Tracking the Elusive Human, Vol. 2

Part II: W.H. Sheldon's Somatotypes

Chapter 4: The Origins of Sheldon's Psychology


In Part II we face a more difficult task than in Part I. The world of somatotypes (so-mát-to-types) is much less known than the world of psychological types, and is much more obscured by controversy. If Jung's fame is increasing, Sheldon's seems to be decreasing. If Jung's work is being carried on by different audiences around the world, Sheldon's is by and large neglected. If Jung's life is well known through his autobiographical Memories, Dreams, Reflections, numerous biographies and the volumes of his published letters, Sheldon's is virtually unknown, without a single biography or even a full-fledged biographical essay. And most of all, if Jung's work is gaining increased recognition as a major advance in psychology, Sheldon's is under a cloud as if it has been somehow discredited.

This state of affairs is highly regrettable. Sheldon was, in fact, one of America's most talented psychologists, and his work provides an excellent complement to Jung's psychological types. In Chapter 4 we will look at the vision Sheldon had of a biologically founded constitutional psychology, and how far he advanced in creating one. In Chapter 5 we will examine the validity of the criticisms that surrounded his work, and in Chapter 6 the developments it inspired. And Chapter 7 asks just who was William Sheldon and whatever became of him?



Psychology and the Promethean Will

Let's examine briefly the basic principles that animate Sheldon's psychology. In 1936 he wrote Psychology and the Promethean Will, which gives an overview or blueprint of what he wanted to achieve. The book is an analysis of the human condition in five areas, or panels, as Sheldon called them: the economic, sociopolitical, sexual, religious and aesthetic. And it is the religious panel, which he defined as an orientation in time, that captures most of his attention. Sheldon was looking for a way in which psychology, religion and medicine could work together to solve human problems. He felt that psychology has never grown to its full stature. It suffered from an animectomy complex - his own take-off on the Freudian complexes - meaning a repressed fear of loss of soul. "For years psychologists have shouted down the soul with an intensity which recalls the Puritan shouting down his sexual consciousness", and it is religion in the terms of a Promethean foresight that must awaken us so we can prepare for the future. It is the role of religion to look to "the maintenance of harmony and mutual acceptability between the inner and outer world of awareness; between the world of human feeling and desire and the world of objective intellectual presentation." (p. 28) It is the religious mind if it is endowed with enthusiasm, intuitive insight and systematized factual equipment that will give a sorely needed sense of direction to the other panels of life.

What students of religion lacked, according to Sheldon, was this systematized factual equipment. They were eager to tackle human problems, but they had no grasp of just who, biologically speaking, they wanted to help. If a basic framework of descriptions could be erected - a schema of biological identification - then the insights of psychology, religion and medicine could be shared by means of a common language, and put to use in a concerted effort to tackle the seemingly intractable problems that face the human race. Sheldon wanted to create a biologically grounded study of man, or what he called a biological humanics. And this entailed a major refinement of the ways in which we can describe the individual. Only then, he felt, once we know in a more scientific manner what and who we were talking about, could we proceed to tackle the problems that faced the individual and the society, as well. In short, he wanted to start at the beginning and carefully describe people in terms of body and temperament.

This was certainly an ambitious project, and its religious framework undoubtedly owed something to Jung's thought, for Sheldon had been with Jung in Zurich just prior to his writing of this book. But, in actual fact, this plan was never developed as Sheldon first imagined it. The vast majority of his time and energy was to be devoted not to the religious aspects of the human personality, but to creating this more adequate way to describe men and women from the point of view of physique and temperament. This is the work that made him famous and is set forth in his Human Constitution Series: The Varieties of

Human Physique (1940), The Varieties of Temperament (1942), The Varieties of Delinquent Youth (1949), and The Atlas of Men (1954).

