Tech UPTechnologyScience describes the 4 definitive personality types

Science describes the 4 definitive personality types

What would old Hippocrates say about this investigation? The Greek physician theorized in the 5th century BC. C. that there were four temperaments based on the balance or imbalance of the humors of the body: phlegmatic, choleric, melancholic or sanguine (unstable). His hypothesis marked for more than two millennia the ideas of Western medicine and philosophy on personality and health.

2,500 years later, scientists from the University of the Northwest (United States) “have called themselves a Hippocrates” and have established that there are four types of personality in which all human beings can be included: average, reserved, self-centered and leader.

The famous doctor of antiquity used his observations to establish his theory. Their modern colleagues, in big data , which has allowed them to draw conclusions from 1.5 million questionnaires made to people around the world over decades in the framework of different studies. The tests contained between 44 and 300 questions answered by volunteers interested in getting to know themselves better.


Big data knows who you are

To move in such an ocean of data, researchers at Northwestern University used big data and machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that develops techniques for computers to learn. With them they created algorithms that detected four personality typologies based on the combination of five character traits that the psychological paradigm accepts as basic: extraversion, neuroticism or emotional instability, open-mindedness, kindness and responsibility.

The four personality classes would be these:

  • Medium: it is the most common and is characterized by high levels of neuroticism and extraversion, and low levels of open-mindedness. It is more common in women.
  • Reserved: it is a stable personality, not open or neurotic. He is not known for his extraversion, but he is kind and responsible.
  • Self-centered: Individuals who have it score very high on extraversion and below average on open-mindedness, kindness, and responsibility. The percentage of people of this type falls sharply with age, both among men and women.
  • Leader or role model: shows low levels of neuroticism, and high in other traits. Their number increases greatly among older subjects, and there are more women than men who respond to this type of personality.


Time changes everything

The researchers emphasize the dynamic character of the personality, changing over the years. The data analyzed reveal something that everyone knows from their own experience: in adolescence it is very common for us to be self-centered subjects (this is especially the case among males). However, as the years go by, neurotic tendencies decrease and responsibility and kindness increase.

As Luis Amaral, the main author of the work, says, “when you study very large groups of the population, clear trends appear that change depending on the age group”. Asked about the practical applications of their research, the scientists argue that their conclusions will be of great help to psychologists and psychiatrists, who thanks to them will have a reference model from which to diagnose mental illnesses. They also think that companies can use them to refine their selection processes, and to get to know consumers better and adjust their offer according to their way of being.

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