Exploration of the benefits of an activity-specific test of temperament.

Research paper by Irina N IN Trofimova

Indexed on: 26 Nov '09Published on: 26 Nov '09Published in: Psychological reports


The Structure of Temperament Questionnaire (STQ) was proposed by Rusalov in 1989 and subsequently tested in five languages. The questionnaire assesses four temperamental traits (Ergonicity, Plasticity, Tempo, and Emotionality) in three separate areas of activity: physical, verbal-social, and intellectual. The scales are all activity-specific. In 775 Canadian subjects, two temperament tests were compared, both developed on the basis of Pavlovian studies of the nervous system: the activity-specific approach (STQ) and the nonspecific Pavlovian Temperamental Survey (PTS). More significant sex differences were found on activity-specific scales of the STQ than on the nonspecific PTS scales. The pattern of correlations between the STQ scales and the time taken on an experimental task requiring a prolonged and intense word-assessment activity showed stronger correlations with the specific scales of the STQ measuring the dynamic aspects of social-verbal activity, and not with the PTS Strength of Excitation scale, which is based on a "general arousal" concept. The results supported the separation of temperament traits related to three different types of activities and opposed to "general arousal" theories of temperament.