it was the user-friendly way that the original Please Understand
Me helped people find their personality style. Perhaps
it was the simple accuracy, intimacy and clarity of Keirsey's
portraits of temperament and character types.
perhaps it was the book's essential message: That members of families
and institutions, even though they are fundamentally different
from each other, are each OK and have their own place in
the world. And, that people would all do well to appreciate their
differences and give up trying to change others into copies of
the past twenty years Professor Keirsey has continued to
investigate personality differences - to refine his theory of
the four temperaments and to define the facets of character that
differentiate one from another.
Please Understand Me II
new findings form the basis of Please Understand Me II,
an updated and greatly expanded edition of the book, far more
comprehensive and coherent than the original, and yet with much
of the same easy accessibility.
major addition is Keirsey's view of how the temperaments differ
in the 'intelligent roles' they are most likely to develop.
Each of us, he says, has four kinds of intelligence - Tactical,
Logistical, Diplomatic, and Strategic - though
one of the four interests us far more than the others, and thus
gets far more practice than the rest. Like four suits in a hand
of cards, we each have a long suit and a short suit in what interests
us and what we do well, and fortunate indeed are those whose work
matches their skills.
in the original book, Please Understand Me II begins with
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter, the best selling personality
inventory in the world, and the most popular personality-type
test on the Internet. This short quiz lets someone quickly determine
which of the 16 personality types they are. A great party game
to break the ice with!
addition, The Keirsey FourTypes Sorter, a new short questionnaire,
has been included. This questionnaire identifies one's basic temperament;
and then ranks one's second, third, and fourth choices. Share
this new sorter with friends and family, and get set for a lively
and fascinating discussion of personal styles.
Internet sites have excellent summaries of the personality types
and temperaments, the book contains the in-depth analysis that
Keirsey has done of the personality types and their interactions
with the other types.
his book delves into the historical, mythological and Jungian
archetypical concepts on which the personality temperaments
were based. These provide the "bedrock" needed to ground-in-reality
this psychological/analytical construct.
Robert Jon Religa
Portions abstracted from the Publishers
a review (edited) posted on Amazon.com
definitive work on Temperament Theory
Reviewer: Jack Falt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
from: Ottawa, Canada
September 18, 1998
in 1978 Drs. Keirsey and Bates wrote Please Understand Me.
It was one of the first books to popularize the Myers-Briggs Type
Inventory (MBTI), and it included "The Keirsey Temperament
Sorter" so people could get a sense of what their psychological
type was. However, Keirsey and Bates main interest in the MBTI
was to use it as a way to determine temperament. They saw that
the SP, SJ, NF and NT grouping of
types fit the four temperaments that Hippocrates had written about
twenty-five hundred years ago.
had long been interested in the concept of temperament, and while
he does discuss the MBTI preferences, both books focus mainly
on temperament. Unfortunately, in the first book he labeled the
four temperaments with the names of Greek gods, Dionysus,
Epimetheus, Apollo and Prometheus. I found
these names really difficult to work with when I first read the
original book, and had to have a dictionary in my hand to make
any sense out of some of the material. In the intervening years
Keirsey (Marilyn Bates has since died) renamed them: Artisan
for the SP, Guardian for the SJ, Idealist
for the NF, and Rational for the NT, which
made for easier reading.
the revised edition "The Keirsey Temperament Sorter II"
has been updated with some different questions, and this can still
be used to determine your type. He has added "The Keirsey FourTypes
Sorter" which determines only your temperament. Both of these
quizzes are also on his web site.
book discusses in detail the similarities between temperaments
and MBTI, and also how they are different. The MBTI bases psychological
type on internal mental functioning. Keirsey finds it more useful
to stick to what can be observed or people's behavior: how people
use words and tools.
are either abstract or concrete, and tools are used in a mainly
cooperative or utilitarian way. Thus, SPs use mainly concrete
words and use tools in a utilitarian way; SJs are concrete and
cooperative; NFs are abstract and cooperative; and NTs are abstract
and utilitarian. According to Keirsey, temperament determines
devotes a chapter to each temperament, including a description
of each of the four psychological types included in that temperament,
e.g. Rationals include: INTJ, INTP, ENTP and ENTJ. As would be
expected the descriptions focus more on behavior than on internal
thought processes. Each temperament is described in terms of language,
intellect, interest, orientation, self- image, values and social
role. The book is well set up as it has numerous charts, and while
emphasizing a specific temperament, it also shows the corresponding
entries for the other three temperaments.
given a basic description of each temperament, the book then devotes
a chapter to the three main areas of life: mating, parenting and
mating styles the Artisan is the Playmate, the Guardian
is the Helpmate, the Idealist is the Soulmate,
and the Rational is the Mindmate. While any temperament
can and does marry any of the four temperaments, Keirsey finds
that people tend to be attracted to their opposite: Artisans
to Guardians, and Idealists to Rationals. He further
describes how each temperament is likely to get along with each
of the other temperaments and then gives further detail into how
the temperament is likely to interact with each of the four types
within the opposite temperament, e.g. an Artisan with a Guardian
(ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ and ESFJ).
the Parenting chapter, Keirsey describes children with each of
the four temperaments and describes each of the combinations of
temperament of parent and child. The Artisan parent tends to be
the Liberator and is very tolerant of the child's behavior. The
Guardian parent sees the job of parenting as one of socializing
the child. The Idealist parent wants to harmonize all relationships
the child has. The Rational parent wants children to become individuals.
The main task of all parents is to stimulate children to help
them develop their potential.
are also descriptions of how each temperament learns best. In
his work as a school psychologist, Keirsey found that many behavior
problems were the result of poor instruction techniques rather
than problems such as ADD or ADHS. The Artisan child needs lots
of hands-on learning. The Guardian is more willing to do what
he is told. The Idealist wants to be authentic and get along.
The Rational just loves to soak up information, but quickly spots
the teacher who doesn't know the material.
final chapter looks at leadership. Keirsey sees leadership as
a function of intelligence. He sees that each temperament has
a main intellectual skill with lesser ability in the other forms
of intelligence. Artisans are best at tactics; Guardians
at logistics; Idealists at diplomacy; and Rationals
at strategy. Churchill was a good example of a tactician.
He could quickly accesses what was happening and knew what to
do next. Washington was the man to lead the new nation with his
ability to organize all of the details needed to bring the country
out of the chaos of war. Gandhi used his example of passive resistance
as the diplomatic way to bring about the end of British rule in
India. Lincoln, the Rational, used his skill at strategy to give
the leadership required to win the civil war. Keirsey makes the
point that each of these intelligences are needed in society.
As such, each intellectual skill is equally valid. Unfortunately,
most intelligence tests do not measure these traits.
updated version of Please understand Me II is almost double
the size of the original. In the intervening years Keirsey has
accumulated a lot of additional material that he has included
in his latest book. There is a great deal of useful information
for those who prefer the MBTI, and you might find that the concept
of temperament is well worth considering and another useful tool
to add to your psychological tool bag.