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Who pioneered the Somatotype theory?
Sheldon in 1949
What are sheldon't three basic body types?
- Endomorphs: Fat and soft
- Ectomorphs: Thin and fragile
- Mesomorphs: Muscular and hard
What did sheldon believe?
Behaviour is linked to body type, these can be split into 3 categories
What type of people did Sheldon believe endomorphs to be?
- Pleasure loving
- Enjoy food and the company of others
What type of people did Sheldon believe ectomorphs to be?
- Self conscious
What type of people did Sheldon believe mesomorphs to be?
- Associated with criminality
- High pain tolerance
- Careless of others' feelings
How did Sheldon group individuals?
- He rated them on a scale of 1-7 according to the amount of each of the three components they showed
- E.g 4-4-4 is balanced
How did Sheldon study these body types in 1949?
- Sheldon rated 200 college students and 200 male delinquents on each of the body types
- Divided the delinquent sample into various groups according to type and degree of delinquency and compared the criminal group with other types of delinquents
What did Sheldon find after his study?
Many convicts were mesomorphic and were least likely to me mesomorphic
What did Cortés and Gatti find in 1972?
- Studied 100 delinquents
- 57% were mesomorphic in the delinquent group
- 19% were mesomorphic in the control group
What did Glueck and Glueck find in 1956?
- In a sample of delinquents 60% were mesomorphs
- In the control sample only 31% were mesomorphs
How is Sheldon't theory overly subjective?
- He rated the body sizes himself, others may have classified people differently
- The classification into somatotypes was unreliable
- The chosen delinquent group was selective- bias was likely
Why was Sheldon't criminal typing method criticised?
The subdivisions of criminals into criminal types was not based on legal definition but was subjective, different people may have different opinions on what constitutes a crime
What did Sutherland find in 1951?
- Reclassified the delinquent groups using legal criteria
- Found far less difference in the somatotypes of delinquents and non delinquents
- Mesomorphs were more common in delinquent youths, however
What did Wadsworth find in 1979?
British delinquents commenting serious crimes tended to be smaller than average and were late in reaching puberty
What did west and Farrington find in 1973?
- Longitudinal study of London working-class boys undertaken
- No correlation between body type and delinquency
What did Feldman find in 1977?
- Relationships between shape and criminality can be explained by expectations
- These features may catch the attention of the police or influence juries during sentencing
How does the self fulfilling prophecy relate to Sheldon's theory?
If we expect people to act in a certain way they do
How may the Environment play a part in Sheldon's theory?
- It could be down to an interaction between genetic looks and environment
- If mesomorphs look intimidating they may be treated more aggressively and therefore become aggressive
How might the prison system influence a criminal's body type?
- Nothing to do in prison
- Gym facilities available
- Good to be muscular in order to ward off violence within prison
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