In the 20s of last century German psychiatrist E. Kretschmer published which brought him international fame work entitled "The structure of the body and nature." The paper presents a generalized analysis of two hundred and sixty cases of his practice, on the basis of which it was possible to distinguish three basic body types, which correspond to two types of pathological states of mind.
The main body types were named Kretschmer endomorph, asthenic and athletic. Endomorph type stands strong development of the head, chest and abdomen with a weak development of the musculoskeletal system. Such people are of medium height, tight figure, there is a tendency to obesity, the face of widespread with regular features.
Asthenic (weak) type is characterized by a combination of average height and weak development of bones and skeletal muscle, which is why these people seem to be higher than it actually is. The person they have a narrow, long and pale.
Athletic involves a skeleton, especially in the shoulder girdle, good muscle development, high growth, high set head. A person often has an elongated ovoid shape.
With these body types were correlated two main types of mental disorders: manic-depressive psychosis and schizophrenia. TIR is characterized by seasonal alternation of mental state of the person. In the manic phase elated mood, increased activity manifests itself, thirst for activity, sometimes reaching to fussiness. In the depressive phase becomes melancholic mood, reduced vitality, activity extinguished. It turned out that this disease are the most susceptible people with endomorph.
Thinking of people with schizophrenia, usually closed on themselves, weakly connected with reality, focused on his inner life, often accompanied by hallucinations. This disease prone people asthenic constitution, the correlation in both cases is about 0.8, i.e. more than high.
In the future, Kretschmer suggested that between normality and pathology only difference is quantitative, ie pathological features are present in the mind of every healthy person, but in an amount less than in patients. Transition states, later called accentuation nature, he called cycloid and schizoid biotypes.
American psychiatrist William Sheldon conducted a similar study, also identified three types of constitution, which generally correspond to those described by Kretschmer. Sheldon called these types of ecto-, endo- and mesomorphic. As a result, the five-year experiment, he came to the conclusion that endomorphically (endomorph) body type corresponds vistserotoniya, mesomorphic (athletic) - somatoniya, ectomorphic (adynamic) - tserebrotoniya. In general content of these components treated as the prevalence of human activity in the digestive system, musculoskeletal system and higher nerve centers.
Thus, there was a statistically proven correlation between body structure and mental features. However, it is shown that this correlation is not causation, but only correlation. In addition, there is no doubt that the actual number of psycho not limited to two or three: human psyche incommensurable richer. It is also important that such an approach is only descriptive, but does not explain the reasons for the combination of physical and mental personality traits.