Predicting Adult Temperament From Minor Physical Anomalies

Delroy L. Paulhus, Carol Lynn Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


It is known that in children, individual differences in temperament are linked to rates of minor physical anomalies (MPAs). These anomalies are a standard set of 17 nonobvious but measurable characteristics of the face, hands, and feet. We explored the relation between MPAs and temperament in adults. An intact sample of 88 undergraduates completed a battery of personality tests and lifestyle questions, and then were examined for MPAs. The index of MPAs for each subject was simply the total count out of 17. The results showed a pattern of correlates parallel to that found in children. Among male subjects, correlations with MPAs were significant for the Physical Activity and Clumsiness factors of the lifestyle inventory as well as for measures of emotionality, extraversion, masculinity, femininity, and Type A personality. The MPA index was also predictive of a behavioral index of temperament in male subjects. No correlations were significant among female subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1239
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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