Achilles Tendencies

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Your weakness is your potential strength!


Welcome to the Home Page of

“Achilles Tendencies”!

a study of human weaknesses and shortcomings, derived from the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory and the Eysenck and Keirsey versions of temperament theory

Roger E. Bissell

 In the months and years to come, this web site will become the focal point for information and ideas pertaining to temperament and personality type as they relate to certain human weaknesses and shortcomings, such as emotional instability, dysfunctional personal relationships, and faulty communication styles. Stay tuned!


April 14, 1998 – here is an outline of the book I intend to write some day about temperament theory and personality type.

 A. Eysenck vs. Keirsey--a comparison of two modern attempts to update the ancient Greek temperaments

1. How Eysenck's temperament system maps into Jungian type theory and the MBTI

a. Eysenck's extroversion vs. introversion dimension and the MBTI

b. Eysenck's neuroticism scale and the MBTI

c. Eysenck's psychoticism scale and the MBTI

d. Eysenck's temperaments and Kagan's four infant-reactivity types

e. Eysenck, Kagan, Myers-Briggs, and the ancient Greek temperaments

f. The correlation of the MBTI extraversion and comfort scales with Eysenck's and the ancient Greek temperaments.

2. How Keirsey's temperament system maps into Jungian type theory and the MBTI

a. Keirsey's four temperaments (SJ, SP, NF, NT) and the 16 MBTI types

b. The Apollonian and Promethean temperaments as NF/NT function combinations (Keirsey) vs. the Apollonian and Promethean temperaments as NP/NJ cognitive temperaments (Germane)

c. Keirsey's role-directive vs. role-informative distinction and the MBTI

d. Keirsey's pragmaticist vs. ethicist distinction and the MBTI

e. The types Keirsey selects for these distinctions (NJ, NP, SF, ST) seen as "mirror temperaments"

f. The strongest types for each distinction (TJ, TP, FJ, FP) seen as behavioral temperaments

g. The parallel between Germane's cognitive ("syncretic") temperaments and Bissell's behavioral temperaments.  

B. The Judging/Perceiving dimension of the MBTI as the key to understanding social, cognitive, and behavioral function and dysfunction. 

1. Crossing the Extraversion/Introversion dimension with J/P – "sociability temperaments" aka "Rational" (E--J and I--P) and "Empirical" (E--P and I--J) types

2. The "function combinations" as the complement of E/I + J/P – the crossing of Sensing/Intuition with Thinking/Feeling aka ("aetherial" -NT- and "volcanic" -SF-) and ("oceanic" -NF- and "territorial" -ST-) types

3. Crossing the Sensing/Intuiting dimension with J/P – Germane's cognitive "syncretic" temperaments 

4. The complement of S/N + J/P – the crossing of Extraversion/Introversion with Thinking/Feeling 

5. Crossing the Thinking/Feeling dimension with J/P – Bissell's behavioral temperaments 

6. The complement of T/N + J/P – the crossing of Extraversion/Introversion with Sensing/Intuiting   


June 3, 1999 – here are links to the two papers I am presenting in July 1999 to APT XIII, the 13th biannual international conference of the Association for Psychological Type, at Scottsdale, Arizona. These papers are also being published in the Proceedings for the conference and are available from APT headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. (Note: the following links are for the brief versions of the papers. A longer version of each may be posted at some later date – 6/3/99.)

Achilles Tendencies: Exploring Personality Type and Human Frailty – relates to point B5 in the above outline.

Keirsey's "Mirror Temperaments" and the MBTI: a New Bridge between Type and Temperament – relates to point A2 (especially a, c, d, e, f) in the above outline.


October 5, 1999 – here is a link to a paper originally published in Volume 19, Number 3 (Summer 1996) of the Bulletin of Psychological Type, the quarterly newsletter of the Association for Psychological Type, 9140 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114-3313. (Visit their website at It is the first of a number of projected applications to type and temperament of the data base compiled in the creation of the Expanded Analysis Report (EAR) based on Form J of the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI).

"Stodginess," "Flakiness," and Type Development – relates to point B7 in the above outline.

February 5, 2004 – here is a link to a paper written on May 27, 1998. It is, in part, an early draft of the above-mentioned paper on what I call Keirsey’s “Mirror Temperaments.”

A New Look at David Keirsey's Temperaments – relates to point A2 (especially b, c, d, f, g) in the above outline.

December 28, 2005 – here is a link to a paper written in 1995. It discusses some of the problems I have had in conducting and sharing the results of my research on Achilles Tendencies.

The Gatekeeper Syndrome: the Use of Power in Research on Personality Type

And here is a link to the outline for the book I intend to write some day on human weaknesses and shortcomings:

Achilles Tendencies -- the book

More to come!