July 15, 2008

NYT: Violent criminals tend to be in proper shape for committing criminal violence

Eric Nagourney writes in the Health section of the New York Times:

Thinking about a life of crime? You may want to hit the gym first.

A new study that looked at the physical characteristics of about 5,000 Arkansas inmates found that most were athletically fit when they entered prison. The researchers referred to them as mesomorphs.

Oh, there were also endomorphs and ectomorphs — fatties and skinnies to the lay people. But the study found that they were less likely to have been imprisoned for violent crimes.

The researchers, whose study appears in The Social Science Journal, used body mass index, a measure of height and weight, to assess fitness.

Scientists have long explored whether physical traits play a role in criminality — a field that has fallen into disrepute when its practitioners advanced claims about characteristics like race.

The new study does find that mesomorphs make up an unusually large percentage of the prison population, from 62 percent to 73 percent.

But that does not mean that being fit is a predictor of criminal tendencies, said one of the authors, Jeffery T. Walker of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“Those who are fit may have personalities that are more likely to make them violent,” Dr. Walker said in an e-mail message.

“In essence,” Dr. Walker said, “what drives them to be fit also drives them to be violent. It is also likely that those who are fit find themselves in violent situations more.”

Hmmhmmhmm, what could possibly be the underlying link between being muscular and being aggressive? Thank God this is a "field that has fallen into disrepute" due to political correctness. Otherwise, somebody might have learned something by now.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

56 comments:

Sleep said...

I've read on another site that extreme ectomorphs have IQs about 10 points higher than extreme mesomorphs just by virtue of their much higher brain-to-body mass ratio and a few other factors. It makes sense to me ... humans are just extremely ectomorphic chimps, in a way.

I think that the IQ correlation plays a role in the over-representation of mesomorphs in prison. As opposed to being directly related to one's physical strength, because if it were we would expect prisoners to mostly be very tall as well, but if I understand correctly the average felon is an inch or so below average.

Anonymous said...

The End of Testosterone?

simon newman said...

I expect it's still true after controlling for race. The obvious reason is that fit criminals are more likely to be successfully violent than are unfit ones. So violence is a more attractive choice for the fit.

Likewise, females are more successful at shoplifting than mugging, and female muggers tend to pick on female victims or be part of a mixed-sex gang, because most females would not be very successful at mugging adult males.

Ross said...

In James Q Wilson and Richarard Hernnstein's book 'Crime and Human Nature' there is a whole chapter devoted to the physical characteristics of criminals compared to the general population which draws from much earlier studies to come to the same conclusion as this latest one.

Anonymous said...

Sleep's IQ connection is interesting, as is the info about the average height of felons. Still, it might be as simple as this: someone who's scum is more likely to exercise his scumness violently if he's physically fit than if not.

BTW, re the height thing: maybe a big guy who likes to push people around is less likely to meet with resistance, and therefore doesn't need to use so much violence. (This probably applies more to harassment and assault for fun than to robbery for money.)

nitpick said...

This is a little unfair. I have about a 140 IQ, 1 PhD in Civil Engineering, 3 Master degrees in Engineering and IT, and busy working towards another PhD in Aero- and Space-Engineering. In addition I am well built (strong muscles) due to climbing and gym. I started doing gym in school to stop jerks bullying me. In addition to rock climbing this rendered me in good shape really fast so that the bullying stopped promptly. BTW if you are looking to keeping thugs off your back go to gym and learn to shoot.
So now I'm supposed to be a criminal?

halfbreed said...

There've been studies since the beginning of time correlating mesomorphism with violent criminality....What I don't understand is why no one ever objects to the death penalty on the basis of how it's applied in such a sexist manner. All we ever hear about is how it's applied racially disproportionately, yet that disproportionality is as nothing compared to the gender imbalance. Beats me.

ben tillman said...

Hmmhmmhmm, what could possibly be the underlying link between being muscular and being aggressive?

People who are muscular are "obese" according to the government's body mass index, which would translate to "endomorphic" in the language of the article. Thus, I don't read the article as saying that the inmates are muscular.

n/a said...

James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein summarized much of the literature on body build and crime in Crime & Human Nature. Criminals tend toward certain body types, but I don't know that they are especially "fit". One study mentioned by Wilson and Herrnstein reported that a sample of (disproportiately mesomorphic) delinquent youths performed fewer pullups than non-delinquent youths, though I believe the authors tried to attribute this to lack of motivation.

