You Need Your Head Examined!

There is a much craziness in the world. You’ve seen it. It is the responsibility of us all to maintain some level of sanity. For this reason, I chose to write about this important topic of phrenology: the relationships between a person’s character and the morphology of the skull. It is a very ancient object of study.

This has always been in interesting topic for me. Though, I never took it seriously. After looking into the history, it turned out to be even more interesting. People bought into this like they swallow the other garbage fed to them today. Some things don’t change.

The Psycograph was a 1920’s phrenology machine that would rate an individual’s character on thirty two different personality faculties such as Perceptiveness, Constructiveness, Alimentiveness (love of food and drink), Conjugal Love (sexual enthusiasm) and Suavity.

Advertising has always been an important tool for selling ideas and products. The psycograph device was no exception. The Power of Science used to be a big deal. This device promised a lot. Some of the following images are from a Psycograph Advertising site.

The psycograph consisted of over 1800 parts. The patent was 124 pages in length. It was invented by H.C. Lavery, of Minneapolis, to do the work of a psychoanalyst. “It shows up your talents, abilities, strong and weak traits, without prejudice or flattery.” It was fit over a person’s head and measured 32 different locations. The wooden box next to the subject printed out a set of numbers for the measured points.

The subject transferred those numbers to this chart for analysis of their characteristics. The chart included a set of potential careers suitable for the subject.

Those who were measured received this chart advising them of their potential for growth and development. Quoting from the fine print:

You can be self-guiding, self-directing, and self-sustaining. You have the absolute right to do your best if you are sincere. The way to develop a faculty is to specially use it. This causes a corresponding additional amount of blood to flow directly to the brain organs of the faculties used. A psycograph analysis is the only art by which all the powers of the intellect, affectations, and the will can be thoroughly and accurately measured. It is a natural and practical art with a scientific foundation. It is a normal, prophetic art measuring both the active and dormant powers of the brain.


Below is an actual phrenology readout for an unknown subject for your enjoyment.


KNOW YOURSELF-PSYCOGRAPHY INVENTORY OF YOUR POTENTIAL POWERS, CAPACITIES, CHARACTERISTICS AND TENDENCIES.

THESE ANALYSES ARE REVISED AND EDITED BY C.W. CHAMBERLAIN PH.D., PSYCHOLOGIST FOR THE U.S. GOV’T DURING THE WORLD WAR.

Figures at the left [can’t read]eate your ratings standardized as follows:
5 = Very Superior, 4 = Superior, 3 = Average, 2 = Low Average, 1 = Deficient

3 COMPASSION – Average – For general purposes, this is sufficient.  It may be increased by more careful analysis and classification of objects and people.

4 SYMPATHY – Superior – In association with others, see that what you do or say is of mutual benefit. Avoid excess sympathy, [can’t read]

2 AGREEABILITY – Low Average – Charity, Philanthropy, Kindness, and cooperation are likely to be limited to a few whom you like.  Extend these to others.

3 VENERATION – Average – Your respect for law and order, ethics, and morals may suffice in general.  Cultivation may be of value along specific lines.

3 PERCEPTIVES – Average – In general your judgement of size, weight, color, number and order satisfactorily.  Specific interests may necessitate more development.

3 CASUALITY – Average – Your interest in causes and effects may serve for general purposes and may be developed with ease.  More analysis valuable.

3 SUAVITY – Average – You can be pleasant, polite, and tactful with others but with many people, you achieve more by exercising more diplomacy and courtesy.

3 CONSTRUCTIVENESS – Average – Your dexterity, ingenuity, constructive talent and capacity for adjustment will usually suffice if exercised creatively.

2 IDEALITY – Low Average – Don’t be too “matter of fact” about cultural things of life.  Turn attention more to the appreciation of the fine and beautiful.

1 HOPE – Deficient – Optimism and cheerful anticipation will get more than pessimism.   Express enthusiasm and confidence and you may find the silver lining.

4 EXECUTION – Superior – Being resolute and determined you tent to strongly resist opposition.  Take care you do not trample on others unless justified.

3 SECRETIVENESS – Average – Guard against imprudent speech and action.  Frankness may sometimes be a handicap.  Sincerity may not need to be advertised.

3 CAUTION – Average – For general purposes you exercise sufficient prudence.   Under usual circumstances you should exercise more caution.  Look ahead more.

4 FRIENDSHIP – Superior – Your capacity for friendship is marked.  Exercise it and study ways and means to win more people.  Success depends on friends.

4 INHABITIVENESS – Superior – Your capacity- for love of home and country is very marked.  An asset if it does not prevent your moving when advantageous.

4 CONTINUITY – Superior – Ability to sustain your attention depends upon your use of it.  Capacity for concentration and stabilizing judgement is marked.

4 DIGNITY – Superior – Your estimate of self and your powers may be maintained by active association with others and services rendered to many people.

3 COMBATIVENESS – Average – Do not allow your courage to grow less.  Maintain aggressive resistance to threatening influences.  Defend your interests.

4 APPROBATION – Superior – Love of display and respect for public opinion may be maintained if not offensive.  Continue to win admiration.

4 EXACTNESS – Superior – Your tendency to be accurate and painstaking will serve you well if you do not demand the same degree from all others.  Be tolerant

4 ALIMENTIVENESS – Superior – Your discrimination in food and drink is marked and has a definite value when used.  You tend to place a high value on these.

3 ACQUISITIVENESS – Average – Your sense of values and desire for property may continue as they are or be developed to a greater extent by visualization.

2 SUBLIMITY – Low Average – This degree of appreciation of grandeur in nature may well be increased by a realization of the importance of majestic beauty.

3 WIT – Average – Try to get fun and mirth out of life.  Smile and joke with others and improve your wit.  Exercise your sense of humor by appreciating wit.

1 WIT – Deficient.  Lack of native wit should be offset by cultivating a greater sense of humor.  You need to appreciate more the ludicrous in life.

2 FAITH – Low Average – Lack of trust may prevent you from being swept off of your feet, but it may also block you from accepting authoritative short cuts.


I feel good to have done my part in advancing science. I plan to work on my compassion, veneration, alimentiveness, and wit. There is one particular bump on my head that came from a fall. I wonder if that is why my suavity is average.


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11 thoughts on “You Need Your Head Examined!

  1. Interesting read on how they thought the psycograph could “thoroughly and accurately” measure “all the powers of the intellect, affectations, and the will”. I like the title of the post too :).

    Like

  2. I would schedule one of these for the weekend, but I’m already having my astrology chart read, followed by a pretty intense crystal healing session, then I’m pulling an all-night ghost hunt with some buddies from my Hollow Earth group. Maybe I can fit it in after I finish up the final touches on my perpetual motion machine (using some pretty advanced alien-technology that THEY don’t want you to know about). I’m not sure though – I’ll have to check with psychic adviser, Sister Cleo.

    Gotta love The Guide -O-Life! As for that readout – I’m pretty sure I dated that guy…once. By the way Jim, can you recommend a good Lightning Processor? My adrenaline loop is crazy out of control…

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