Thomas & Chess on Behavioral Individuality

Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess discuss temperament qualities in children.

 ATQ2 2017: Updated Edition on the Web

The Adult Temperament Questionnaire 2nd Edition (ATQ2) provides information regarding the temperament of adults, and is based on the landmark research of Drs. Alexander Thomas, Stella Chess and associates in the New York Longitudinal Study. The ATQ2 was distilled from questionnaire items filled out by the original 130+ NYLS subjects in young adulthood.

[ See changes made to the ATQ over time here ]

What is temperament and what qualities make up my behavioral style?

Categories of temperament or behavioral style indicate how the individual responds to the environment around them, and uses 9 categories to describe these stylistic reactions: activity level, regularity, adaptability, approach to novelty, emotional intensity, quality of mood, sensory sensitivity, distractibility and persistence.

Research has shown that infants children and adults differ in a consistent way from one another on these dimensions and that these characteristics form a part of the foundation of individual personality.

Why should someone know their temperamental qualities?

Completing the ATQ2 allows any adult to determine their own temperament qualities. Knowing one's own temperament can be useful in understanding yourself and your patterns of reaction to situations and events in life. This includes personal behavior as well as parenting behavior. Comparison of one's impressions of self with standardized scores can also determine one's level of self-awareness in adulthood. Thomas & Chess felt that adults should be encouraged to learn about and understand their own normal temperament qualities.

What is the process and time commitment to complete the ATQ2 and receive results?

The ATQ2 web processing system allows users to go directly to the questionnare or to purchase multiple access codes for future ATQ2 web profiles, so that a significant other, a class of students or clients in a private practice can be referred to the questionnaire to establish their own temperament profiles. To proceed:

  • » Read and agree to the terms and conditions of questionnaire use (about 2 minutes)
  • » Pay the $12. fee for the survey (about 5 minutes)
  • » Fill out the questionnaire (about 10 minutes)
  • » Receive results in the browser window (immediate)
  • » Receive an email copy as a permanent record. (immediate)
What is needed to complete the Adult Temperament Questionnaire on the web?
  • » Access to the internet,
  • » An active email address
  • » A valid credit card.(Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover).
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