Temperament and Personality Development

  • Kevin B. MacDonald
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


Most discussions of temperament begin with Allport’s (1961) definition:

Temperament refers to the characteristic phenomena of an individual’s emotional nature, including his susceptibility to emotional stimulation, his customary strength and speed of response, the quality of his prevailing mood and all the peculiarities of fluctuation and intensity of mood, these phenomena being regarded as dependent upon constitutional make-up and therefore largely hereditary in origin. (Allport, 1961, p. 34)

Temperament is therefore a stable attribute of an individual. It involves aspects of the individual’s response to stimulation, and is biological in origin.


Behavioral Inhibition Personality Development Sensation Seek Median Forebrain Bundle Behavioral Inhibition System 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin B. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University-Long BeachLong BeachUSA

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