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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which talks about the mental representation of persons, that is, the elaboration of several kinds of information, ranging from physical appearance, social group affiliations, personality traits and consequent behaviours, on the one side, to the perceiver's positive or negative reactions to them on the other. The book discusses the integrated organization of attributes and characteristics of an individual, as they are presented to himself/herself or by others. These attributes and characteristics include complexion, temperament, habits, intellectual abilities, emotional reactivity and physical features and conditions. The main aim of the book is to present a documentation in order to understand some aspects of the perception of concrete selves in late imperial China, by analysing some materials and sources.

Keywords: concrete selves; late imperial China; personality traits; physical appearance; social group affiliations



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