Nor is it obvious testosterone is behind the correlation. I don't immediately locate any direct tests of the hypothesis that mesomorphs average higher T than ectomorphs, but this abstract doesn't lend support to the notion, and femininebeauty has argued:

"I previously showed the following graph about the relation between mesomorphy/muscular build and body hairiness. Starting from an effeminate physical build, as the physique becomes naturally more masculine, body hairiness increases, which appears intuitive, but beyond a certain point, greater body hairiness corresponds to a weaker physical build. A plausible explanation of the relationship is that beyond a certain level of androgen exposure, a male fetus is developmentally disturbed, resulting in a weak physical build, but since the individual produces elevated androgens, simple structures like body hair show the effect of elevated androgens."

Mesomorphs tend to be more extroverted, with higher activity levels, than ectomorphs, and it's likely personality correlates rather than physical strength that lead to overrepresentation of mesomporphs among criminals.

Incidentally, the link between testosterone and "being aggressive" is far from direct and established.

Peter said...

Pumping iron has long been a favorite activity in prison recreation yards. Unless the study of Arkansas inmates was limited to ones entering prison for the first time, it's quite possible that many of them picked up the habit during prior stays behind bars.

Patrick Bateman said...

What field has fallen into disrepute? I thought testosterone studies were still PC. Even the most ardent misandrists admit that testosterone makes men more muscular and violent.

I notice the trend sleep wrote about every day. Here at a highly ranked university, the men seem more weakly built and feminine than average. Only hippies annoy more than the men on this campus. I am one of the rare high IQ and high testosterone types. I have had violent impulses and fantasies since my teenage years. If I had Mike Tyson's frontal lobe, I would probably be in prison right now. As it stands, this combination should serve me well in finance.

bbartlog said...

The abstract for the study has some problems:

Sheldon defined three body types believed to be associated with criminality...

Not hardly - Sheldon was interested in anthropometry in general, and his three body types were not 'believed to be associated with criminality'.

This research explores a new method of somatotyping using the Body Mass Index (BMI)

As usual, the introduction of BMI is not an improvement over more detailed methods but merely an attempt to make getting and manipulating the data easier. BMI can't tell the difference between fat and muscle.

The findings of this paper show that the BMI is a useful alternative to traditional somatotyping techniques

Not really, of course - they just show that even if all you have is height and weight, you can still extract some signal from the noise. It's 'useful' in the sense that you can apply it even if all you have is height and weight data.

Anonymous said...

Hmmhmmhmm, what could possibly be the underlying link between being muscular and being aggressive?

Let's see ... just playing around with some stuff here, uh high testosterone, low intelligence, poor impulse control ... may ... be ... connection ... somehow ...

Ah to heck with it. All this thinking gives me a headache. Who's up on American Idol?

--Senor Doug

David said...

sleep said

if I understand correctly the average felon is an inch or so below average.

Careful, Sleep. That's coming close to sounding like a racist statement. Perhaps you will revise it. (The above spoken in the accent of Darth Vader.)

It's anecdotal, but I've noticed people who've made the break with their ectomorphic incarnations and gone skinny have tended to get stupid more often after that.

Half Sigma said...

Having big muscles makes it easier to commit violent crimes.

A weak skinny guy like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates isn't going to mug anyone.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating stuff.

I'd also like to see an examination of the other side: law enforcement. It seems to me that the old adage "a cop is one step away from a criminal" might be explained due to the tendency for some risk-takers (type A, adrenaline-junky mesomorphs) to enter the field purely for the rush.

But there's also been a major increase in female participation in law enforcement over the last few decades. I can only theorize, but I might put it down to a matriarchal impulse to "reign-in" the problem children. Working around the field, as I do, I see female officers predominantly play the post-arrest empathetic role versus their male peers (who quite literally lead the mob charge to "cuff and stuff," as it were). Women who tend to cross the gender barrier, however, seem to compete more aggressively with their male counterparts for the chance to "get in on the action." Whether this is due to women breaking in to a field traditional reserved for men - and wishing recognition despite gender - or whether it's chemically-induced competitiveness is beyond my ken.