The Varieties of Human Physique

The Varieties of Human Physique and The Varieties of Temperament were the fruits of Sheldon's labors which began under the direction of L.L. Thurstone as he worked on his doctorate in psychology at the University of Chicago in the mid 1920s. Together, they are comparable to Jung's psychological types in the extensive research and practical experience that went into their creation. As a young man, Sheldon had become enamored with the age-old questions; "Do those who look most alike behave most alike? Does a particular sort of temperament go with a definite physique? Can we predict a man's likes and dislikes by measuring his body?" (Varieties of Human Physique, p. 1) And at Chicago he began to look in earnest for the answers. He studied the work of Sante Naccarati, who was heir to the Italian anthropometric school of Viola and di Giovanni. They, in turn, had come to prominence when the intuitive phrenology of the past had been swept away by the new scientific spirit, which relied on measurements and statistics. Viola had developed a morphological index, which measured the trunk of the body and compared it with the limbs. The fruit of the work of these older anthropometrists was "a low positive relation between the preponderance of vertical measurements and mental ability, and also a low negative relation between lateral or horizontal preponderance and mental ability." (p. 14)

But these studies had been done on isolated body parts and Naccarati wanted to improve on them by making use of Viola's morphological index. In a study of 75 male Columbia students he found a correlation of .36 between the index and intelligence scores. And this is where Sheldon enters the scientific scene, not with wild suppositions or grand theories, but with the idea of replicating Naccarati's work with a larger sample of 450 students. He used Viola's index, intelligence tests and scholastic grades, and found a correlation of .14 between bodily measurements and test scores, and .12 between bodily measurements and scholastic achievements. Lower correlations than Naccarati, but still intriguing. He tried to dig further by comparing the various parts of the data with one another, but to no avail. There was no way to tease out the factors that were producing these correlations. This work lay the foundation for Sheldon's doctoral dissertation, which inspired an article entitled, "Morphological Types and Mental Ability" in 1927. In another attack on the problem of constitution and behavior, he had the older members of a fraternity rate the younger ones on sociability, perserverance, leadership, aggressiveness and emotional excitability, and these ratings were compared to the bodily measurements. He found low correlations between measurements of width and aggressiveness, leadership and sociability, and he also found the general factor of bigness or heaviness showed a low positive correlation with these traits as well. Again, in 1927, he reported these results in "Social Traits and Morphological Types."

Next he turned to measurements of the head, for what better site for correlations between physique and mental behavior? In the past no high correlations had ever been found, but Sheldon reasoned that the problem might reside in the difficulty of making delicate measurements. To circumvent this problem he designed a special chair that held the subject's head in place, took photographs, projected them on a screen and measured them. Once again, the intriguing but frustrating low correlations appeared between the measurements, the social traits, and the mental ability. And once again, it was a global phenomenon, for the correlations could not be increased by selecting any particular measurements.

Sheldon had now arrived at a crossroads. He had refined the work of his predecessors and found the same sort of correlations, and we should note that they were lower than those of Naccarati. He was approaching 30 years of age and had the makings of a good academic career. All he had to do was accept the limitations that his measurements and statistics imposed upon him, and continue his work within those limits. But the "irritatingly persistent promise that deeper down lay something very interesting" (p. 20) kept on beckoning to him, and he saw "only too clearly that further progress on this particular trail alone could but complicate and obscure the picture." (p. 19) He made up his mind and chose a more intriguing but more difficult path:

"It had become clear that the missing vital link between psychology and physical anthropology was not to be found in anthropometry and statistical precision alone, however valuable these two aids might later prove to be.

"In the meantime another development had begun which seemed to offer greater prospect than had the correlation coefficient, the calipers, and the mental test. This was the method of clinical observation as employed by the psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer." (p. 20)

It was this fateful decision that was to bear enormously interesting results, as well as embroil him in bitter controversy. His critics in later years would forget, or never knew, that Sheldon, far from being unacquainted with the normal methods of psychology, had pursued them until he became convinced that there was something vitally important that he had to pursue beyond their ability to grasp.

One of his first steps on this new path was the realization that he must become expert on the structure of the human body, and that meant, in his mind, training to become a medical doctor. He took up medical studies at the University of Chicago, received an MID in 1933, and interned at a children's hospital in Chicago. But he was never a doctor in the traditional sense. It was his vehicle for exploring the constitutional problem, and he began to examine Kretschmer’s work with an eye to refining and extending it.

