be affected by several things. These may include biological, environmental, and even psychological factors. People can even evolve their personalities based on interactions with others.

It is relatively easier for personalities to change as compared to temperament. IT is not permanent at all, and in most cases is constantly evolving through experiences.

Essentially, a personality is all about the content of reactions that an individual has for various situations.

Throughout history, various tests have been invented to determine the personality of a person. These tests have been greatly influenced by philosophers and psychologists including Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, Hans Eysenck and even Alfred Adler.

However, it is debatable whether these tests provide accurate results since personality is a complex concept. Like temperament, a person can understand the personality of an individual or child through tests or even observations.

Subsequently, they can choose to react to personalities in a certain way, so as to minimize the chances of a conflict.

Interestingly, many reality TV shows nowadays include people with different personalities so that there are more chances of a conflict. This somehow seems to be more entertaining for the masses.

Main Differences Between Temperament and Personality

  1. Temperament refers to the style, patterns, and intensity of the behaviour of a person whereas personality refers to the patterns of behaviour, emotions, and cognition that a person exhibits.
  2. Temperament revolves around reactions and sensitivity whereas personality revolves around the content of the reactions.
  3. Temperament is inherited whereas personality is acquired.
  4. Temperament is only influenced by biological factors whereas personality is influenced by environments, interactions, and even biological factors.
  5. Temperament is permanent and cannot be modified whereas personality is not permanent and can be modified.
Difference Between Temperament and Personality

Conclusion

Temperament and personality are two important aspects that need to be understood to lead a quality life. Doing so may help a person react to each of them when they are exhibited.

However, for doing so, it is important to understand the differences between them. Firstly, temperament is more about the behaviour of a person whereas personality involves a plethora of other factors apart from behaviour.

Temperament is about ‘how’ a person exhibits certain behaviours. On the other hand, personality is about ‘what’ behaviours, emotions, and even cognition a person is exhibiting.

Moreover, temperament includes aspects such as style and intensity whereas personality includes aspects such as patterns and content of reactions.

Lastly, a major difference between them is temperament cannot be changed. It can be understood and perceived, but it remains permanent throughout life.

This is because it is inherited. Meanwhile, personality can easily be changed throughout a person’s lifespan. It can easily be influenced and moulded by ongoing experiences.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1958-01355-000
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00505.x
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