Temperament: An Integrative Approach
Temperament is not only interesting but a vital field of study. Temperament is considered to be on a continuum with personality disorders. When certain characteristics of a person’s temperament become dominant and begin to impair function over a prolonged period of time then these characteristics meet the requirements for a personality disorder which is in essence an exaggeration of traits in an individual’s personality that we all possess in moderation, thus isolating specific aspects of temperaments that can be regarded as problem areas or precursors for problem behaviors aids in the study, treatment and quite possibly the prevention of personality disorders. Like all subjects in psychology the roll of coaction is the first question to be asked. How much of temperament is determined by biological factors and how much of temperament is determined by environmental aspects? The following research paper seeks to not only present compiled information but to interpret evidence in favor and against the genetic argument for temperament and the environmental argument for temperament. In order to tackle these queries of where temperament stems from, an understanding of what temperament is in psychology must first be established. Consider the following definitions: According to the The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved ; tem·per·a·ment (tmpr-mnt, tmpr--) n. 1. The manner of thinking, behaving, or reacting characteristic of a specific person. 2. Disposition; temper. The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved states temperament as a person's natural or genetically determined disposition. Mentioned in: Personality Disorders. In the Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier. It is found that temperament [tem´per-ah-ment] Etymology: L, temperamentum, mixture in proper proportions, the features of a persona that reflect an individual's emotional disposition, or the way he or she behaves, feels, and thinks. The Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved, explains temperament as an inherent, constitutional predisposition to react to stimuli in a certain way; the term is often used synonymously with personality. Compare character. The McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. refers to temperament in psychology as an inborn pattern of behavior that tends to remain constant throughout life; a constitutional predisposition to react in a particular way to stimuli. See Artistic temperament, Temper. Cf Personality. As is evident in the previous medical definitions of temperament, the term is regarded as inherent to the person that manifests the specific characteristics that compose that particular person’s temperament. If this holds to be true and is the general assumption then it is safe to say that genetics is the majorly accepted route to temperament. An example of this theory; Julie and Holy are identical twins that were separated at birth. They have never met and developed in extremely different environments. Julie was raised in the suburbs; her adoptive parents were a loving couple of dentists. Although Julie was not wealthy her family is well off, thus she never wanted for anything and was able to focus on her talents and studies. Julie is a successful corporate attorney, who has strived for excellence. Julie show’s strong traits of extroversion, she is ambitious and driven. Julie never loses sight of her goals and is very career oriented. Holy on the other hand was brought up in the projects. She was passed along from one foster family to the next and...