Roots of the PEN Theory

Unlike many other researchers on temperament, Eysenck in describing his theory of temperament refers to numerous historical sources where some of the ideas present in his theory are to be found. Without pretending to cite all the historical sources (see H. J. Eysenck, 1970; H. J. Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985) those that Eysenck considers of special importance are mentioned here. Going back to ancient times, he emphasized that the dimensions of extraversion and neuroticism were anticipated by Hippocrates and Galen, and in most of his publications he noted the similarity between these two basic temperament dimensions and the Hippocrates-Galen typology as illustrated on Figure 2.1. The dimensional concept of temperament that allowed Eysenck to search for continuity between normal characteristics and pathology already had been developed by Wundt (1887). Eysenck took the term extraversion-introversion from Jung (1923) but gave it a different meaning. Also the idea that extraversion and neuroticism are two independent dimensions may be found, according to Eysenck, in Jung's writings. Jung regarded neurosis as independent of extraversion-introversion, and suggested that in the case of neurotic breakdown extraverts are predisposed to hysteria and introverts to psychasthenia. The causal approach to temperament present in Eysenck's theory was ascribed to Gross (1902) who gave a neurophysiological interpretation

FIGURE 2.1. Relation between the four ancient temperaments and the neuroticism-extraversion dimensional system. Note. From Personality and Individual Differences: A Natural Science Approach (p. 5), by H. J. Eysenck and M. W. Eysenck, 1985, New York: Plenum Press. Copyright 1985 by Plenum Press. Reprinted with permission.

FIGURE 2.1. Relation between the four ancient temperaments and the neuroticism-extraversion dimensional system. Note. From Personality and Individual Differences: A Natural Science Approach (p. 5), by H. J. Eysenck and M. W. Eysenck, 1985, New York: Plenum Press. Copyright 1985 by Plenum Press. Reprinted with permission.

of the primary-secondary function (see Chapter 1) that became one of the three temperament dimensions in the Heymans-Wiersma typology. The research conducted by Heymans and Wiersma (1906-1918) was regarded by Eysenck as the first model in which the psychometric approach was combined with laboratory tests and empirical data were statistically analyzed under the guidance of a general theory. In a contemporary and even more complex fashion, this model has been superseded by Eysenck. The historical perspective present in most of H. J. Eysenck's ( 1947, 1967, 1970; H. J. Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985) writings allowed him to construct a theory of temperament that shows how earlier findings and ideas can contribute to new developments in personality psychology.

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