Ernst Kretschmer (1888-1964) is best known for his Physique and Character (1921), although he wrote on a wide range of psychiatric topics and was not adverse to exploring their ethical implications and their practical applications, whether in pedagogy, criminology and so forth. He was a privat dozent at Tübingen from 1918 to 1926, then professor of psychology and neurology at the University of Marburg, and he eventually returned to Tübingen as the director of its neurological clinic. It is interesting to see that his attraction to body types and character, like that of Joseph Wheelwright and Isabel Myers, is rooted in his own family situation. One of his noted students, Willi Enke, writes, "His mother was sensitive, humorous, artistic, and lively; while his father, a profound thinker and idealist philosopher, was so Spartan, sober, dry, and laconic that he appeared to lack aesthetic sensibility. It does seem significant that Kretschmer was initially most successful in elaborating the pyknic-cyclothymic group of types to which his mother belonged. Beyond this he did best in developing the contrast between cyclothymic and schizothymic temperaments; his father was an almost pure example of a schizothyme." (p. 451)

Kretschmer's initial work had been based on 260 cases divided into 85 circulars and 175 schizophrenes, and underlying these psychiatric disorders he discerned the cycloid and the schizoid temperaments. The cycloid was characterized as friendly, genial, cheerful and humorous. " sociable, good-natured men, people with whom one can get on well, who understand a joke, and who take life as it comes. They give themselves naturally and openly, and one soon makes friends with them." (Physique and Character, p. 128) They have heart and are good natured, and if they blow up they soon get over it. The schizoid, in contrast, is "a man who stands in our way like a question mark", sometimes bitingly sarcastic, sometimes timidly retiring, "like a mollusc without a shell". (p. 150) The schizoids are unsociable, quiet , reserved, timid, with fine feelings, sensitive, nervous and fond of nature and books. Kretschmer developed these contrasting temperaments at great length, and with a flare that engraved them in the minds of his readers and inaugurated a new era of interest in typology, and this is the most proximate raw material on which Sheldon drew.

Kretschmer had seen that most of his circular psychotic patients, or manic-depressives, had a compact or pyknic build, while most of the schizophrenics had an asthenic one, meaning one without strength. To these he added a third body type, the athletic. There had been enthusiasms for, as well as serious criticisms of Kretschmer's work, and Sheldon saw them as a conflict between the logical and the creative minds: "With Kretschmer, insight and the observant eye came first, tools of quantification were to be applied later." (Varieties of Human Physique, p. 24)

And Sheldon hoped to handle the process of quantification at a new level of sophistication, and therefore avoid the reproaches directed at Kretschmer. For him the key to this new approach lay in talking not of types, which could not handle the infinite variability of the human physique, but of fundamental components which made up each physique and which could be quantified. Sheldon had attempted to classify 400 male students at the University of Chicago according to Kretschmer's criteria, but had found that 72% of them were mixtures of the three types. Again he reasoned that there must be a way to get at the question of classification more directly. He had been particularly impressed with a study by Wertheimer and Hesketh, who had used a modified version of Viola's index to measure 65 male patients who had been classified according to Kretschmer's method. Kretschmer's asthenics were microsplanchnic, or the more linear, while the manic-depressives were more lateral or macrosplanchnics. Something was there and he was determined to find it. He would look for the basic components, use more rigorous tools of measurement, but this time not allow technique to dominate his search as if the answer could come from technique alone. To this end he assembled the photographs of 4,000 male university students from 16 to 20 years of age, studied the pictures intently and looked for examples of the extreme variants. "...The procedure was strictly empirical and no a priori criteria were admitted." (p. 46) And this careful perusal yielded first two basic components, and eventually three. These three elements had a relationship to those of Kretschmer, but there was no exact correspondence. Instead of the pyknic or compact extreme, Sheldon found a round and soft one. He also found a muscular one, and a third, who was not necessarily asthenic, or weaker than the first, but fit Kretschmer's later terminology of the leptosomic, or the delicate-bodied. And Sheldon's response to why he describes three components parallels Jung's answer to why he describes four functions. That's what he saw in the empirical material, and that's what he expected we could find for ourselves if we examined the same or similar material.

While Sheldon was studying how these bodies actually appeared, he was also probing beneath the surface searching for a sense of why these different body types existed. He had begun attending autopsies and measuring and weighing the internal organs of each of the three types. He soon became aware that this was not a completely original idea.

Digging into the literature, he discovered that his results were confirmed by earlier studies of men like Goldthwait and Bryant who described the herbivorous and the carnivorous types, whose intestines were from 25' to 30', and from 10' to 15' respectively. He also found that starting in 1912 R.B. Bean had described the hypo-ontomorph, the meso-ontomorph, and the hyper-ontomorph, and Bean not only felt he could predict the length of the intestines from the body type, but described some of the other anatomical differences between them. Sheldon could not help but be impressed by the large intestines, stomach and liver of the round and soft extreme, the large hearts and arteries, muscles and bones of the muscular extreme, while the third extreme had brains and sense organs which were about the same size as the other types, but were proportionally larger because of this type's lower weight.