Many of the criminals that I've encountered, however, have fallen into two general categories that align fairly well with the material presented; mesomorphs tend to commit violent crime, ecto-endomorphs tend to commit "victimless," or opportunistic crimes.

Anonymous said...

Both brain and muscle tissue are metabolically expensive. In our ancestral selection environments, food wasn't anywhere as near as plentiful as it is today, so it is plausible that a tradeoff would be negotiated, though demonstrating this would be interesting.

Would be interesting to see a scatterplot of the number of cc's of brain volume (perhaps for specific regions determined via MRI) vs. adipose and muscle tissue density. Add a third axis with some measure of gross body size and see if there's a robust conditional relationship between the variables.

Also, the ectodermal layer develops into both the nervous system and the skin. Would be interesting to see if there are any interesting correlations between skin properties and brain properties (aside, uh, from the obvious one).

Concerned said...

So are you saying that the obesity epidemic (esp. amongst the underclass) has contributed to the drop in crime?

Bill said...

Well, it's also confidence. Being in good shape makes a big difference as far as one's willingness to throw down. While taking intense martial arts for up to eight hours a week, despite the talk about using the skills in a peaceful manner, I felt a lot more "pumped" than I had beforehand. And a marine friend of mine said that after boot camp guys are spoiling for a fight.

It is said that pumping iron and gaining muscle increases T naturally. Maybe that really is the case, and working out amplifies preexisting traits.

I have noticed that white guys who've done time in prison are significantly more muscular than average. This is probably true for blacks, too, but it seems more pronounced amongst white violent criminals vs. non-criminals, at least from what I've seen.

Steve Funk said...

The free summary for the new study indicated that it was based on body mass index, which is a function of height and weight. Ectomorphs would be lowest, endomorphs highest, and mesomorphs somewhere in between. It's hard to see how the new study could make findings related to body type. I'd like to read it, but not for $31.50. (Should probably send it to you instead)

Dutch Boy said...

No mystery here: mesomorph = high testosterone
high testosterone + Low IQ = criminal.

none of the above said...

Steve,

If racial differences are the cause of the body type differences, then black and white prisoners ought to have very different body type distributions. I doubt it, but it would be interesting to look at the data and see.

My guess is much simpler: Being a big, hulking bad-ass pays off for violent criminals, in ways it doesn't for most other people. A plumber or janitor or computer programmer can get through life with any body type, and it mostly doesn't matter much except for getting laid and maybe heart attack and cancer risk as you get older. But if you hang out with violent thugs all the time, you don't want to be the smallest, weakest one. And if you want to mug or threaten people, being a big, hulking bad-ass makes life easier for you, as you're less likely to have to fight if you're sufficiently intimidating.

A really interesting question: How do the body types of violent criminals compare with those of bouncers. There was an evolutionary psychologist who did a bunch of analysis of bouncers, so we might be able to find data on this, and bouncers are another occupation where bulging muscles and a good physique will likely pay off.

Anonymous said...

Working in the corrections field I found many of the prisoners were not surprisingly, typical schoolyard bullies.

There is a myth especially found in the lower to lower middle class that criminals are actually intelligent. I have no idea why or how it started but working in prisons you find that only the child molesters have any G most just have verbal or 'big man' skills.

Anonymous said...

Not really related, but it appears Gary Brecher (or whomever impersonates him has given an audio interview to Wisconsin NPR)

here

Anonymous said...

The paper is pay to read and the NYT summary is short--- did the study control for age? Violent criminals tend to be young men and young men tend to be mesomorphs.

Anonymous said...

If I had my way, I would shut down the prison gyms and weight rooms and feed prisoners on a macro-biotic diet of brown rice and vegetables. They would come out of prison looking like Mahatma Gandhi.

Anonymous said...

a lot of murderers i see getting arrested on the 6 o'clock news are short and/or skinny 18-22 year olds who wouldn't be tough without a gun.

Anonymous said...

I have about a 140 IQ...
So now I'm supposed to be a criminal?


You're not much of a PhD if you can't understand the concept of a statistical trend!

travis said...

There is a myth especially found in the lower to lower middle class that criminals are actually intelligent. I have no idea why or how it started but working in prisons you find that only the child molesters have any G most just have verbal or 'big man' skills.

It's not unprecedented for the lower class to mythicize criminals (Jesse James, Robin Wood, etc) but they were famous for their crimes, not for their time served in prison. I assume the intelligent criminals are the ones who get away.

hans gruber said...

