Physiognomy - the ability to read people

When meeting a new person, the first thing that everyone involuntarily pays attention to is a person and a physique. Obeying stereotypes, people often judge others by their appearance. Interestingly, the relationship of appearance and character is studied by a separate science, which is called physiognomy.
Physiognomy: reading people in appearance
Physiognomy: reading people in appearance
Photo: Shutterstock

A brief history excursion

Since ancient times, the fact that all people are completely different did not give a man peace. They tried to understand whether the character of a person depends on certain traits of his appearance.

Physiognomy (of course, this term did not exist at that time) was studied by the philosophers and scientists of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome - Pythagoras, Galen, Celsus, Cicero, Pliny Jr. and others. Pythagoras, for example, selected for himself to train only those who, in his opinion, had an ability to sciences on his face.

Hippocrates used physiognomy for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.Until now, for example, the concept of �Hippocrates mask� has been preserved - this is what people say about a person with sunken eyes, a sharp nose, pale skin, covered with perspiration. All this is a symptom of peritonitis.

Aristotle is considered one of the founders of the theory of physiognomy. He applied this teaching to determine the character of a person, to reveal his spiritual qualities. He, in particular, believed that wide foreheads are a sign of predisposition to insanity, straight eyebrows are characteristic of people with a mild disposition, and accrete eyebrows are a sign of a jealous man. He compared the facial features of people with similar parts in animals and tried to relate the nature of man and the nature of the animal. So, about a man with a wide nose, he said that his nose looked like a bull's nose, and this is a sign of laziness. It is on his work that further research in the field of physiognomy is based.

The peak of interest in this teaching came in the 15th � 16th centuries, when people tried not only to read a person�s character, but also to predict his fate.

Subsequent studies in this area were conducted in a slightly different way. At present, physiognomy is considered more often when talking about the facial expressions of a person, rather than about innate external data.But there are also adherents of the statement that one can read a character by a person�s appearance, some even take it upon themselves to make a photo.

For a time, physiognomy was used in criminology - it was believed that criminals have similar features of appearance
There are various methods of reading the character, equipped with pictures and diagrams, they can be found in specialized literature or on the Internet.

How to "read" a person?

One of the most popular theories in physiognomy is Kretschmer's theory. She says that people with different physique have a different character. He distinguished asthenics, normostenic and hypersthenics.

Asthenics - people with fragile physique, flattened chest. They have an underdeveloped musculature, long and thin limbs. According to the theory, these people are more focused on the knowledge of the external and internal world, on constant abstract reflections, but they like to solve logical problems. Such people are suitable work that requires immersion, classification, analysis of the data.

Phrenology is a science close to physiognomy recognized by pseudoscience.Based on the fact that the character of a person can be judged by the structure of his skull

Normosteniki - people with a strong, well developed body, strong and stable. Such people like well-defined tasks, they like to bring things to the end, they have no problems with public speaking. They are suitable work with people, work where you need to make clear decisions, leadership positions.

Hypersthenics - people with normally developed muscles and rounded parts of the body. These people prefer the emotional sphere of the logical, they are suitable creative specialties. But it is difficult for hypersthenics to quickly switch from one activity to another and bring things to a close, so they need to clearly plan time, first carry out more important things, and leave the rest for later.

Depending on the physique of the interlocutor, you can choose the tactics of communication with him.

Reading a person�s face is much more difficult. In addition, among adherents of physiognomy there is no consensus about what these or other features of appearance mean. But there are some general trends.

For example, a round face is a property of kind, lovely and sympathetic people with a good sense of humor,and if you meet a square chin, then readable character traits - leadership, the desire for management.

Psychologist Timothy T. Marr lists 19 types of eyes and character dependency In this classification there are, for example, the eyes of a tiger - with a yellowish tinge, a mighty brilliance, round. Such eyes are peculiar to people impulsive and cruel. But the eyes of an elephant, long, narrow, with double or triple eyelids indicate people good-natured, but slow and calm.

To believe or not to believe in physiognomy is up to you, but it�s not for nothing that there is a saying: you don�t drink water from your face.

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