As suggested by the title, the book presents five different types of human characters. The authors claim that, during the evolution of the human race, these five types have gradually developed and are now very distinguishable from one another.
Furthermore, they also state that one can identify one type or the other based on the exterior appearance of the person analyzed. The book sets out to educate the reader in recognizing the five types, and thus pave the way to a better understanding of the others.
The first type, the Alimentive, is "the enjoyer". They never take things seriously, they are great storytellers, they love food and hate arguing. The Alimentives are generally fat persons.
The Thoracic type is "the thriller". The people identified as such have a quick temper and a great power of empathy. They are very straightforward and they often seek the admiration of others.
The Muscular type is "the worker. By far the most active type of all, the Muscular is in very good shape all the time and loves exercising. Musculars are very efficient and hardworking, and commit 100% to what they are doing.
The Osseous type is "the stayer". They can be easily recognized by their bony appearance. They are generally against everything and disagree with everybody. They are very persistent with their dressing style, as they are with their opinions, which often become obsolete.
The Cerebral type is "the thinker". The most refined and sensitive of the five types, the Cerebrals love to dream, read, and make plans. They come up with the most ideas, which are not always practical, unfortunately.
Elsie Lincoln Benedict co-wrote this book with Ralph Paine Benedict. She was a worldwide famous public speaker and an authority in sociology, biology, and psychoanalysis, and authored many books in these fields.
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