Image: Locations of phrenology's 35 faculties

Locations of phrenology's 35 faculties

Guide to the locations of phrenology's 35 faculties. In 'Phrenology', The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1885.

© Australian Museum Research Library


In 19th century Australia, plaster casts of criminals were commonly used in the study of phrenology. Phrenologists divided the head into 35 areas called 'faculties'. Bumps or depressions in these areas revealed a person's strengths, weaknesses and motivations. The extremes of society - the exalted and lowly - were of especial interest. By studying the heads of criminals, phrenologists believed they could prove the existence of a criminal type or class.

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