David Keirsey

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David Keirsey

David West Keirsey (born August 31, 1921 in Oklahoma , † July 30, 2013 ) was an American psychologist and professor at California State University in Fullerton .

He became internationally known for his work on the further development and application of the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI), a temperament classification that classifies people into 16 types.


Keirsey received his BA from Pomona College and his MA and Ph.D. from Claremont College Graduate School . In 1950 he started working as a consultant at a school for delinquent boys. He worked for almost 20 years as a crisis mediator in schools, followed by 11 years at the 'CSU Fullerton Training' for therapists and pathologists .

In 1970 he received his PhD and became Professor of Psychology at the University of California.


Isabel Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs were the first to systematize the 16 types in their Myers-Briggs type indicator based on the work of Carl Gustav Jung . However, Keirsey's statements differ from those of Myers and Briggs in that his is more focused on perceptible features, while Myers and Briggs are more focused on feelings and thoughts. He also divided the 16 Jungian types into 4 groups, the so-called temperaments, see Keirsey Temperament Sorter .

Keirsey saw a connection between character traits and mental vulnerabilities or disorders. He believed that anorexics are idealists and that intuitive boys are too often associated with ADHD . With regard to ADHD, Keirsey was one of those psychologists and psychiatrists who believed that treating children with pharmaceuticals solely with drugs was useless and sometimes even caused the symptoms that were identified. He consistently campaigned against "epidemic harm to our children". By this he understood that children were mostly only treated with medicinal methods. He further claimed u. a. that Ritalin damages the brain and eventually makes it shrink. Keirsey claimed that using alternative parenting methods such as 'logical consequence' or 'treat it badly, you will lose it', he provided the affected children with a good therapeutic education without medication.


  • (with Marilyn Bates): Please Understand Me . Prometheus Nemesis Book Co Inc, November 1, 1984, English, ISBN 0960695400
  • (with Marilyn Bates): Please understand me . Intj Books, July 1, 1990, ISBN 0960695443
  • (Ed. with Ray Choiniere and Stephen E. Montgomery): Presidential Temperament: The Unfolding of Character in the Forty Presidents of the United States . Prometheus Nemesis Book Co Inc, August 1, 1992, English, ISBN 096069546X
  • (with Marilyn Bates and Stephen Montgomery): Please Understand Me: Character & Temperament Types . Prometheus Nemesis Book Co, 1994, English, ISBN 188570500X
  • Portraits of Temperament . Prometheus Nemesis Book Co Inc, June 1, 1995, English, ISBN 0960695419
  • (with Ray Choiniere): Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence . Prometheus Nemesis Book Co Inc, 1998, English, ISBN 1885705026

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. David Keirsey: The Great ADD Hoax. In: keirsey.com. Retrieved April 24, 2013 .