Sheldon realized that the stomach, intestines, liver, salivary glands, esophagus and so forth were derived from the endoderm or inner layer of the embryo. From the mesoderm, or middle layer, came the heart, blood, blood vessels, bone, muscles, adrenal glands, etc., and from the outer layer or ectoderm came the brain, spinal cord, skin, sensorial nerves, etc. Therefore, he settled on the names endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph to describe those individuals in which the manifestations of each layer predominated. He concluded:

"We make the assumption that these individuals are extreme because they are dominated each by a different structural or morphological component." (p. 35-6)

What this means in the wider context of Sheldon's work is that he did not want to spend his days tracking transitory fluctuations in the shape and weight of his subjects, but wanted to make his measurements become the means by which he penetrated beneath these surface variations, and discovered a basic body structure or somatotype that endured through time. It was to be his lifelong task to refine the actual technique which would disclose this morphogenotype or fundamentally enduring somatotype, but the, work that culminated in The Varieties of Human Physique provided Sheldon with one half of his biological identification system. The other major element was his study of temperament that was underway during these same years.

The Varieties of Temperament

It is revelatory of Sheldon's character and the ultimate intent of his Prometheus book that his work on temperament proceeded his study of somatotyptes, even though it was published later.

For Sheldon temperament was "the level of personality just above physiological function and below acquired attitudes and beliefs." (The Varieties of Temperament, p. 4) In fact, it was the behavior most intimately connected to the physical structure. It was somatotypes in action. And the way he went about discovering the basic components of temperament paralleled his somatotype work. He first collected 650 alleged traits of temperament and refined them down to 50, and proceeded to rate various people on them. His first group of subjects was 33 male graduate students, and he had 20 analytic interviews with each, was able to observe them in their daily routines and social relationships, and he wrote extensive notes on each one. For developing his somatotypes he wanted to avoid becoming submerged under an increasingly complicated collection of measurements which would obscure as much as it revealed about the human body. For his study of temperament he was quantifying ratings on specific traits, but with an eye to select the traits in such a way that the primary components of temperament would emerge. He examined the interrelationships between the 50 traits, looking for clusters of traits that would correlate in a positive fashion among themselves, but negatively with the other traits. Gradually three basic clusters emerged, despite his expectations there would be at least four, and 22 of his original 50 traits had survived, forming a first group of 6 traits, a second group of 7 traits, and a third group of 9 traits. This laborious process would have been more than enough for most of us, but Sheldon spent another four years reworking and adding to these three basic components until after 7 or 8 revisions he arrived at his Scale for Temperament which consisted of 20 traits for each basic component. After considering various possibilities he called these components viscerotonia, somatotonia and cerebrotonia. Now the scale was ready to be used. Sheldon lays down the proper conditions of its employment: "Observe the subject closely for at least a year in as many different situations as possible, conduct a series of not less than 20 analytic interviews with him..." (p. 27) and evaluate him and reevaluate him on every one of the 60 traits. And Sheldon is serious about this!



