What is the character?

We explain what character and temperament are. Difference between character and personality. Examples and types of character.

  1. What is the character?

When we talk about character , we refer to the way in which an individual usually reacts to certain types of stimuli or situations, considered as typical of a profile, characterization or inclination within which other individuals fit as well.

Often this character is expressed from a characteristic considered predominant or main in the way of being of a person . For example, if you often exhibit generous and detached tendencies, you will be told that you are altruistic ; If you tend to remain angry or upset for a long time or have trouble forgiving other people’s mistakes, it will be said that you are spiteful . In both cases it is a generalization.

Although the study of character began in the twentieth century with claims to become an exact science , that is, to be able to classify all personalities of the human being in detail, today it is accepted that they are only part of approximations to the personality.

It is commonly distinguished between strong and weak characters , or of good and bad character, according to different ranges of evaluation, which usually have to do with irritability, patience , temperance and resilience or submission and passivity, depending on the context .

Character evaluation is today a useful tool for companies and organizations that want to have a quick and general profile of their potential employees.

  1. Character and temperament

The sum of character and temperament determine the personality of human beings . But while character is a predominant tendency before certain situations, temperament is a general disposition of the individual before the world, that is, his usual way of relating to reality .

Thus, while the character is due to an external stimulus, temperament is linked to endocrine functions and is genetically determined, so there is a hereditary component in it and manifests itself in physical and psychological traits. It could be said that while character is the way to respond to situations, temperament is the common posture when nothing happens.

  1. Difference between character and personality

Character is just one of the elements that make up the personality , along with the temperament and habits learned. If character is a predominant reaction to specific situations, personality, on the other hand, is a complex and diverse conjunction of virtues, defects, tendencies, feelings, thoughts and, in short, the psychic characteristics of a person. While the character is simple and general, the personality is complex and unique.

Thus, while the character can be reduced to an attribute or an idea that encompasses a certain tendency in the reaction, the personality is a construction rich in nuances , difficult to grasp in its entirety and many folds and contradictions, which makes it difficult to quickly conclude some kind of predictability with respect to the individual.

  1. Character examples

At the beginning of the 20th century, René Le Senne (1882-1954) tried to create a concrete classification of the possible characters of the human being, in order to determine who were more prone to crime, and postulated that there were eight. Although it is known today that reality is not so simple, we can cite them as an example below:

  • Nervous character (emotional, inactive, primary) . It is a hypersensitive character, whose inactive posture to the world makes him accumulate a lot of energy and react uncontrollably. He is prone to crime only when he reacts without measuring the consequences of his actions, by pure instinct.
  • Passionate character (emotional, active, secondary) . Unlike the nervous, the passionate is very active: aggressive, paranoid, tends to wield his emotions and follow them to the end, which is why he is often involved in passion crimes and hate crimes , jealousy or revenge.
  • Wrathful character (emotional, active, primary) . In this character the emotionality is reactive, conditioned for the initiative: combativeness, initiative, aggressiveness, which makes it prone to sexual activity and artistic expressiveness.
  • Sentimental character (emotional, inactive, secondary) . Not predisposed to crime, the sentimental is held back by the burden of his emotions, which prevent him from acting. However, sometimes you can give in to the nervous character and then live prey to regret.
  • Blood character (non-emotional, active, primary) . It is a character that pursues the most immediate satisfaction of your bodily impulses: eat, drink, have sex. All greedily, so it is often linked to theft and sexual offenses.
  • Phlegmatic character (not emotional, active, secondary) . They are cold, impassive, cerebral and orderly, given to reflection and planning, their incursion into crime tends to be meticulous, planned, as in scams, or white collar crimes.
  • Amorphous character (not emotional, inactive, primary) . In it a radical laziness predominates, reason why it rejects the reflection and usually lives its immediate present, with the minimum possible effort. It can be easily influenced towards the crime by third parties, since it is manipulable and suggestible.
  • Apathetic character (not emotional, inactive, secondary) . Everything doesn’t matter. They tend to have deficiencies in dealing with the world and with others in terms of equals, so they will often seek the company of minors or weak personalities.

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