Monday, July 2, 2012

Kiersey Temperament Survey Identifies Who Reads What Genres; Says Reading "Still Strong"

The Kiersey Temperament organization is an interesting operation that identifies temperament types (personality types) through psychological testing and provides lots of detail on what these personalities are like.

One of the 'details' they've focused on recently is how much people like to read books. A major question they wanted answered was whether book reading is in decline. They also investigated what kinds of books are being read by what types of personalities. They surveyed over 3,300 people who've participated in their self-assessments over time, and came up with some interesting data.

It's great news that a large majority of respondents in the survey are avid readers who state that they will continue to be avid readers. (Did we ever really have any doubt?)

What's really interesting in this survey, though, is the breakout of what types of personalities like to read what genres of books. Fascinating to contemplate, and could be useful in shaping those marketing messages.

There are four basic temperament types, and four character types within each one of those. They are:

Guardians: cornerstone of society. Given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardian Character Types: Supervisor, Inspector, Provider, Protector

Idealists: passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Their quest for self-knowledge drives their imagination. Idealist Character Types: Teacher, Counselor, Champion, Healer

Rationals: the problem solvers. Rigorously logical and value competence and ingenuity above all. Rational Character Types: Fieldmarshall, Mastermind, Inventor, Architect

Artisans: want to be where the action is. Spontaneous, adaptable, and competitive, they believe today must be enjoyed. Artisan Character Types: Promoter, Crafter, Performer, Composer

Go here to see which genres are read by which temperament types.

And if you're interested in finding out where your own personality fits into the Kiersey paradigm, go here to take the temperament test and see which type you are. (It's really fun!)


  1. Very interesting. Thanks for the link to the test. I took it, but no results yet.

  2. Oh, just got back the results...I'm an Idealist. Yay! This was fun.

  3. So glad you enjoyed it Em. It IS fun, isn't it?

  4. This is interesting! I went to take the test... did the first section and it was so hard. I've taken so many of these tests, but I am not black and white. One case I might be more compassionate, but if I know the person and their tactics, I'm matter of fact. Throw compassion out the door. I can't answer one way or another, because I change based on the situation. This has been consistent each time, and format I've taken this test. I fall evenly in all four squares.

    Which... is an interesting thought. Because, I love all genres. Mystery. Action. Fantasy. Romance. YA. Non-fiction. It's all good (when it's good). Now Thanks for a great post!

    1. Now I see why you're doing so many things simultaneously in different areas all the time, Karlene! Fascinating. If you finish the questionnaire, do they come up stumped? Give you a primary temperament type?