Research symposium| Volume 7, ISSUE 5, P347-353, October 1992

The tendancy for temperament to be “temperamental”: Conceptual and methodological considerations

  • Jean M. Johnson
    Address reprint requests to Jean M. Johnson, PhD, RN, Nursing Research Section, Department of Clinical Investigation, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6200.
    Nursing Research Section, Department of Clinical Investigation, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX, USA
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      Temperament seems to be a concept that stimulates a great deal of enthusiasm among nurses and professionals who “discover” it. Yet “knowing” that you have captured something of value does not necessarily imply full knowledge and understanding of the object. On the contrary temperament enthusiasts guarantee no consensus of opinion about what it is or how to best measure it. And so the conceptual and methodological issues for debate and discussion continue spilling over into both its research and clinical use. Sorting out the issues and the implications for use when there has been so much discussion and debate can be difficult. This article attempts to identify the main issues surrounding temperament, where we stand on some of the issues, and the practical implications for nurses who are interested in incorporating the measurement of temperament into clinical practice and research.
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