Physiognomy is the practice of inferring personality characteristics from someone’s external appearance. For example, the criminologist Cesare Lombroso believed that criminals had certain physical characteristics that differentiated them from non-criminals. Phrenology and hand-writing analysis are two most familiar offshoots from this school of thought. A lesser known, but far more respected and valid technique is to use someone’s FA (i.e. flatulate aggregate) to learn about their personality.
The technique of using flatulate as an indicator of personality characteristics dates back at least to Ancient Egypt. Priests at the time believed that it was actually part of a person’s soul trying to escape their body. Under that assumption it was logical to assume that studying it would reveal certain characteristics of that soul. (1) We once again see examples of this science in Greek civilization with the advent of Humorism. This philosophy held that a person’s disposition was caused by the balance of four homors in the body; a balance revealed in part by one’s flatulate. As with many things, this science went somewhat underground during the middle ages but was once again revived during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. In the early 20th century Psychoanalysts believed flatulate to emanate from the unconscious, and to be an undistorted expression of the id. The last few decades have seen a resurgence of interest in the field. Scientists are begining to look the underlying mechanisms linking a persons flatulate with their personality. So far this research has focused on things like eating habits and muscle tension.
Businesses are beginning to implement this technique in job interviews, and some dating websites are using it check for compatibility. To see what your FA says about you, take the test below!
Select your “Aggregate Flatulate” from the five options below. This should be what your flatulate sounds like ‘on average’. (2)
1. *frreeeeeeeeeaoooooooooooooooooooooaiii* (like a trumpet raising in pitch until it fades out)
2. *PROOP!* (a loud, resounding burst)
3. *fffffffff* (inaudible)
4. *fraaaach – plop* (a gurgling emission with a surprise ending)
5. *Prap Prap Prap* (short and controlled bursts)
Your parents rarely displayed affection and therefore you think that to do so is embarrassing. You try to maintain a calm exterior and any displays of emotion are extremely restricted or suppressed.
You likely had extremely controlling parents, leading you to develop passive-aggressive tendencies. You have trouble expressing anger directly and hide it under a veneer of manufactured kindness and generosity.
3. *fraaaach – plop*
You tend to engage in dangerous, risk taking behaviour without considering the consequences. You likely abuse drugs or alcohol regularly while engaging in sexual promiscuity.
4. *Prap Prap Prap*
You have an obsessive need for order and neatness. It bothers you when you, or others around you aren’t perfect and you spend an excessive amount of time trying to be sure this doesn’t happen. You feel very anxious when you aren’t in control.
You probably had parents that withheld praise, never telling you that you did a ‘good job’. Because of this you have a need to be the center of attention, and to constantly outperform others around you.
1 – In fact the Egyptian symbol for ‘flatulate’ was also used to represent ‘soul’.
2 – This is based on the Platonic approach taken in Classical Antiquity, where it was believed that everyone had an ideal flatulate form. Each specific instance of flatulate was an imperfect reflection of this ideal form.