Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Developed in the late 1700s and popularized throughout the early to mid-19th century, phrenology is the study of analyzing and predicting certain psychological traits based on the physical features of the skull. According to Franz Joseph Gall's original work, the basic tenets of phrenology are as follows: First, the brain is an organ of the mind. Second, the brain is composed of 27 distinct organs which function independently. Third, the size of the brain is formed by the various organs. Fourth, the more active or powerful the organ, the greater the size. Fifth, the surface of the skull can be examined to gain the relative size of each organ. Sixth, this provides a description and prediction of physiological functioning and disposition. The study of phrenology was the result of two major contributions of 18th-century psychology. Physiognomy, founded by Johan Kaspar Lavater, was the assessment of an individual's character through the ...