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Name: Niki T
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Question:
I need some information about somatotypes (how different body types influence personality). If anyone has any information for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.



Replies:
Well...you want literature or fact? It sounds a little like you're thinking of the famous old classification of a person's body and spirit as ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph, which could be loosely translated as "thin and nervy", "husky and cheerful", and "fat and sullen". This is a little like the old medieval thesis that four "humors" controlled personality: blood, yellow bile, phlegm and black bile. The dominance of each made you, in order, sanguine (sang- being a prefix that means blood in Latin), melancholy, phlegmatic or bilious. (I may have melancholy and bilious mixed up.) The meanings of the words to describe people and their behaviour have stuck, although the original theory is long gone. Robertson Davies has his toy scientist in his novel "The Rebel Angels" expound a cute pseudo-scientific thesis like the ecto/meso/endomorph division but more complicated.
      Now if you want fact, oy. The relationship between what you look like and how you act and feel is pretty complicated and largely unknown. If you mean effects that operate entirely within yourself, I don't know where to start. If you mean effects that result from your interaction with society, perhaps a text on social psychology like Aronson's "The Social Animal" is a place to start.
Christopher Grayce



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