I. Viscerotonia II. Somatotonia III. Cerebrotonia
1. Relaxation in Posture and Movement 1. Assertiveness of Posture and Movement 1. Restraint in Posture and Movement, Tightness
2. Love of Physical Comfort 2. Love of Physical Adventure 2. Physiological Over-response
3. Slow Reaction 3. The Energetic Characterisitic 3. Overly Fast Reactions
4. Love of Eating 4. Need and Enjoyment of Exercise 4. Love of Privacy
5. Socialization of Eating 5. Love of Dominating, Lust for Power 5. Mental Overintensity, Hyperattentionality, Apprehensiveness
6. Pleasure in Digestion 6. Love of Risk and Chance 6. Secretiveness of Feeling, Emotional Restraint
7. Love of Polite Ceremony 7. Bold Directness of Manner 7. Self-Conscious Motility of the Eyes and Face
8. Sociophilia 8. Physical Courage for Combat 8. Sociophobia
9. Indiscriminate Aniability 9. Competitive Aggressiveness 9. Inhibited Social Address
10. Greed for Affection and Approval 10. Psychological Callousness 10. Resistance to Habit, and Poor Routinizing
11. Orientation to People 11. Claustrophobia 11. Agoraphobia
12. Evenness of Emotional Flow 12. Ruthlessness, Freedom from Squeamishness 12. Unpredictability of Attitude
13. Tolerance 13. The Unrestrained Voice 13. Vocal Restraint, and General Restraint of Noise
14. Complacency 14. Spartan Indifference to Pain 14. Hypersensitivity to Pain
15. Deep Sleep 15. General Noisiness 15. Poor Sleep Habits, Chronic Fatigue
16. The Untempered Characteristic 16. Overmaturity of Appearance 16. Youthful Intentness of Manner and Appearance
17. Smooth, Easy Communication of Feeling, Extraversion of Viscerotonia 17. Horizontal Mental Cleavage, Extraversion of Somatotonia 17. Vertical Mental Cleavage, Introversion
18. Relaxation and Sociophilia under Alcohol 18. Assertiveness and Aggression under Alcohol 18. Resistance to Alcohol, and to Other Depressant Drugs
19. Need of People When Troubled 19. Need of Action When Troubled 19. Need of Solitude When Troubled
20. Orientation Toward Childhood and Family Relationships 20. Orientation Toward Goals and Activities of Youth 20. Orientation Toward the Later Periods of Life


The Varieties of Temperament, like The Varieties of Human Physique, stresses the constitutional or biological side of the nature and nurture question. But for Sheldon the whole question was framed in an inappropriate way. There is no nurture without a nature to nurture. There is no nature that is not being continually influenced by a particular environment. The Varieties of Temperament is really a book about somatotype, temperament and environment. Even with Sheldon's careful evaluation of both somatotype and temperament, most of the 200 cases he describes differ in these two classifications, and furthermore, even people of the same somatotype and roughly the same temperament index have widely different personalities when it comes to achievement. Sheldon describes, for example, 8 men of the 2-3-5 somatotype, and 'gives their temperament indexes as 1-3-7, 2-4-4, 1-5-4, 1-4-5, 2-3-6, 3-4-4, 3-3-6, 3-3-5. These evaluations of temperament fall in a circular range around the position of the somatotype that well illustrates Sheldon's views on the question of heredity and environment. There is a natural given represented by the somatotype, but even on the level of physiologically conditioned behavior, that is, at Sheldon's temperament level, there is a large variety of different paths of development that can be followed due to different life circumstances, and an even wider range of adjustment and adaptation. For example, one of the 2-3-5s, temperamentally a 2-4-4, and with a very high dysplasia, is one of the most promising men at the university. The next case, temperamentally a 1-5-4, reverses his morphological predominance. In other words, he appears to have drifted from his biological moorings and created a personality at odds with his natural predispositions. He has become highly aggressive and violently disliked. And Sheldon has doubts about how well he will fare in the future, and classifies him "normal through effort".

Sheldon continues to analyze the relationship between somatotype and temperament in a variety of different ways. For example, he looks at the cases where there is perfect agreement between the two, and then those that show a radical disagreement, or where the index of temperament reverses a morphological predominance. He finds that endomorphs have the greatest chance of being normal, but not particularly distinguished in the academic community, nor is the endomorph likely to become a troublesome misfit. The mesomorph also has a good chance at normal adaptation, but he is more likely to become difficult if he fails to adapt. The ectomorph is lowest in the normal undistinguished category, and is highest in distinguished achievement. But if he is neither normal nor distinguished, he can run into a good deal of trouble.

But what captured readers' attention were the high correlations Sheldon found between the principle somatotype components, and the principle components of temperament. Between endomorphy and viscerotonia it was +.79. Between mesomorphy and somatotonia, +.82, and between ectomorphy and cerebrotonia +.83. Such correlations, Sheldon comments, "would suggest that morphology and temperament, as we measure them, may constitute expressions at their respective levels of essentially common components." (p. 401) In other words, Sheldon approaching the problem of the human constitution from two different directions felt he had finally arrived at discovering that something deeper down that he had been looking for for so many years.

