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Keirsey Temperament Sorter

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter II® (KTS®-II) is a powerful personality instrument that helps individuals discover their personality type. Based on Dr. David Keirsey's Temperament theory, this instrument has helped over 30 million people worldwide gain insight into themselves and the people around them. This insight is especially useful when entering a relationship or relating to family members.

Links to sections below:

Description of the Keirsey Products Offered by Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc

About Temperament

What are the Temperaments?

The Four Preference Scales

The Four Temperaments and Sixteen Personality Types

The Donor and Patient Temperament Reports

About the Author


Description of the Keirsey products offered by Cryogenic Laboratories:

All Keirsey products are available through our Donor Search.

  • Keirsey Donor Report- A Classic Temperament Report on an individual donor.   
  • Take the Keirsey Test Yourself- Purchase your own individual report.    

See our Fee Schedule.

About Temperament


Temperament is an inherent personal style, a predisposition that forms the basis of all our natural inclinations:  what we think and feel, what we want and need, what we say and do. In other words, temperament is the inborn, ingrained, factory installed, hard-wired base of our personality. 

In Keirsey’s view, the signs of this underlying makeup can be observed from an early age, long before families, peer groups, or social forces have made their imprint on our character.  This means that all of us, in the course of growing up – and unless seriously interfered with – will develop a consistent pattern of attitudes and actions that express our temperament.

What are the Temperaments?


The idea that human beings come in four basic patterns has been around for a long time.  Hippocrates, often called the “father” of modern medicine, first spoke of four mental or moral dispositions when, around 370 B.C., he proposed that our temperament is determined by the balance of our four essential body fluids.  While modern science has long since discarded this ancient physiology, the four fluids (later called “humours”), and their corresponding four temperaments, described patterns so universal in people that they became the foundation of Greek and Roman medicine and psychology.  Even today, we talk of someone being in good or bad humour.

In the late 1950s, Isabel Myers built on Carl Jung’s theories and did her work on personality type which led to Keirsey writing Please Understand Me, the book which revived popular interest in the four temperaments—the artful Artisans, the dutiful Guardians, the soulful Idealists, and the technological Rationals.  Keirsey recognizes that there are unmistakable individual differences among the temperaments and discusses four distinct types of Artisan, Guardian, Idealist and Rational. These distinctions are based on an individual’s communication style and whether the individual is more expressive or attentive (extraverted or introverted).

The Four Preference Scales


The KTS®-II uses four scales to sort candidates into one of Keirsey's four Temperaments and one of sixteen Character types. The four preference scales measure a respondent's preference for:

(E)=Expressive vs. (I)=Attentive

(S)=Observant vs. (N)=Introspective

(T)=Tough-Minded vs. (F)=Friendly

(J)=Scheduling vs. (P)=Probing

The Four Temperaments and Sixteen Personality Types:


The Artisan™ Temperament: All Artisans (SPs) share the following core characteristics:

  • Artisans tend to be fun-loving, optimistic, realistic, and focused on the here and now.
  • Artisans pride themselves on being unconventional, bold, and spontaneous.
  • Artisans make playful mates, creative parents, and troubleshooting leaders.
  • Artisans are excitable, trust their impulses, want to make a splash, seek stimulation, prize freedom, and dream of mastering action skills.
  • Promoters (ESTP)—engaging, smooth operators, playful, sophisticated, charming, daring, optimistic, bold.
  • Crafters (ISTP)—handle tools and equipment with artistry, fearless, risk-takers, street smart, generous.
  • Performers (ESFP)—entertainers, high-energy, colorful, affectionate, hedonistic, talkative and witty.
  • Composers (ISFP)—frequently misunderstood, spontaneous, seized by acts of artistic creation, quiet.

The Guardian™ Temperament:  All Guardians (SJs) share the following core characteristics:

  • Guardians pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
  • Guardians make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
  • Guardians tend to be dutiful, cautious, humble, and focused on credentials and traditions.
  • Guardians are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, prize gratitude, and dream of meting out justice.
  • Supervisors (ESTJ)—dependable, trustworthy, outgoing, community minded, respect authority, scheduled, loyal, conscientious.
  • Inspectors (ISTJ)—super-dependable, reliable, quiet, responsible, conservative, down-to-earth
  • Providers (ESFJ)—sociable, provide for others, social service is key to their nature, gregarious, affectionate, strong family values.
  • Protectors (ISFJ)—safety and security conscious, shy, warmhearted, sympathetic, thorough, frugal.

