About this ‘n that

About the author

I am a retired psychology professor and taught for many years at Cal Poly Pomona.  My greatest interests have always been in the intricate processes of human development and in the relationship of this to the growth and development of the brain.  Some years ago, my daughter, Teri Jourgensen, and I developed measurement scales for temperament in children, based on the ideas behind the Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and the work of David Keirsey on measuring temperament.  Our children’s scales, as well as a temperament scale for adults, are all available on our main website http://parentingbytemerament.com . Teri and I have also published a companion book called Parenting by Temperament:  The New Revised Raising CuddleBugs and BraveHearts. It is available at Amazon.com.

My family includes four children, eight grandchildren and two very silly labradoodles.  I would say that cultivating and growing  parentingbytemperament.com and temperamentmatters.com are my greatest source of day to day fascination, and golf my greatest source of day to day frustration/obsession.

Nancy Harkey

About this blog

TemperamentMatters is written for two audiences.  The first is those of you in the wide world out there, who may find this to be an intriguing topic as we explore both factual information, all sorts of speculation, and ever evolving news in this area.

The second (and perhaps closest to the heart) audience are the parents who take our temperament scales (called Sorters) and follow the ParentingbyTemperament website.  Because these parents are familiar with the temperament terms we use on that site, temperamentmatters.com will sometimes discuss issues that involve those terms.  For those not familiar with these terms there are two possible routes to demystification.  On the page here, called Temperament Terms we include a brief list of definitions and a briefer list of descriptions.  Alternatively, you can have much more fun by going to ParentingbyTemperament.com and taking the adult scale for yourself.  It is completely free and includes several feedback pages which will acquaint you with the terms and c0ncepts as they relate to you, specifically.  


7 Responses to About this ‘n that

  1. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks a lot!

  2. Lars says:

    Hi Nancy,

    Would you be so kind and tell me your email address (or simply write me one on mine), because i want to ask you some question which is not meant for the blog.


    • Afagh says:

      He means any preference, esiorwhte his model wouldn’t be very different from type dynamics (apart from the individual sequence). Quote: that any preference may in fact be dominant not just the functions. The equivalent status of E-I and J-P with S-N and T-F also confers on them the possibilty that they too may be dominant. He wrote that for most behaviors, there is more than one preference involved, sometimes more than two. His example was the word Persuasive which was rated with high correlation with ET. The correlation with E was higher than that with T, so the sequence is ET, not TE.He noted that people with only E preference (and no T) showed more correlation to Persuasive than those with only T. Most correlation had those with both = ET. The word dominant was correlated to TE.He wrote there are other correlations which involve three preferences and fery few that involve four, but most involve two. I would have liked to see a list of all behaviors/words he made those correlations, but i think he didn’t publish it.I for example, would correlate creative with NP, with N being the bigger contribution.Also he linked the dominance of preferences not only to the indivual but also to the situation and psychological states, which implies that depending on the situation the dominant preferences may change.Example (from me): if in a contemplating mood, an E-type can be pretty I.I interpret it this way: for me as an INFP in doing the houshold P dominates, when talking to a friend about a private matter FI does, when i’m telling some jokes to friends it may be ENP, when i’m working alone on some ideas NI and when i’m thinking about finances it may be even JT.I think the conclusion is, that the (dominant) preferences are playing a big role in daily life, depending on the situation if more or less, but there are certainly situations where everyone uses his not dominant ones in a dominant fashion.

  3. deborah wyman says:


    Thank you for your wonderful book! I believe you are absolutely right about approaching parenting with temperament in mind. I am an INTP and I am thoroughly enjoying seeing the world through my little ESFP’s eyes. It is fun to see him explore his world and if I did not understand about type, I would imagine that I would be completely frustrated as this exploration can be a bit messy.

    One topic that I am very interested in but you did not seem to touch on in your book is how to keep an SP child safe. I am having this challenge in my family. My boy, who as a toddler actually tried to run down a slide, is constantly endangering himself. We often have the discussion about how he must wear his bike helmet because his head is “very breakable”. Just recently, (he is now 5 yrs) my little guy decided to go for a walk with a passerby. When I reminded him about past stranger danger discussions, he shook his head and replied, “but he is my friend.” I tried to explain that just because someone is “friendly” doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is your “friend”. He looked at me like I was from outer space.

    I am wondering if you know of any resources that can give me some hints / tips in this area. I am starting to realize that as he gets older, with his natural curiosity, openness and his ‘living in the moment’ mentality without thought of future consequences, he is quite capable of getting himself into some very dangerous situations and he will not always have the watchful eye of a parent looking over his shoulder.

    Thanks for your time!
    Debbie Wyman

    • INTJ says:

      Hi Debbie,

      Thanks so much for your kind words about our book. it is so heartening to hear from readers.

      I wish I had some good advice to give you about safety. It is some help that you see the problem clearly and are more watchful because of it, but it is a tough problem. Every preference in the ESFP type contributes something to what you are going through. SPs who are also extraverts are much bigger at seeking excitement, and Feeling means that logical arguments don’t have a very strong influence over the emotions of the moment. This is probably particularly true where the problem is a potentially dangerous but friendly stranger, with all four preferences urging liking. On the positive side it will be good, as he gets older to provide as many exciting (but controlled) activities as you can find for him. And, of course, keep up all the discussions about serious dangers. Repetition is boring, but it does help a little. As he gets a little older I would be tempted to show him pictures of the inside of the brain, too, to drive that point home. Brain texture is not much above the level of pudding, so imagining what would happen to pudding if its container hit a tree (or fell from one!) might make the point a little.

      That is not much help, I know. If you develop some useful strategies, I would be delighted to hear from you about it.

      Thanks for your comments,

      Nancy Harkey

    • Bisig says:

      Hi Leam,Like most broad generalizations, irrtovent and extrovert are end points on a continuum. Most of us fall somewhere along the line between the two, and at any given time, our preferences might shift somewhat toward one or the other. In addition, our behavior isn’t just a function of our preferences. I have clients who would probably swear that I’m an extrovert, but my client-facing behavior is driven by my role, rather than my personal preferences. Thanks for stopping by it’s always good to get comments!

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