He was too familiar, though, with the world of academic psychology to imagine these kinds of highly positive results would be readily accepted. But he probably underestimated how virulent these criticisms were to become. What upset his critics more than anything was that he had evaluated both temperament and somatotype himself. Some were even to go so far as to consider that this fact alone constituted an experimental error that vitiated his work. Even before the fact, Sheldon was preparing his defense. How, he asks, can he be expected, once he has deeply immersed himself in somatotypes, not to notice the bodies of those he is evaluating for temperament? This whole issue will come to the forefront when we evaluate some of the various criticisms made of Sheldon's work. But some reflections are not out of place here. Would it have made a great deal of difference if one of Sheldon's professionally trained colleagues had done the somatotyping? The answer hinges on whether somatotyping is an objective procedure. Sheldon felt it was. In one experiment he and three other people evaluated the same somatotype photos and compared these four ratings to the results given by his somatotyping machine. The average correlations between the machine and human observers were .97. Later critics objected that the various professional somatotypers had learned to sing in harmony, as if this were a telling objection against the objectivity of their observations. Are we to imagine that the somatotype machine had learned harmony as well? The problem of Sheldon rating both somatotype and temperament was not an experimental error. Rather, it introduced the possibility of an experimental error. But his critics, for the most part, did not try to duplicate Sheldon's work as Sheldon initially did it. What they did was introduce various abbreviated versions of his temperament evaluation, and compared them with the somatotypes.

How objective was Sheldon's temperament rating? He offers several experiments that try to come to grips with this question, and their overall results show that it is possible for observers to reach a reasonable degree of agreement in evaluating temperament. For example, Sheldon and a psychiatrist used a short form of the temperament scale with a group of 50 subjects and found correlations between the two evaluations of +.81 for the first component, +.89 for the second component, and +.87 for the third component.

The question of the objectivity of somatotypes and temperament were important issues. Sheldon made a serious attempt to address them, but they were not the only issues in the controversies that were to ensue. Behind them were the different methodological perspectives that we have already met in the field of psychological types and will see in the next chapter.

But there is something that such an examination of' critics can never give us, and that is a sense of the intellectual adventure that must have pervaded Sheldon's life at this time. He knew the literature about body and temperament types, both old and new, that had started with the Greeks. He knew intimately the current efforts to put the clarification of physique and temperament on a solid scientific footing, and yet he realized that it is the empirical material itself that must take precedence. He pored over his stacks of photographs and rearranged them this way and that. He honed his Scale of Temperament and he studied his subjects exhaustively. Slowly he came to the conclusion that the three components of physique were the outer expression of the physical nature of the individual rooted in his very anatomy and physiology. And they, in turn, had a behavioral expression in the three components of temperament. In fact, they were but two reflections of the one human individual who was made of both body and psyche. He had finally arrived at that something, deeper down, that he had been searching for for so long.

The Varieties of Human Physique and The Varieties of Temperament represent an extraordinary advance in the field of typology, just as Psychological Types did. They were not Sheldon's first fruits, but his final fruits. And because they were the final fruits of his years of labor they were open to misunderstanding, just as Psychological Types had been. Sheldon had refined, polished and reworked his ideas and language until he had his thoughts in a completed form, and only then did he present them to the public. But who had or was willing to gain enough experience to properly evaluate them? Who would take a year to conduct an evaluation of temperament, or undergo the necessary apprenticeship to become a professional somatotypist?

We could understand Sheldon's refinements of Naccarati's work and the correlations he found. But when Sheldon spent half a career probing deeper and saying, in essence, that he has made a substantial advance resolving the age-old question of the relationship between body and temperament, he loses us by a shift of perspective. We are ready for the next small incremental step, and instead we are confronted with a substantial edifice. Our eyes cannot adjust. We simply haven't learned to see in that way. In fact, we have lost most of our hope in finding in psychology that useful science to tackle concrete human problems that Sheldon sought in his Psychology and the Promethean Will, and we cannot believe that his foundations for a schema of biological classification can be correct.

There are weaknesses in Sheldon's psychology. He never did create the integral psychology he envisioned. And there are questions that can be raised about his mathematical techniques, as we will see. And finally he became embroiled in personal and professional conflicts that sapped his energy and prevented his work from having the impact it could have had - an issue that will occupy us in Chapter 7. But when all is said and done, we have only to suspend our disbelief and carefully read the brilliant case studies that enliven The Varieties of Temperament or page through photographic plates in The Atlas of Men to realize that we are in the presence of one of typology's most creative personalities.

What Sheldon has left us, then, is not a complete psychology like Jung's, but two powerful and interconnected tools by which we can learn to see our bodies and the temperaments, and then apply this knowledge in countless different ways.




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