A Quick History of Personality Typing

Categorizing personalities into types—an activity called “typology”—has been embraced by major civilizations since ancient times. For more than twenty centuries, scientists and scholars have recognized that, while individual people are unique, there are predictable patterns of human behavior. Around 400 B.C. the Greeks, most notably Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Galen, believed human behaviors fell into four groups, or “humors”—sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic, and choleric.1

In the 1920s the pioneering Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, who had been a favorite student of Freud’s,2 split away ...

Get Career Match now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.