How the Humm Components were renamed

As readers of my works know I see myself as carrying the flame of the 7MTF/Humm-Wadsworth model of temperament.  Temperament is how your genetic make-up defines how you react emotionally.  Understand temperament and you can dramatically lift your emotional intelligence.

It was an American psychologist, Rosanoff, who first proposed a paradigm shift in 1924.  Until the work of Rosanoff, doctors defined abnormal psychological conditions in black and white: people were either mad or not.  Rosanoff suggested that such a distinction between the normal and abnormal states was artificial and the difference was not one of kind but of degree.  Normality and abnormality are not black and white but as different shades of grey.

Rosanoff further noted there were few mental illnesses and proposed a theory of personality based on the most common four mental illnesses:

– schizophrenia

– epilepsy

– hysteria

– cyclodia (what we now would call manic-depression)

and a fifth component called the Normal which is driven by the desire for order and is associated with behaviour such as social adjustment or integration with society.  The Normal is the gradual change that occurs to the personality as the human being matures—and then may fade away if the adult enters a second childhood.

In 1935, Two Southern Californians, Humm, a statistician, and Wadsworth, a clinical psychologist, using the recently invented statistical technique of multi-variate factor analysis extended the Rosanoff hypothesis by sub-dividing both cyclodia and schizophrenia into two new components.  Cyclodia was divided into manic-depression and schizophrenia divided into autistic-paranoid.  When I learned about the Humm in the early 1970s the seven temperament factors were Normal, Manic, Depressive, Autistic, Paranoid, Epileptoid, and Hysteroid and I used these terms in the first draft of Empathy Selling.

However one of the first changes demanded by the publisher was develop terms for the seven components that were less pejorative.  Given that Humm proponents generally use the initial rather than the full term e.g. “You keep saying I-I-I, you are such a P.” I decided to invent new terms with the same initial.  Thus Normal, Mover, Doublechecker, Artist, Politician, Engineer, and Hustler were born and have now become generally used.


My problem now is whether the terms still have validity.  Normal still works, Manic and Doublechecker are the two poles of the Bipolar Disorder, ditto for Artist and Politician for schizophrenia.  However there are difficulties with the Engineer (Epilepsy) and Hustler (Hysteria).  Hustlers we will discuss in the next blog.

According to the Humm the person with a strong Engineer has a drive to complete projects. Process, detail and method are characteristics of the strong E. This person makes lists of lists! The great thing about the strong E is that they can form a plan as soon as look at something. And what’s more they can make it happen. They’ll need time of course, because they’ll want to follow the process, and this may be frustrating for some others who want to take a short-cut.  Strong Es are very conscientious indeed they can be obsessive about it and the projects they are working on.

Modern psychology is debating whether there is an “epileptic” personality and it is a moot question.  However there is a mental illness which does encompass the Engineer component and that is the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD.  OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviours you feel compelled to perform. Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge.  Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again.  Compulsions are behaviours or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again.

Is there a link between epilepsy and OCD?  Although it is unclear why OCD tends to occur with epilepsy, evidence of the association is quite convincing.  Early studies suggested that epilepsy caused certain personality characteristics to develop, including obsessional traits.  A number of studies published in the 1980s and 1990s reported a more specific association between OCD and epilepsy. However most of the evidence linking OCD with epilepsy has come from case studies and clinical observations, and not from studies of large groups.

My conclusion is that the 7MTF/Humm model still holds.  However the mental illness is not epilepsy but OCD.  However the Engineer component does exist in a person’s temperament and for some people it can be very strong (think of the characters in the Big Bang Theory).


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