Temperament, Fact or Fiction? Part Three

The InnerKinetics® Temperament Key

How the InnerKinetics® Temperament Key is Built

You probably have not lost sight of the fact that there are many ideas and theories as to how we are designed or made. However, most are just ideas that are not based on what we experience in the furnace of life’s realities.. Nor are they representative of the total human experience (the big picture of who we are and know we are). I, for one, think the way we humans experience life and understand how we operate is not “throw-away” evidence. It is something that is not to be lightly dismissed. The InnerKinetics® Temperament Key focuses on how we function as human creatures. It can, therefore, help confirm our experience and knowledge of ourselves.

What is the InnerKinetics® Temperament Key asking and why?

You may have noticed that the InnerKinetics® Temperament Key asks not only whether you have felt and experienced some urge or drive inside of you. It also asks questions about your actions and the life that you live out there in your daily experiences — how you both think and act. It does this because, if we are made with urges and drives that are destined to shape our lives, the effects of those urges and drives will also be dominant and apparent in our actions.

The InnerKinetics® Temperament Key is searching for who we truly are deep in our inner self and what drives us. To find this out, the four basic questions embedded within the 54 questions of the Temperament Key are all about our knowledge of the basic understanding and functioning of our own lives from the inside out. This approach evades the bias and opinions of whoever the interrogator happens to be.

What do the S and N results we get from the temperament key represent?

Let’s start with the second pair of letters.  You will be either an S or N. They represent the two distinctive ways we gather our information from the world around us and in us, and how we pay attention to the information we gather. Fifteen of the 54 questions search for this answer. The individual must respond with what they know about themselves. It turns out that when we carefully observe people, we discover they use one of two ways dominantly. Both ways are valuable and mold us. One is not better than the other. They are simply different. The S and N begin the shaping of the four temperaments.

How do we gather information from the world around us?

One way we gather or pay attention to information from our world is to dominantly use the five physical senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. These are depended upon to the extent that the person relies on the information they provide. It also turns out to be the most common way people respond to their world. It is as though once this information is gathered, they say to themselves, “I’ve got it. So I will act according to what my five sense have given me.”

A second way is to gather the basic information by using the five senses, but not without reference to another sense. We all have a sixth sense. We call it intuition. It is not a physical phenomenon of the same nature as the five senses. It gathers information that the five senses can’t provide. It’s as though those who predominantly use the sixth sense commonly look for the meaning behind what they see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.

What is the significance of the T and F results in the InnerKinetics® Temperament Key?

The third pair of letters is T or F. They ask the question, “How do we make our decisions based on the information we gather?” Fifteen of the 54 questions search for this answer.

The person who is predominantly a “T” makes their decision based primarily on the facts of the situation. The “T” values facts over emotions when it comes to decision making.  The F person, however, values the meaning behind the facts, which they pick up by their emotional responses to the facts. They value their emotional response because they know emotion is the only thing that gives meaning to life. Therefore, the two ways that guide our decisions may come up with two different decisions: one based on the facts and one based on an emotional response to the facts. One is not better than the other, but they offer very different ways of experiencing and living life.

These two letters or symbols complete the temperaments of those who begin with the letter N. The pairing of Intuition (N) with the two different ways we make decisions (T and F) creates a more complicated way of living than the other two temperaments. Again, it is not better, but more challenging — especially because of the need to consult one’s emotions (NF), which creates the most complicated challenge in decision making.

What do the J and P results define?

The third question asks which lifestyle we prefer. Fifteen of the 54 questions search for this answer.

The symbols J and P represent these two very different, but good, lifestyles and complete the other two temperaments SP and SJ.

The J wants to come to closure and move on, displaying an observable drive to come to a decision. Often there is an accompanying increase in the pace in which they seem to live. This drive can often make them less patient.
The P is the opposite: preferring not to come to closure, displaying a more laid back style of living. They float through life, smelling the roses and seeking to squeeze the most joy and pleasure out of each moment.

Finally, what do the E and I represent?

Nine questions are left to find the answer to the question, “How do we respond when we are exhausted and our energy is inwardly drained?”

Does it result in a need for connection and interaction with people (E for extrovert)?

Or is there a need for solitude: please, no more people until we have regained our lost energy (I for introvert)?

These final two letters (the first in the four letter profile) were added mainly because Carl Jung, a Psychiatrist, felt the need of them. However, they are important and help us discover the reasons for our reactions to the loss of inner energy.

Why are there sometimes 3 and other times 4 letters used to describe someone?

We, therefore, end up with four pairs of letters (symbols): E or I, S or N, T or F, and J or P. When we combine the responses with the largest numbers from the second and third pairs of letters, the NT and NF temperaments result. The responses with the largest numbers from the second and fourth pairs of letters combine to make the other two temperaments — SJ and SP. Using the dominant responses from each of the four pairs of letters gives us our four-letter “profile” or “type” (the temperament letters and their variations within each temperament).

What makes temperament study so unique and effective?

The unique thing about temperament is that it attempts to discover the all-important urges and drives that shape our lives and fashion how we respond to our world — our true inner self.  Temperament finds these urges by following the path of how we function:

  • How we respond when we have drained our inner resources
  • The way we gather our information about the world around us
  • How we make decisions based on that information
  • Which lifestyle we prefer

Hence, the temperament key’s design results in answers to the four questions that are all about how our material and immaterial human system functions. Therefore, temperament has not focused on some special elements of our design that the author of a new theory has randomly selected. Instead, it provides a solid, factual base from which we understand and self-confirm what is our make up.


In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers.” I describe how to break out of this “mind prison” to become instruments of change for a better world.  It begins by recognizing the source of our value as humans.  You can get your copy HERE.  (Psst!  Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)


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