What is Keirsey Temperament Sorter?
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is a self-assessment tool developed by Dr. David Keirsey in the 1970s. It is based on his theory of temperament, which classifies individuals into four broad categories, known as the Guardian, Artisan, Idealist, and Rational temperaments. The KTS is closely related to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and shares its foundation in Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. However, the KTS focuses more on observable behaviors and communication patterns than the cognitive processes emphasized by the MBTI. The primary goal of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter is to help individuals better understand their own personality traits, preferences, and communication styles, as well as those of others, to foster improved relationships and collaboration.
How is Keirsey Temperament Sorter used?
Individuals can use the Keirsey Temperament Sorter to gain insight into their own personality traits, preferences, and communication styles. This understanding can lead to personal growth, improved self-awareness, and more effective communication and decision-making.
Organizations can use the KTS to help team members understand their own and their colleagues’ temperament styles, fostering improved communication, collaboration, and team dynamics. By understanding the diverse strengths and preferences of each team member, teams can better leverage their collective capabilities to achieve their goals.
The KTS can be used to help leaders recognize their own temperament style and understand how it may affect their leadership approach. This awareness can lead to improved leadership skills, such as more effective communication, better decision-making, and the ability to adapt one’s leadership style to different situations and individuals.
Counseling and Coaching
Counselors, therapists, and coaches can use the Keirsey Temperament Sorter as part of their assessment process to help clients gain insight into their temperament styles and improve their relationships, communication, and overall well-being.
Shortcomings and Criticisms of Keirsey Temperament Sorter
Validity and Reliability
Some critics question the validity and reliability of the KTS, as it is based on a self-report questionnaire, which can be subject to biases and inaccuracies. Additionally, some argue that the KTS is not as well-researched as other personality assessment tools, such as the MBTI or the Five-Factor Model.
Overemphasis on Categories
The KTS categorizes individuals into one of four temperament styles, which can lead to oversimplification and stereotyping. Critics argue that human personality is more nuanced and cannot be fully captured by a limited number of categories. This categorization may also give the false impression that people’s personality traits are fixed and unchangeable.
Lack of Theoretical Foundation
While the KTS is loosely based on Jung’s theory of psychological types, critics argue that it lacks a strong theoretical foundation and may not adequately address the complex interplay of cognitive, affective, and behavioral aspects of personality.
Some critics argue that the popularity of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter is driven more by marketing and commercial interests than by its scientific validity. This criticism suggests that the KTS’s widespread use in various industries, such as corporate training and counseling, may be due more to its accessibility and user-friendliness than to its empirical basis and rigor.