Blog of Sara Jakša

Emotions and the Temperament

I have recently went over the pdf of the lecture about Affective computing. And there I have found an interesting connection between the emotions and temperaments. So I was thinking that I would like to describe the connection here, just in case anybody else, like you the reader or my future self, you like to know about it as well.

The emotions were grouped in the coordinate system like this:

negative valence positive valence
high arousal Angry Happy
low arousal Sad Apathetic

The emotions can be either grouped by whenever they are positive or negative, or whenever they have high or low energy.

The can then be put in the exact configuration by using the Galen's theory of the forth humors:

Dry (Earth) Wet (Water)
hot (Fire) Choleric Sanguine
cold (Air) Melancholy Phlegmatic

Sure, I could argue about some of these distinctions, but I think that is a very good way of grouping people. I mean, when I think about myself, I usually test as either melancholic or phlegmatic, rarely as choleric and never as sanguine. But looking at the emotions, while I am sometimes apathetic and angry, most people would never describe be as happy. They would mostly describe me as sad, if they had to use one of the four words. Though I do know people, that could be described be either of these four.

It is also interesting, because the elements also give a picture of what the person is like. So, based on the elements, I imagine the phlegmatic people like the cold lake in the mountains. I imagine the sanguine people as the hot spring, or maybe a summer rain. I do prefer the hot spring. The Choleric are like the fire raging over the dry forests, you know the kind that no longer have much greenery, because it is so dry. And the melancholy is like the stony mountains, simply standing there.