David Keirsey

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

He became internationally known for his work on the development and use of the Myers - Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI ), a temperament classification, which classifies people into 16 types.


Keirsey got his B. A. from Pomona College and his M. A. and Ph.D. of the Claremont College Graduate School. In 1950 he began working as a consultant at a school for delinquent boys. He worked nearly 20 years as a crisis mediator in schools, followed by 11 years at the ' Fullerton CSU - training ' for therapists and pathologists.

In 1970 he received his doctorate and became a professor of psychology at the University of California.


Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs were the first who systematized the 16 types on the basis of the work of Carl Gustav Jung in their Myers -Briggs Type Indicator. However, different versions of which Keirseys of Myers and Briggs, as his are more focused on observable characteristics, while Myers and Briggs paid more attention to 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 psychological vulnerabilities or faults. He was of the opinion that anorexics are idealists and that intuitively perceiving boys are too often associated with ADHD. Regarding ADHD belonged Keirsey to the psychologists and psychiatrists, according to their opinion, the only drug treatment of children with pharmaceuticals is useless and sometimes even only cause the symptoms observed. He engaged consistently against " epidemic damage to our children." By this he meant that children would usually treated with medication methods. Furthermore, it stated inter alia that Ritalin harms the brain and eventually bring to shrink. Keirsey claimed that he ' treat it badly, then you lose it ' with alternative methods of education as ' logical consequences ' or ' affected children allowed 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 ): Understanding Me Please. Intj Books, July 1, 1990, ISBN 0960695443
  • (as 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

  • Myers -Briggs Type Indicator
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter