A Zinger Way to Assess your Strength of Character

Phrenology comes from the Greek ‘phren’ and ‘logos’ which translates to the knowledge of the mind. It has its roots dating back to the time of Hippocrates, when they identified the brain controls the body and not the heart. The work of phrenologists includes conducting compatibility tests between couples, and even profiling job applicants into the ideal career. The principles of the science are as follows: the brain is divided into three dozen “faculties,” or parts that determine a specific trait. The bigger the faculty, the more this trait manifests. And since the skull conforms to the shape of the brain, then assessing the shape of the skull gives insight to a person’s character.

Phrenology Head showing different areas of the brain

Even though the idea first hatched during ancient times, the actual practice by physicians only started during the 1700’s, starting with the Viennese Franz Joseph Gall and his disciple Johann Gaspar Spurzheim. Phrenology was called Cranioscopy at the time. After the science was ridiculed in the newspapers, it gained traction and developed an interest in many other medical practitioners, sealing its place in medical history. Many consider it to be a pseudoscience, but this study of the human character from the form of his temple had the following to let its practice continue well into the modern world.


In a Phrenology session, the physician will run their bare fingers or their palms over the head to look for bumps and irregularities on the brain. Aside from this, one may also use tools such as callipers or measuring tapes. Another special tool called the craniometer may also be at a phrenologists disposal, which is used to measure specific parts of the brain. Because of the precision provided by a craniometer, these tools can even cost as much as upwards of €300.

Full front view of Phrenology Head

But for those only starting out in the science, the very first tool that must be obtained is the phrenology head. Authentic Models have created the bust based on the specifications of L.N. Fowler; a popular figure for the study of the brain during the 1800’s. The material composes of crackled porcelain, and clearly labels the different faculties of the mind. The positions and their natural measure are also accurately marked so that aspiring phrenologists can get proper practice before diagnosing an actual person. Even when you don’t intend to study and pursue the subject, the Fowler bust also makes for a great decorative item at home or on the doctor’s desk.


Phrenology Head shown on a shelf

This character divination technique may still be refuted by many as a pseudoscientific practice, but there is no doubt that it was widely received by the masses and proves to be a good business. It is especially well-received in the United States as it validates the American Dream, letting the people know that their success is practically predetermined and is only natural. Whether you are one of the advocates or the deniers of the science,  let us know what you think here, however there is no doubt that there are some indisputable truths in the practice of Phrenology.

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