The Idealist™ Temperament:  All Idealists (NFs) share the following core characteristics:

  • Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
  • Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
  • Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
  • Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.
  • Teachers (ENFJ)—born educators, imaginative, enthusiastic, inspirational, highest priority is people, committed to justice.
  • Counselors (INFJ)—highly private, rich inner lives, mysterious, passionate, insightful, psychic.
  • Champions (ENFP)—talkative, effervescent, individualistic, intuitive, warm, high-spirited, mischievous.
  • Healers (INFP)—care deeply about inner life and causes in the world, intense, fanciful, cooperative, work well alone, oriented towards wholeness, follow their heart.

The Rational™ Temperament:  All Rationals (NTs) share the following core characteristics:

  • Rationals tend to be pragmatic, skeptical, self-contained, and focused on problem-solving and systems analysis.
  • Rationals pride themselves on being ingenious, independent, and strong willed.
  • Rationals make reasonable mates, individualizing parents, and strategic leaders.
  • Rationals are even-tempered, they trust logic, yearn for achievement, seek knowledge, prize technology, and dream of understanding how the world works.
  • Fieldmarshals (ENTJ)—instinctive leaders, strategic talent, pragmatic, efficient, ingenious, tough-minded, decisive.
  • Masterminds (INTJ)—capable leaders, stay in background, independent thinkers, dedicated, self-confident, data driven.
  • Inventors (ENTP)—innovative, concerned with possibilities, nonconformist, easygoing, competitive.
  • Architects (INTP)—theoretical, reserved, obsessed with systems, curious, logical, precise.

The Donor and Patient Temperament Reports


Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc and Advisorteam.com, the official licensee of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter are offering an interpretive temperament report (Classic Temperament Report) on most of our donors as an added service to our patients.  Some retired donors may not have taken the test. These reports provide a description of the individual’s pre-disposition towards a particular configuration of habits.

In addition, we are happy to offer our patients and/or partners the opportunity to complete the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and purchase their own individual report and see how they compare to the donors they are considering. Those who score as Guardians (SJs) are placed in the green quadrant. Rationals (NTs) in the blue quadrant. Artisans (SPs) in the yellow and Idealists (NFs) in the red quadrant. Each quadrant (temperament) has then been divided into 4 temperament variants or sub-categories. This results in 16 separate sections; each section representing one of the 16 personality types.

Where an individual is placed in their temperament quadrant depends on their overall score. So, individuals who show a preference for Extroversion, or being expressive, are placed in the outer circle. The closer to the circumference of the circle, the higher their level of extroversion. Introverts on the other hand, or those who are more attentive, are placed closer to the center within the inner circle. The closer to the center, the higher the level of Introversion.

Keirsey Temperament Theory describes those who prefer Thinking over Feeling as Tough Minded; they are found to the right and above the red line. Those who prefer Feeling over Thinking are described as Tender Minded or Friendly; they are found to the left and below the red line.

Keirsey describes those who prefer Judging over Perceiving as "Scheduled;" they are found to the left and above the yellow line. Those who prefer Perceiving over Judging are described as "Probing" and are found to the right and below the yellow line.

Please be aware that your temperament results, as well as the results of any particular donor, may not be a predictor of the personality of your child.

About the Author


Dr. David Keirsey is a clinical psychologist who worked for public schools for 20 years as a corrective interventionist, and followed this with 11 years training therapists and pathologists (California State University) in the art of changing dysfunctional behavior in children and adults.

His best selling book "Please Understand Me" has sold over two million copies. The completely rewritten and expanded book "Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence" is his latest best selling book, and incorporates much of his sixty years of research into human personality. Dr. Keirsey specializes in the pragmatics of coaching children, parents, and spouses to decrease conflict and to increase cooperation.

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