Individual differences |
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A person's constitution is made up of their physical body and the physiological processes within it which are genetically based and expressed in the phenotype.
For some authors this merely confers physical advantages or disadvantages which may or may not be seen as related to personality. For example a strong immune system may be seen as an aspect of that persons good health, but it may also lead to people infering judgements about their personality or character, their commitment to work,their tirelessness etc.
For other authors the physicality of people, their characteristic energy levels etc are more directly related to personality dimensions. The so called constitutional theories of personality of Galen, Kretchmer and Sheldon were attempts to explore this relationship in more detail. Here constitution is related to temperament.
Aspects of constitution
Here are some examples of aspects of constitution:
- Fast of slow physical movement
- Fast of slow metabolism
- Physical size and shape
- Fast or slow information processing
- Skin, hair colour etc.
- Good or poor health
Often there is a confusion about physical characteristics and moral character, and by extension personality, often operating at the level of stereotype.Eg Fat people are lazy, redheaded people are hot headed,etc