Obesity (and diabetes) is associated with lower testerone production. Lower testerone levels would obviously lower one's propensity for violent or aggressive behavior. Obviously age plays a role as well. Young men are the perpetrators of most violent crimes, and young men are fitter than old men, so it would follow there would be some natural over-representation due to the young (and thin) committing more crime than the old (and fat).

Anonymous said...

"I notice the trend sleep wrote about every day. Here at a highly ranked university, the men seem more weakly built and feminine than average. Only hippies annoy more than the men on this campus. I am one of the rare high IQ and high testosterone types. I have had violent impulses and fantasies since my teenage years."

I am with you on that subject. Nothing is more annoying than intelligent, non-physical men who do not understand the other 2/3 of the population. They tend to take on a certain arrogance that can only be attributed to their general physical weakness.

"As it stands, this combination should serve me well in finance."

You should do great especially in NYC.

tommy said...

There may also be a nurture component here. I'm pretty thin-boned and ectomorphic naturally. Lifting weights and packing on muscle does seem to have made me more aggressive over time. Has anyone else lifting weights noticed a similar change in personality?

bruce said...

Weak skinny guys can beat big strong ones if they band together, but then if they hand power to their wives who are more primitively wired to 'trade up' to 'bad boys', then we end up back where we started.

Anonymous said...

Is Eric Nagourney related to Adam Nagourney? Nepotism at the NYT, say it ain't so.

Siddharta said...

"If I had my way, I would shut down the prison gyms and weight rooms and feed prisoners on a macro-biotic diet of brown rice and vegetables."

anonymous(nth), for a tangential test of your theory, you should check out this flick:

http://www.dhammabrothers.com/trailer.html

The tagline is "East Meets West in the Deep South" - it's about a bunch of jailed "mesomorphs" embracing Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

I have about a 140 IQ...
So now I'm supposed to be a criminal?


You are obviously completely missing the point of this entire website. You sound overeducated and lacking in common sense. Lay off the advanced degrees and get some real world experience.

tommy said...

In other crime-related news, here is a story from Reuters about the increasing problem of border patrol and immigration agents accepting bribes from drug and immigrant smugglers. The government won't release statistics on the problem, but the only two convicted criminals mentioned in the story have Hispanic surnames.

Is this due merely to large Hispanic presence in the border patrol or is this a case of Hispanic agents taking the bribes that their Anglo agents are refusing to take?

Felix said...

Professor Moriarty was an ectomorph, but then he was a mastermind and he stayed out of trouble until he tangled with another ectomorph.

So perhaps the point may be that mesomorph have lower IQs than ectomorphs? (Where do the endomorphics fit in?)

I remember saying to one of our criminal investigators that I'd take certain precautions if I attempted to defraud our agency. Her response was that, "But you wouldn't be caught".

Lucius Vorenus said...

travis: I assume the intelligent criminals are the ones who get away.

No joke.

You have to be really stupid, and really lazy, and really unlucky to get caught after committing a crime.

Anyone with half a brain and a work ethic and a little good luck will NEVER get caught.

PS: Some of these policemen are so darned stupid that it's a wonder any criminals ever get caught at all.

And even if the police weren't morons, then it still would be darned near impossible for them to solve a crime committed by an intelligent, industrious, reasonably lucky criminal who didn't want to get caught.

This stuff like CIS on CBS, or Law & Order on NBC, is just a pipe dream - in the real world, the police don't stand a chance against a determined criminal.

Anonymous said...

Felix:

As for the endomorphs: Hercule Poirot.

-bushrod

KlaosOldanburg said...

"Has anyone else lifting weights noticed a similar change in personality?"

Yes, and I tried pro-hormones when they were legal and I was going through my gym-rat phase. Basically pre-cursors to steroids. Drastic, consciously noticeable change in behavior . . . "why can't i focus on anything except f*cking, killing, or eating?"

I wasn't expecting the psychological effects to be as intense as they were. Even though my natural testosterone production was already jacked up from eating/lifting constantly.

testing99 said...

A hulking physique has advantages only if weapons are very hard to come by.

