Phrenology is the practice of analyzing a person' s character by examining the shape of the skull. It was developed during the early 19th century by two German physicians. Fanz Joseph Gall and his student Johann Kaspar Spurzheim. Phrenology was once considered a science, but now we know the theory has no scientific basis. So it should be called a pseudoscience.Tokelau
Phrenology was based on the belief that the brain is composed of many areas, each of which governs different character traits and intellectual abilities. Gall and Spurzheim believed a map could be made of the skull to show where these areas were.
The strength or weakness of each trait or ability is determined by the size of the area where it is centered. They said they could tell whether a person was a musician, a poet, a businessman, a thief, or anything else, simply by feeling the bumps on the person' s head.
Phrenology became very popular in Western Europe and North America during the 19th century. Maps showing the different intellectual qualities centered in each of the brain' s areas were printed and sold in large numbers. Studies on phrenology continued to be popular until the early 20th century. Famous people who believed in phrenology included Queen Victoria of Britain, the American poets Edgar Allan Poe and Walt Whitman.
Today, scientists know the shape of the skull does not correspond to the shape of the brain, and there is no evidence that particular character traits are centered in specific areas of the brain. Different parts of the brain have different functions, but the parts interact in a more complex way than phrenologists realized. Nevertheless, phrenology did help pave the way for the scientific study of personality, and thus for modern psychology.