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Sheldon's Body Personality

 

Explanations > Personality > Sheldon's Body Personality

Endomorph | Ectomorph | Mesomorph | So what?

 

Sheldon noted three personalities based on their physical make-up.

Endomorph

The Endomorph is physically quite 'round', and is typified as the 'barrel of fun' person. They tend to have:

  • Wide hips and narrow shoulders, which makes them rather pear-shaped.
  • Quite a lot of fat spread across the body, including upper arms and thighs.
  • They have quite slim ankles and wrists, which only serves to accentuate the fatter other parts.

Psychologically, the endomorph is:

  • Sociable
  • Fun-loving
  • Love of food
  • Tolerant
  • Even-tempered
  • Good humored
  • Relaxed
  • With a love of comfort
  • And has a need for affection

Ectomorph

The Ectomorph is a form of opposite of the Endomorph. Physically, they tend to have:

  • Narrow shoulders and hips
  • A thin and narrow face, with a high forehead
  • A thin and narrow chest and abdomen
  • Thin legs and arms
  • Very little body fat

Even though they may eat as much as the endomorph, they never seem to put on weight (much to the endomorph's chagrin). Psychologically they are:

  • Self-conscious
  • Private
  • Introverted
  • Inhibited
  • Socially anxious
  • Artistic
  • Intense
  • Emotionally restrained
  • Thoughtful

Mesomorph

The mesomorph is somewhere between the round endomorph and the thin ectomorph. Physically, they have the more 'desirable' body, and have:

  • Large head, broad shoulders and narrow waist (wedge-shaped).
  • Muscular body, with strong forearms and and thighs
  • Very little body fat

They are generally considered as 'well-proportioned'. Psychologically, they are:

  • Adventurous
  • Courageous
  • Indifferent to what others think or want
  • Assertive/bold
  • Zest for physical activity
  • Competitive
  • With a desire for power/dominance
  • And a love of risk/chance

So what?

Psychological profiling based on anatomical features is generally not considered to be reliable these days. Nevertheless, such patterns do have some level of interest, and old theories are often ingrained in society, as well as being based on some form of observation.

The best approach is to use this as a test. When you meet a person who seems to fit in with the physical characteristics above, be curious to see if they also fit into the psychological profile. If it all works as predicted, then well and good (it may be that they are actually in a self-fulfilling prophesy, where they fit themselves to the appropriate model). Otherwise, look elsewhere for ways to understand the person.

Sheldon's original work included attempts to characterize criminals (in the style of Lombroso's original work in this area). Unsurprisingly, he found that a number were muscular mesomorphs, as violent crimes are likely to be carried out by strong men. The trap beyond this is to assume that all mesomorphs are criminal in nature. This is not unlike the work that 'proved' women to be less intelligent than men because they have smaller brains!

 

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