I begrudgingly agreed to take a particular personality assessment for, er, "research purposes." Now, I give as much credence to some personality assessments as I do Facebook quizzes that tell you which eukaryotic organelle you are. I am a ribosome, by the way. I get along well with the endoplasmic reticulum. Anyway, my point is that the information from these assessments doesn’t usually tell you anything you didn't already know but can be a fun something to do. But, ok, I will concede some actually do have merit and practical applications. I kind of have to say this. Afterall...
Years ago I was certificated as a Human Behavior Consultant by a company out of Atlanta using the DISC model . (I never utilized it in the way it was intended which was to conduct seminars in school and office settings) This model is basically the same as the others that are the more developed form of the Hippocrates' humoral theory.
What? You didn't really think I'd leave out a history lesson, did you?
In India, ayurvedic tradition tells that there are basic elements to life that can be grouped into three "substances." When one of the three substances is dominate you have a body type and it is believed that this dosha dictates your temperament. It is also important to note that like many cultures, the ayurvedic teaches that life is the manifestation of the spiritual. Similarly, Christian writers posit there is a higher connection as well. If you want to transform your temperament, some say, you need only to appeal to the heavens. And only then will you find your true purpose, so they say.
So the point of all this humors/elements, mind/body, personality/temperament stuff is to help us get into healthy balance so we can better understand ourselves and each other, and in the end, all just get along, right?
So, I did it. And by the way, I have no intention of telling anyone what my cutesie letter combination turned out to be. This information in the wrong hands... right? heh heh. Anyway, there's something creepy about being able to plug variables into an formula that then pops out a completely intrusive report that reads like field notes from someone that's just spent the last year shadowing me. It invalidates my uniqueness! ~gasp!~ It countermands my perception of individuality! What happened to experience being the fire that forges? Mr. "Researcher" explained to me that "this can be significant but not as much as we used to think" though he has thus far refused to point me to such research to support this. I mean, come on, it's not that simple, is it, Mr. Researcher? Methinks Mr. Researcher didn't think this answer through.
On the surface, it would seem this assessment reduces me to a predictable system of algorithms. At the very worst, it points out in tortuous detail what I have the potential to be, were it not for my miserable, inherent flaws that prevent it. But now someone also wants to tell me I would have ended up this way even without all those "character building" experiences? If it were true loads of cognitive psychologists would be out of a job, right. If the last decade had little to do with who I innately am (in which case, I want a life refund!), then by that logic the future offers little hope for change as well. That's awfully dismal! And highly illogical, Captain. Continuously shaping yourself is life's most worthy endeavor, afterall.
My temperament may try to dictate what choice I make, but in turn the decision can hone my temperament. I may have an inherent disposition to be this way or that, but all along the way I have choices as to how much I will allow it to dominate me. And the choices I've made thus far haven't all been for nothing. Otherwise, everything I am is just the result of one of sixteen ways the dice might have landed. Then again, maybe this grumpiness I had attributed to not getting enough sleep really has to do with having too much black bile, or yellow bile, or blood. Time to get out the leeches, maybe?