In the 1940's, William Herbert Sheldon associated body types with human temperament types. He claimed that a body type could be linked with the personality of that person. He says that a fat person with a large bone structure tends to have an outgoing and more relaxed personality while a more muscular body-typed person is more active and aggressive. A slim or scrawny person with thin muscles is usually characterized as quiet or fragile. He split up these body/personality types into three categories called somatotypes.
An Endomorphic somatotype is also known as a viscerotonic. The characteristic traits of this somatotype usually includes being relaxed, tolerant, comfortable, and sociable. Psychologically, they are also fun-loving, good humored,even-tempered, and they love food and affection. The Endomorph is physically "round". They have wide hips and narrow shoulders that give a pear-shape. They tend to have a lot of extra fat on their body and on their arms and thighs. They have skinny ankles and wrists that make the rest of their body look even bigger.
An ectomorph is the complete opposite of the Endomorph. Physically, they have narrow shoulders, thin legs and arms, little fat on the body, a narrow face and a narrow chest. They may eat just as much as the endomorph but never seem to gain any weight. They always stay skinny. Personality wise, they tend to be self- conscious, socially anxious, artistic, thoughful, quiet, and private. They always keep to themselves and are a afraid to branch out.
The mesomorph is in between the endomorph and thin ectomorph. They have an attractive and desirable body. Physically, they tend to have a large head and broad shoulders with a narrow waist. They have a strong muscular body and strong arms and legs and little fat on the body. They work for the body they have so that they could have an attractive body.Psychologically, the mesomorph is adventurous and courageous. They are not afraid to break out and do new things with new people. They are assertive
and competative and have a desire to have power and be dominant. They love taking risks and chances in life.
Is This True?
Profiling psychologically based on physical features is very unreliable but these observations tend to be true. These patterns are noticed by society. Most of society would agree with these with these observations made by Sheldon.
Try It Out!
Next time you meet someone with one of the physical body types, observe what kind of personality they may have and see if the theory hold true. If you see someone with a larger stature, observe if they act carefree, relaxed, and outgoing. It may prove that this theory may hold some truth in it.
The original work of Sheldon was used to characterize criminals and he found that most of the criminals were mesomorphs because violent crimes were usually committed by big strong men. It makes sense because according to Sheldon's theory, people with a muscular and attractive body tend to be competative and want power and dominance. This also proved that mesomorphic people are usually
criminal in nature.