Phrenology (Sociology)

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  • An early attempt to measure criminality, prior to the development of positivism and the scientific method. Developed by the German physician Franz Gall (1758–1828), phrenology was a process by which bumps on the skull were measured to determine brain development. Phrenology was based on the idea that each area of the brain had a specific function. It was believed that through systematic observation and experimentation, specific aspects of character, including criminality, could be associated with precise sections of the brain. The areas were said to be proportional to a person's personality and character tendencies; particular areas of the brain that were larger were believed to indicate a greater tendency to exhibit a given behavior or characteristic. Johann Spurzheim (1776–1832) spread these ideas in England and ...

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