Volume 1, Issue 4
4th Quarter, 2006

Strategies for Personality Transfer

William Sims Bainbridge

page 4 of 15

Endomorphs were characterized by softness and spherical appearance, with underdevelopment of bone and muscle, whereas ectomorphs were linear and fragile, with flat chests, thin and lightly muscled. Delinquents were much more likely to be mesomorphs, who were physically hard and rectangular, showing predominance of bone and muscle. The Gluecks thought that mesomorphs were more aggressive and less well controlled because their body type gave them a characteristic temperament.  One of their critics, Albert K. Cohen[1] argued that the street life of delinquency is a socially organized enterprise that rewards strength, agility, and physical toughness, rather than reflecting an innate disposition in mesomorphs. Nonetheless, the physical shape of an individual is important information about him or her, reflecting habits of behavior as well as shaping them.

Cognitive capacities include perceptual styles and the person’s pattern of abilities to learn different kinds of things, as well as the results of conventional tests of verbal, spatial, or social-emotional intelligence. Research continues to explore connections between physical body shape and general intelligence[2], but it is clear that somatotype and intelligence are largely separate complex systems of distinguishable characteristics. Especially if the aim is to characterize an individual in all his or her uniqueness, a single IQ (Intelligence Quotient) measure is quite inadequate. When possible, it would be valuable to collect the actual tests individual’s took in school, not just their over-all scores, augmented with fresh tests taken in later years.

Variations in physiological drives can be measured by a combination of direct measures of arousal to stimuli, appropriate statistical analysis of questionnaire data about preferences, and self-report data about emotional reactions. There exists a considerable literature about how to measure physiological arousal of various kinds such as penis enlargement to measure male sexual arousal[3], and vaginal pulse amplitude to measure female sexual arousal[4]. Heart rate and galvanic skin response may indicate general arousal, rather than activation of a particular drive, but if the stimuli are well-specified, they may play a useful role in charting the relative strengths of a person’s drives.

The concept of focal vulnerabilities is connected to psychiatry, and assumes that individuals have an enduring (if not innate or genetic) propensity to specific problems, such as alcoholism or depression. On the one hand, it is possible that some individuals have a propensity for drug addiction, but on the other hand a person who originally lacked such a propensity may acquire addiction through socially-induced drug abuse, then exhibit a propensity after remission of the addiction. Similarly, depression is widely believed to have both inherited genetic causes and experiential causes. A standard reference work categorizing psychiatric syndromes is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, currently in its fourth edition (DSM-IV). It is hard to detect these vulnerabilities prior to the onset of behavioral problems, so they tend to be assumed ex post facto. However, people often ignore initial signs of them, which is one reason that health-related organizations have undertaken efforts to inform the public, for example, through checklists to identify alcoholism[5].

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1. Cohen, Albert K. 1955. Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang. Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press. (back to top)

2. Prokosch, Mark D., Ronald A. Yeo, and Geoffrey F. Miller. 2005. “Intelligence tests with Higher g-Loadings Show Higher Correlations with Body Symmetry: Evidence for a General Fitness Factor Mediated by Developmental Stability,” Intelligence 33: 203–213. (back to top)

3. Arnow, Bruce A., John E. Desmond, Linda L. Banner, Gary H. Glover, Ari Solomon, Mary Lake Polan, Tom F. Lue, and Scott W. Atlas. 2002. “Brain Activation and Sexual Arousal in Healthy, Heterosexual Males,” Brain 125:1014-1023. (back to top)

4. Rellini, Alessandra H., Katie M. McCall, Patrick K. Randall, and Cindy M. Meston. 2005. “The Relationship Between Women’s Subjective and Physiological Sexual Arousal,” Psychophysiology, 42: 116–124. (back to top)

5. Enoch, Mary-Anne, and David Goldman. 2002. “Problem Drinking and Alcoholism: Diagnosis and Treatment,” American Family Physician, 65(3): 441-448. (back to top)

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