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Wayne L. Klein, PhD

Neuropsychological Assessment of Children & Adults; Couples & Individual Psychotherapy Offices in Franklin, MA & Spaulding Center for Children, Sandwich, MA
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the more biological component of personality

- Babies are born with "Factory Settings" aka Temperament

- Misguided attempts to modify temperament often do more harm than good

- Temperament can often be modified, but this requires skill and patience

- Mismatch between environment & temperament is a major cause of all manner of difficulties

-Psychopathology is often caused by a mismatch between temperament and environment.

-Most extremes of temperament may be thought of as specializations for particular situations. And, they may not function that well when in situations for which they are not suited.

-The exact dimensions of temperament are still being worked out. The dimensions presented here are clinically useful, but perhaps not precisely accurate as they may be blends of temperament & learned behavior.

Activity level
             Couch potato                                                                                             Hyperactive
prone to obesity, cardiovascular disease, low energy                                   Difficult to sit for academics

                                                  Approach vs. Avoidance

          Extreme caution in new situations                                              Extreme risk taking
                     Slow to warm                                                                      Sensation seeking
             prone to anxiety disorders                                                        prone to risky behavior
        Requires more time to get used to novelty

Sensory Screening
                Highly sensitive                                      Strong screener
      Easily distractred because sensory input is high volume        Prone to missing important visual & auditory cues

                      Inflexible                                                                                   Highly flexible
  Has diffiuclty immediate changing behavior                                                 Easily derailed from plans
   Can be mistaken for noncompliance                                                  At risk for being easily influenced
     Asperger's often suspected

Attentional Flexibility
                   Over focused                                                                               Highly distractible

                   Very high persistence                                                              Very low persistence
                    Never gives up                                                       Benefits from work broken into short segments
             Gets stuck on ideas or behaviors                                                Seldom completes anything

Intensity of Expression
                      Very low                                                                                         High volume
        Hard to tell how person feels                                                            Very pleasant if postive mood
                                                                                       May be stoic until they lose it seemingly out of the blue

                       Born smiling                                                                                             Negative
         Unpleasant if also high intensity