Phrenology represented an early attempt to understand the mind and human behavior by linking personality traits or "faculties" to the physical organ of the brain. Phrenologists divided the mind into 35 "faculties" that were ascribed to specific parts of the brain and locations on the cranium, the size and shape of which determined the strength or weakness of each trait. This chart of the head, from Ladies Magazine 1833, was a common sight in pharmacies, magazines, and books. It was also painted on plaster or porcelain busts and carried about by the thousands of phrenologists who crisscrossed the country in the antebellum period
HINTS ABOUT PHRENOLOGY.
EXPLANATIONS OF THE PLATE.
The head is divided by phrenologists into four regions-viz. occipital, the back part-lateral, the side-frontal, the forehead-sincipital, the top, or crown of the head
25. Weight and resistance,
SPECIFIC NATURE OF THE DIFFERENT FACULTIES OR ORGANS.
*Alimentiveness-the instinct to take food. This cerebral part is developed early, and is larger in youth than in adult age, except in those persons whose dearest pleasure, all their lives, consists in eating.
The organ is situated before the ear.
- Destructiveness-a propensity to destroy. It does not consider the object of its application, nor the manner of destroying. The faculty is commonly more active in children than in adults.
The organ of destructiveness, in man and animals, lies immediately above the ear.
- Amativeness-is the propensity called physical love. Its manifestations depend on the cerebellum, or little brain. In children this is smaller than in adults, and in women less than in men.
The cerebellum is situated in the neck.
- Philoprogenitiveness-the propensity of parental love. In women it is almost always larger than in men.
- Adhesiveness-the special faculty which binds the individuals of the same species to each other, and gives rise to society. Another of its modifications is friendship. It forms an essential and prominent feature in the female character.
- Inhabitiveness-the primitive faculty which determines animals in selecting their dwellings, and makes man attached to his home and native land.
- Combativeness-this power produces active courage, and the tendency to fight. The heads of courageous men and animals are much developed behind their ears. It is smaller in women and females.
- Secretiveness-the propensity to be secret in thoughts, words and deeds. If not directed by justice, and the other moral feelings, it inclines to dissimulation, intrigue and lying.
- Acquisitiveness-this faculty, reduced to its elements, consists in the propensity to covet, to acquire, and to gain, without determining either objects to be acquired, or the manner of acquisition. If it be very active, it gives a perpetual craving after new possessions. When indulged, it produces selfishness and the love of riches. The most common of its disorderly acts is stealing.
- Constructiveness-this faculty produces construction of every kind. Those who are skilful; dexterous and ingenuous, no matter how their skill is exercised, whether making steam engines or pincushion, have the organ large.
Sentiments common to Man and Animals.
- Cautiousness-this sentiment prompts animals and man to take care. It disposes to seriousness, melancholy and fear. It is more active in women than in men.
- Love of approbation-this feeling makes us attentive to the opinion entertained of us by others. In children it is emulation-in maturer years, it is love of glory, fame, distinction. It is ambition of vanity, according to the object of its aspirations, and it induces us to appear agreeable to others. If it predominates it renders man the slave of fashion. It is more predominant in women than in men.
- Self-esteem-the activity of this organ gives arrogance, self-conceit, pride, the authoritative behavior; combined with superior sentiments and intellect, it contributes to true greatness of mind. Its deficiency disposes men to be humble. It is more active in men than in women.
- Benevolence-this sentiment produces kindness, charity, equity, urbanity. It leads to the fulfillment of the great commandment-Love thy neighbor as thyself. The organ lies on the upper and middle part of the frontal bone. When this is elevated, be sure the person has kind and generous feelings.
Sentiments proper to Man.
- Reverence-this sentiment produces respectfulness and reverence in general, and when directed to supernatural beings it leads to adoration and worship, but it does not determine the object to be venerated, or the manner of worshipping. It is more active in woman than in man. The organ is in the middle of the sincipital region of the head.
- Firmness-this feeling gives perseverance, constancy and a love of independence. Its too great activity produces stubbornness, obstinacy and disobedience. It is larger in man than in woman.
- Conscientiousness-this faculty produces the feeling of duty, the desire of being just and the love of truth. It is usually larger in children than in adults, a melancholy proof that its culture is almost universally neglected. Yet, on its predominance, more than on that of any other single faculty, the true worth of character depends. Let parents and instructors teach their children to love truth and justice and the world will improve.
