Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Constitutional Typology

Set of hypothetical personality modes that correspond to certain morphological characteristics such as body build. Lombroso constructed a typology that putatively accounted for habitual criminals. In 1921, the German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer postulated asthenic, pyknic, athletic, and dysplastic types. In 1940, W. H. Sheldon identified ectomorphy, mesomorphy, and endomorphy. Most scholars remain skeptical of the utility of such typologies.

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