Phrenology or head reading Franz Joseph Gall, a Viennese physician observed the faces of his classmates and found that the students who had good memory power had prominent eyes. He felt that there would be some connection between the eyes and brain. Later, he analyzed several criminals’ heads and found that all the criminals had a bump above their ears on the back of the head. Inspired by these findings, he did further research and established a connection between the shape of the head (or skull) of a human being and his character and talents.

It is scientifically proved that certain regions of the human brain represent certain human activities. For example, love of music, speaking fluently, ability to do calculations, memory retention etc. are all represented in different parts of the brain. Gall’s hypothesis is that human brain is like a muscle in our body. When we do exercise everyday to our hands, the muscles of our hands will become strong and bulgy. Similarly, when we think and work heavily in a particular area, then the region of the brain representing that area will become strong and bulgy. When the brain protrudes, to accommodate it, the outer skull should rearrange itself. So, the ups and downs of brain will produce corresponding ups and downs on the skull. By reading the ups and downs on the skull or head, one can estimate the behavior and talents of the person. This is called ‘Phrenology’. So, Phrenology is a science of linking human behavior with the shape of the head.

Thus Phrenology was developed by Gall in 1796. It was very popular in countries like Britain, America, France and Germany. Gall called this science ‘Craniology’. It was considered as latest advancement in Neurology. Gall has divided the skull into 27 regions and linked them with certain qualities of human beings. Later, Johann Christoph Spurzheim joined Gall as an assistant and became his disciple. Spurzheim added 10 more regions to the Gall’s list and thus there were a total of 37 skull regions studied in Phrenology. Gall and Spurzheim’s first great book ‘Anatomie et Physiologie du Systeme Nerveux et du Cerveau en Particulier’ came out in Paris during 1810 to 1819. Spurzheim alone published another book called: ‘The Physiognomical System of Drs. Gall and Spurzheim, based on an anatomical and physiological examination of the Nervous System and the Brain in Particular’.

George Combe founded the Edinburgh Phrenological Society in 1820 in Great Britain. He wrote books like ‘Essays on Phrenology’ and ‘Elements of Phrenology’ which were very popular.

In 1931, Henry C. Lavery developed a machine with a number of springs, wires and probes. This machine was called ‘psychograph’. When this machine is worn on head like a helmet, the probes of the machine would touch all parts of the head and measure the shape of the head. Then a report is printed which depicts the character of the person. In those days, many companies started using these reports to recruit good staff members.

Phrenology cannot predict the future of a person like Astrology or Palmistry do. But it is useful to judge the strengths and weaknesses of persons. Also, it is possible to know whether the person is lazy or willing to work hard. Hence it can be used by top companies in selecting right persons for various jobs. In the same way, Phrenology helps to select a suitable partner for marriage.

Another use of Phrenology is in detecting the criminals. Phrenology gives clues about the aggressive and destructive nature of the person and hence criminal can be easily detected.

Rehabilitation is another use of Phrenology. Criminals and lunatics who respond to moral code should be identified according to Phrenology. They should be put in a home, not in a jail. They should be taught moral conduct so that the regions representing the moral conduct on their heads slowly develop. When this part of the head fully develops, then they can be given freedom to live in the society normally. Of course, rehabilitation is not suitable for criminals and lunatics whose heads already show abnormal development of those negative tendencies.

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Important Phrenological regions of head

Amativeness: This region represents physical love, affection and sex. When this region is excessively developed, the person will have illegal sexual contacts. When this region is deficient, the person cannot understand love and cannot have any feelings towards opposite sex. phrenology amativenss region
Parental love: This region is at the back of the head in the center. It represents love for children and fondness for pets. When this region is high, the person will spoil the children by exerting excessive love. When this region is deficient, the person will neglect the children and young. phrenology parental love region
Adhesiveness: This region represents friendship and sociability. It represents how much the person strives to mix with others in the society. When this region is excessively developed, there will be high liking for the company of others. When this region is deficient, the person will avoid friends and society. phrenology adhesiveness region
Combativeness: This region represents self defense and fighting nature. It also represents the energy levels of the person. When developed excessively, the person will become quarrelsome, finding faults with others and uncooperative. When this region is deficient, he will be cowardice and cannot resist attacks of any sort. When hurt, these people try to end their life. phrenology combativeness region
Destructiveness: This represents primitive and unrefined nature of the person. The positive point about this is the person will have good executive abilities and dynamic nature. When this region is highly developed, we will have criminal with murderous tendency. When this region is low, the person will suffer from timidness. phrenology destructiveness region
Secretiveness: The ability to keep secrets and hiding the important issues is shown by this region. When this region is high, cunning nature and hypocrisy can be seen. When low, the person will not have enough tact and will be easily exploited by others. phrenology secretiveness region
Spirituality: This region represents intuition, occult nature and interest in spiritual development. When high, it represents belief in ghosts and gods, miracles and witchcraft. When low, it represents doubting nature and striving for material gains. phrenology spirituality region
Veneration: Devotion to gods and elderly people, worship and love for old things – are indicated by this region. When excessive, it represents superstition, severe practices of mantra recitation and religious fanatism. When this region is low, it represents hatred towards sacred things and old culture. phrenology veneration region
Benevolence: This region represents kindness, sympathy and an ambition to do good to the society. When this region is high, the person will help undeserved people and suffer from his charity. When it is low, the person becomes selfish and cannot understand the sufferings of others. phrenology benevolence region
Constructiveness: Ability to use mechanical tools and engineering equipment, inventive nature are represented by this region. When this region is well developed, the person will try to invent new things which may be impossible. When this region is undeveloped, the person will not have skill in engineering and cannot work with tools and machinery. phrenology constructiveness region
Mirthfulness: This region represents fun, making jokes and enjoying humor. When highly developed, it represents ridicule and criticism about others. When this region is low, extreme seriousness and indifference are indicated. phrenology mirthfulness region
Form: This region represents memory of shapes, forms and faces. This helps the person to spell the words correctly and drawing the pictures properly. When high, the person will never forget any event through out his life. When deficit, the person’s memory will be very poor. phrenology form region
Size: This region represents the ability to judge the size, measurements and weights of bodies. When high, the person will have extraordinary talent of measurements. When low, the person cannot judge the dimensions of objects properly. phrenology size region
Color: This region represents judgment of different colors, shades and intensity of colors. When this region is high, it represents a desire for using different colors for his dress and furniture. When this region is low, it represents the person cannot understand and enjoy the colors. phrenology color region
Calculation: The ability to perform arithmetic calculations, counting and accountancy. When this region is excess, the person will count everything and becomes critical minded. When this region is low, the person will not be suitable for mathematics. phrenology calculation region
Eventuality: This region represents memory of events. The person will remember the entire history of anything. A student with this region well developed will always get good marks. When this region is high, it makes the person a chatter box. When this region is deficient, the person will suffer from forgetfulness. phrenology eventuality region
Tune: This region represents love and talent for music. This is a must for singers and musicians. When this region is highly developed, the person will involve into continuous humming or whistling. When this area is undeveloped, the person cannot enjoy music. phrenology tune region
Language: This region lies in the eye balls and represents ability to communication. How the person talks and writes is determined by this region. This is a must for literary people and poets. When this region is high, the person becomes talkative and uses more words than necessary. When this region is low, the person will suffer from hesitation in expressing his ideas. phrenology language region

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Find more information on Phrenology at the following links
Physiognomy or Face reading