- Hope-this faculty disposes us to build castles in the air, and there the poor may have a freehold as large as the rich. Religiously directed, it forms an item in faith, by producing belief in a life to come. It is indeed a blessed faculty, and those are favored who have it active.
- Marvelousness-this feeling disposes man to admire, to be astonished, and to believe in supernatural agents, events and conceptions.
- Ideality-this sentiment exalts the other powers, and makes us enthusiasts. It gives poetic imagination, fancy and inspiration. It makes man aspire after perfection, and look for things as they ought to be. In the arts, it causes the taste for sublimity.
- Mirthfulness-this sentiment diffuses over the mind a disposition to view objects and events in a ludicrous light, in the same way Ideality tends to exalt all its functions.
- Imitation-this power, giving a tendency to imitate, is very active in children. Those who possess it strongly easily acquire the accent of foreign languages.
- Individuality-this power produces the conception of being or existence, and knows objects in their individual capacities. It is the earliest intellectual power developed in children. The organ lies behind the root of the nose, between the eyebrows.
- Configuration-this faculty makes us attentive to forms, and enables us to recollect persons and things we have seen before. If it is large, the eyes are wider apart, and farther from the root of the nose.
- Size-this faculty measures distance, space, and proportion.
- Weight-this faculty gives us notions of weight and resistance. The last two organs are difficult to describe, and perhaps to understand.
- Coloring-this faculty presides over our knowledge of colors. Through its agency we are charmed by the beauty of the flower-garden, and the variously tinted landscape, and select the favorite hue for our dress, &c. The faculty of coloring is necessary to painters, dyers, enamellers, and to all who in any way, occupied with colors. The seat of the organ is in the middle of the eyebrow: if large, this part is either strongly arched, or is prominent.
- Locality-this faculty conceives and remembers the situations and the relative localities of external objects. It also produces the desire to travel and see localities. Travellers, geographers, astronomers, and landscape painters have this organ active and usually large.
- Order-this faculty gives method, and produces physical arrangement. Ladies who have it large, are neat and particular.
- Calculation-the object of this faculty is numeration and calculation in general, algebra, arithmetic, and logarithms belong to it. This organ is placed at the external angle of the orbit: if it be large, this part is depressed, or projects, and appears full.
- Eventuality-this faculty acquires the knowledge of events, occurrences, or phenomena. It is attentive to all that happens. Historical knowledge belongs to it. It is situated above individuality. If both are large, the forehead comes out far between the eyes.
- Time-this power is essential in music, as it measures the duration of tones. In the study of history, it presides over chronology, with reference to the duration and succession of events.
- Tune-the power of tune has the same relation to the ear, as coloring has to the eye.
The organ of melody is situated latterally [sic] in the forehead, above those of order and calculation. It exists in singing-birds, and its different developement is very conspicuous in the males and females of the same species.
- Language-this faculty acquires knowledge of artificial signs, and arranges them according to natural laws, in the same way as the power of coloring or of melody does colors or tones. The organ of language is in the lower and back part of the anterior lobe of the brain. If large, it pushes the eyes forward and downward, and the under eye-lid assumes a swollen appearance.
There are but two. Comparison and Causality.
- Comparison-this power produces discrimination, generalization, abstraction, and induces the mind, wishing to communicate unknown ideas, to refer to and illustrate by such as are known, or to speak in examples. It is destined to establish harmony among all mental phenomena. Those who have it large, speak and write figuratively. The organ is placed in the upper and middle part of the forehead.
- Causality-this power gives the idea of connection between causes and effects. The idea of God, or the Supreme Being therefore, defends on causality. This power, applied to actions, makes us look for motives, and prompts us, on all occasions, to ask Why? It forms the essential part of reason.
The organ of causality is situated by the sides of comparison.
Temperament is the bodily constitution. Phrenologists admit that the temperament of an individual, influences his mental powers, giving more or less activity and perfection to the fundamental faculties.
There are four different temperaments; consequently four different degrees of activity in the powers.
- Phlegmatic. A person of this temperament has a pale, thick skin round, fat form, thick lips, fair hair, countenance tranquil, or rather unexpressive, and languid air.
- Sanguine. These have clear, bright eyes, light or chesnut [sic] hair, fair, healthy complexion, and that open, unclouded expression of countenance which reveals the sensations of a happy nature.
- Billious. The billious has usually a dark or sallow skin, black hair and eyes, and harsh, bold features.
- Nervous. This, the most active temperament, is characterized by fine, thin hair, delicate health, thin skin, emaciation of muscles, quickness of muscular motion, and vivacity of sensations.