Analyzing Character eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 399 pages of information about Analyzing Character.

We do not wish you to misunderstand our claims for the science.  Character analysis is not a science in the mathematical sense.  As we said in our introduction, we cannot place a man on the scales and determine that he has so many milligrams of industry, or apply measurements and prove that he has so many centimeters of talent for salesmanship.  Nor can we, using the method of the chemist, apply the litmus to his stream of consciousness and get his psychical reaction in a demonstrable way.  We are glad we cannot, else humanity might lose the fine arts of coquetry and conquest.  Perhaps we never shall be able to do these things, but that is small cause for discouragement.  What we do claim for the science of character analysis is that it is classified knowledge based upon sound principles; that it is as accurate as the science of medicine; that it can be imparted to others; and, best of all, that anyone can test it for himself beyond any question of doubt.

TESTS SHOW UNTRAINED JUDGMENT UNRELIABLE

“Oh, I’m a pretty good judge of men,” people say to us.  We have heard this declaration thousands of times in the last seventeen years.  Occasionally it was, no doubt, true, but more often not, even when the statement was made in the greatest sincerity.  So we determined to test the ability of the public to analyze men.  The first test appeared in a number of magazines, giving a profile and full-face view, showing the hands of a young man.  A few simple questions were asked concerning him, such as these: 

“Would you employ this man?

“If so, would you employ him as salesman, executive, cashier, clerk, chemist, mechanic?

“Is he healthy, honest, industrious, aggressive?

“Would you choose him as a friend?”

Of 5,000 replies but 4.1 per cent were right or nearly right.  Some of the replies were astounding.  One manager of a big business wrote:  “This man would be an exceptionally honest and trustworthy cashier or treasurer.”  One sales manager replied:  “I would like to have this man on my sales force.  He would make a hummer of a salesman, if I am any judge of men.  His hands are identical with my own,” etc., etc.  But the climax was reached with this letter from a young lady:  “He would be a devoted husband and father.  I would like him as a friend.”

Our own analysis of this man, from photographs on a test, was as follows: 

“We would not employ this man.

“He is not healthy.

“He is intelligent.

“He is not honest.

“He is not industrious.

“He is aggressive in a disagreeable way.

“We would not choose him as a friend.

“John Doe is a natural mechanic who has had very little training in that line of work.  Being exceedingly keen and intelligent, without right moral principles, he has used his natural mechanical ability in illegitimate lines.”

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Project Gutenberg
Analyzing Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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