Even a knife can turn a big man into one with a disadvantage -- there's just more to cut! Anyone who's seen "Human Weapon" on History Channel and seen former NFL linebacker Bill Duff totally at a loss with small, quick guys with knives or sticks in the Silat or Escrima episodes knows what I'm talking about. And Duff is tough -- he held his own with the Savat champ.

Weapons are the great equalizer. Doc Holiday was weak and not very physical, but he'd shoot people at the drop of the hat so most were quite cautious around him, particularly since he was a good shot. The most deadly dangerous gunfighter was a NYPD stakeout squad leader named Jim Cirillo, who shot it out with armed robbers in the 60's through 80's.

Ectomorphs only have advantages when there are no weapons around. Once weapons get involved, skill, practice, etc. make all the difference.

beowulf said...

Interesting stuff, reminds me of something Richard Steven Hack (frequent Yglesias commenter and convicted bank robber) wrote last month...

There is NO deterrent value to certain crimes. Rape is one of them. Murder is another. People who commit those crimes are not going to be "deterred" by the penalties, regardless of how terrible they might be. They do these things because of psychological needs that are not susceptible to rational analysis of the penalties involved under law.

The only criminals who are "deterred" by penalties are those who adjudge that in the course of doing "criminal business", e.g., selling drugs is a good example, if they are caught they can avoid a larger penalty by doing or not doing certain ancillary acts, such as carrying a firearm during the commission of a drug felony.

I say this based on my knowledge of criminal behavior gleaned from my stay in the Federal joint. And at that, very few criminals make that sort of judgement.

Laws only deter people who are contemplating criminal acts but who are not "criminals" per se. And I doubt there is any statistical evidence even to back that assertion up.

http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/06/the_rape_case.php

Anonymous said...

Speaking of increased muscle mass and aggressiveness, there was a study done in Finland in 1988 which tracked Olympic weightlifters who trained over two years. The result was a 25% increase in total testosterone and, I believe, an even greater proportionate increase in free testosterone. And this was with trained athletes. The average, untrained person may see an even greater increase. I think that the extra testosterone is needed to maintain the extra, more powerful muscle mass.

acc said...

This study is laughable. It uses BMI as an indicator of fitness and muscle mass.

BMI doesn't really tell you much about fitness or muscle-mass, a large framed muscular gym-rat would classified as overweight, where as a small framed fat dude would be classified as a 'mesomorph'.

Having an average BMI doesn't make one a Mesomorph. Though having a below average BMI means that it is likely that the person is an Ectomorph.

Most Americans are overnourished when it comes to macro-nutrients and it is likely even a naturally ectomorphic individual will have a 'normal' BMI. (according to the study only 3.6% of prisoners were underweight, but I would wager this is comparable to the adult male population).

I am sure almost everyone on this blog is a mesomorph or an endomorph, calculate your BMI here.
http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

Half Sigma said...

You have to be really stupid, and really lazy, and really unlucky to get caught after committing a crime.

Hmmm... this could be more properly stated as a ratio of the number of crimes committed before one is caught.

For the typical stupid criminal, there is little planning or forethought, and they are easily caught.

The smart criminal, who plans his crimes, can probably go on a pretty long spree before he gets caught.

Anonymous said...

BMI is a silly measurement; NFL tight ends, amazingly fit physical specimens, are obese by BMI measurements.

Half Sigma, if you don't think Bill Gates would mug you, you haven't gotten Vista yet!

NOTA, the "security" staff at the club I worked in while in college was like a steroid-jacked gang of street thugs, though most were middle-class white guys. Because I was one of the few who was large and verbal as opposed to large and sub-literate, I was the one tasked to tell people to behave before they were asked to leave. Since the club owner wanted things to be over before they started, we were overstaffed with security as a deterrent. The biggest problems were not with the big guys; they instinctively knew that the were a bunch of large guys with license to kick their asses if they started to misbehave. The smaller guys growing a set of beer balls were much worse, as they were more likely to use something as a weapon, and I'm here to tell you that getting hit in the head with a bottle is pretty painful.

For what it's worth, the toughest guy I've known was a 5'9" 175 lb. guy who was a fraternity brother of a friend. He was an internationally-ranked martial artist, and I saw him, in the blink of an eye, take down and straddle a football player who was goading him at a party. He was mad at himself for doing it, but I thought he showed tremendous forbearance, as he didn't react until the guy took a swing at him.

Brutus

josh said...

