Q:

What is a melancholy personality?

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Quick Answer

According to the Organizational Development Portal, people with melancholic personalities are introverted and thoughtful, with significant capacity for artistic creativity. The same source notes that perfectionism is a common trait in the melancholic.

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The Online Personality Tests website states that the ancient four temperaments (choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic and sanguine) have seen a recent resurgence, with Christian and self-help books perpetuating versions of the original concept. A University of California, Santa Cruz webpage notes that the theory of humors was originally based on the notion that the four primary elements of earth, air, fire and water corresponded to blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile, four fluids coursing through the human body that were thought to shape individual dispositions. Black bile was held to determine melancholic dispositions.

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