Thoughts: A)Funny how all these iSteve readers are coming out of the woodwork with statements like,'Oh yeah,I been workin' out and I am ready to kick some ASS!" Riiiight! :^ B)The guy with all the degrees cant distinguish between 1)Most criminals are mesomorphs and 2)most mesomorphs are criminals. C)Patrick Bateman complains about the guys at his hot shot university being,well,fags. (That does NOT mean "gay".Using George Carlins definition,"a fag being a guy who is too scared to go downtown to beat up queers"! :0 of course this is meant kiddingly,we're all,as McCain explained,Gods children...)If HE is gay,well then youve got something to complain about. If patrick is straight,-whats your problem??

Seamus said...

There is NO deterrent value to certain crimes. Rape is one of them. Murder is another. People who commit those crimes are not going to be "deterred" by the penalties, regardless of how terrible they might be.

Yeah, but the people who *don't* commit those crimes may well have been deterred by the penalties.

I say this based on my knowledge of criminal behavior gleaned from my stay in the Federal joint.

In other words, Hack drew his conclusions by talking only to the people who *weren't* deterred.

David Davenport said...

1 PhD in Civil Engineering, 3 Master degrees in Engineering and IT, and busy working towards another PhD in Aero- and Space-Engineering. In addition I am well built (strong muscles) due to climbing and gym. I started doing gym in school to stop jerks bullying me. In addition to rock climbing this rendered me in good shape really fast so that the bullying stopped promptly. ...

And now all the the ladies are hot for you, too!

...

Short mesomorphs in US prisons: Mexicans.

Blode said...

I think we need to clarify these -morph terms a little bit. They are not supposed to change when you get into or fall out of shape. They are supposed to reflect your innate body type. Endos and ectos can get muscular too, just as all the types can be overweight or starve. It's just that it's a little easier for mesos to get muscley.

Among a group of lazy miscreants, the most muscley types are even more likely to be meso-, than among people who can think ahead to buying a gym membership, and holding down a job as a way of paying bills (instead of stealing bikes or mugging people). Your disciplined gym-goer with a nice build may well just be an endo- or ecto- who doesn't want to look the way they typically look.

Hypothesis: lazy endos and ectos stay away from crime because too many disputes among criminals are settled by who is or looks toughest. Instead, they become welfare spongers, or get cush jobs, or whatever. Mesos are used to being able to intimidate people just by how they look, and the ones with no scruples find it is quite an appealing slippery slope to crime.

Among people with morals, these body-type distinctions don't mean a whole lot. Mesos may be overrepresented among wrestlers, but that's not exactly a big sector of the economy.

Anonymous said...

Just from watching shows like Lock Up on MSNBC it seems like Cons in California are in significantly better shape than those in the deep South.

tommy said...

Just from watching shows like Lock Up on MSNBC it seems like Cons in California are in significantly better shape than those in the deep South.

I get the sense from those shows on television that convicts are much more competitive and brutal in multi-culti gang-infested California than in the South. You see those guys in Folsom and San Quentin doing burpees like there is no tomorrow. For many of them, there may be no tomorrow.

none of the above said...

tommy:

Are you trying to tell us that taking bribes to let people across the border is yet another Job Americans Won't Do?

I wonder if there's really a difference in willingness to take bribes between hispanics, whites, and blacks on the border patrol. I'm inclined to doubt it. I have the impression that corruption is widespread there, probably because drug- and people-smuggling pays a whole lot better than being a border patrol cop. Anyone have any data on this?

Anonymous said...

I think the iQ thing with ectomorphs COULD more likely be due to the FACT that because ectomorphs lack strength and muscle
(these being their most obvious weakness)and can't relie on these traits to assert themselves or get what they want,they have HAD to become more sophisticated and charm maybe even manipulate if you will to be able to function as a content,self respecting individual who is able to fulfill/satisfy themselves and get what THEY want without violence/force(at least not by their own hands :) )some may say COWARDS but this is nonsense ,it is just being practical and meso's REALLY aren't all that GREAT and COURAGEOUS when you realise their attributes allow them CONFIDENCE to behave as they do,they are CUT OUT FOR ACTION so to speak and are therefore not all that EXCEPTIONAL/SPECIAL.If a little ectomorph uses a gun to get his way (only making up for lack of strength)would you call him BRAVE? something to think about.People get confidence from their abilities thats all

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