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Body Parts

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I. Analyzing Faces and Heads: Physiognomy and Phrenology
To evaluate the outward appearance of the body and to read the mental and moral capacities of the person. Leaders of all 4 of these movements were highly educated.
A. Physiognomy and facial observation –from greek, physio = nature, nomen = judge, judgement of human nature. Believed you could judge one’s mental and moral character by looking at one’s face. A ton of phrases today still show the judgement of character based solely on face (high brow, snooty, shifty eyed).
1. Giovanni Battista della Porta, Italy, De Humana Physiognomia (1586) –wrote first book on physiognomy. Porta was in Naples, Italy, a scientist and mathematician. Based his ideas on animal characteristics. In his book, he compared certain human faces to certain animal characteristics, and then associated the characteristics of the animal to the human.
2. Johann Lavater (1741-1801), Germany, Von der Physiognomik (1772) –Popularizes physiognomy, from Zurich, Switzerland, and then moved to Germany. Trained as a pastor. Makes physiognomy a science, through the publication of his work, “essays on physiognomy”. In the book, he laid out 100 physiognomy rules, where a look is associated with a trait.
3. General theory –The belief that mental and moral traits (character) can be determined and judged by one’s outward facial structure (their appearance and expressions). One trained in physiognomy could diagnose character by analyzing the face.
4. Samuel R. Wells, New York, New Physiognomy, or, Signs of Character, as Manifested through Temperament and External forms, and Especially in “The Human Face Divine”(1866; 1894) –Based his career on writing books on physiognomy. He teams up with a guy named Fowler and form “Fowler and Wells”. Wells located in NYC, wrote a big book called “New Physiognomy, signs of character”, filled with illustrations of different faces. Believed that the facial angle was associated with intelligence. This leads to the idea that certain races are superior to others. Showed that a bunch of actors have similar facial characteristics (same with orators, statesmen, musicians, pugilists. surgeons). Wells sees how some animals are civilized or wild, depending on their look, associates this with humans. Makes the point that some traits are desirable, others not.
5. Katherine M.H. Blackford, M.D., New York, Character Analysis By the Observational Method (1914); mental, motive, vital –Practicing physician, published several interesting books in early 1900s. Told employers to judge potential employees by judging their appearance. Wrote another book about blondes and brunettes. In 1914, she published “Character analysis by the observational method”, highly popular. Comes up with the nasal index, high noses = snooty and evolved from high activity, low flat nose = evolved from laziness. Also talks about primitive and civilized foreheads, chins, eyes. These were basis for racism. The pure convex was much better than the pure concave. Identifies other specific “types”, including the mental type, the motive type, the vital type, uses some science to try and analyze the characters. Physiognomy and the importance of appearance is still around today.
B. Phrenology and the “bumps” on Uncle Sam’s head –in greek, phren = mind, the study of the mind and character, based upon the shape of the skull.
1. Franz Joseph Gall, M.D. and Johann Gaspar Spurzheim, M.D. (Austria), Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System, 4 vols. (Paris, 1810-1819); Spurzheim,
Phrenology, or the Doctrine of the Mental Phenomena, 2 vols. (New York, 1832)
Gall was the founder of this science, an MD in Vienna. Gave lectures on phrenology, using human skulls. Initially, Gall called it organology, argued that the brain was made up of a series of organs, each organ in the brain controlled a certain trait of human character. Gall’s student, Spurzheim, builds upon the ideas. The two coauthor “anatomy and physiology of the nervous system”. Lumps and protrusions of the skull were associated with characteristics.

2. General theory – temperaments (mental, motive, vital) –brain is made up of a bundle of separate organs (Gall and Spurzheim estimated 27, and then 37). Each organ is responsible for certain characters. A lump means that part is stronger, an indentation meant that trait was weaker. “The bumps on Uncle Sam’s head” referred to the character traits associated with bumps on skulls.

Even to this day, there is encouragement of using the brain (use it or lose it), and how exercising one part of the brain exercises other parts as well. “Exercising the brain” is possible as a way to boost performance.

a. mental, motive, vital–Temperaments, the phrenologists build on these.
3. American proponents –comes to US in 1820s (started in Europe)
a. Orson S. Fowler, New York –major American proponent. Eventually partners with Wells. From very wealthy family, went to Amherst for college. Began to write and lecture on health, social reform, and phrenology. He got into phrenology because of belief of reform, that a person can be changed, writes about juvenile delinquency reform in a book. Writes dozens of books. Fowler and Wells become major publishing house on phrenology and physiognomy. Starts the Phrenological Journal. Had many busts that allowed people to compare their heads to typical models of the temperaments. Phrenology was seen as scientific. They advertised their work to attract patients. Aptitude tests today that tell students what they would be best at is still around today (shows influence of judging character and talents based off of tests).
4. Popularity –both phrenology and physiognomy remain popular through 1890s, Blackburn continues publishing in 1920s. Major cities of popularity included Boston and then NYC (where Fowler and Wells were).
II. Measuring Heads and Bodies: Craniometry and Anthropometry
A. Craniometry and the measurement of heads –from greek, meaning the scientific measurement of the dimensions of the skull.
1. “scientific racism” -- monogenism vs. polygenism –Many of this “scientific” theories were used to help justify racism. Physical data was cobbled together to show that certain races and sexes were inferior to others (biological inferiority).
a. J.C. Nott and George Gliddon, Philadelphia, Types of Mankind (1854) –Nott was physician and surgeon, Gliddon was an anthropologist and Egyptologist. Tried to show idea of biological inferiority by comparing heads of blacks to heads of chimps. Images shown in class from Types of Mankind, handdrawn images that compared the two, supposed to be “proof”. Nott and Gliddon were part of polygenetic school of thought, which believed human races had separate biological origins (different species). Monogenetic held to scripture (Adam and Eve), all humans from single species. Monogenetic believed that all start out the same, but different races decline faster than others. Polygenetic believed we all start out differently.
b. Louis Agassiz, M.D. (1807-1873) and “cranial volume”, Harvard –trained as MD in Switzerland, came to US in 1840s to take professorship at Harvard. Directed Museum of comparative zoology at Harvard. Ran through 1850s and 1860s. Because of Agassiz’ influence, polygenism became known as the American school of anthropology. Agassiz believed blacks were a separate species, based on data dealing with cranial volume (how much can the cranium hold). Got data from Morton.
c. Samuel George Morton, M.D., (1799-1851) Crania Americana (1839), Philadelphia –Agassiz was the theorist, Morton was the empiricist (collected the data). Also an MD, also well known scientist. Collected over 1000 human skulls during career. Size measurements, believed the bigger the skull, the better. He devised a method using mustard seeds, filled cranial cavity, and then weigh mustard seeds, to determine capacity of cranial volume. Evolved to using lead shots. In Crania Americana, he shows the cranial volumes of different species. Again, leads to argument that races can be ranked based upon averages of skull volumes.
2. Brain Size
a. Paul Broca, M.D. (1824-1880) and “brain weight”, Paris –Actually devises a way to measure actual brain size. He collects brains and weighs them (more precise than cranial cavities). Also, an MD, does his work in Paris, prof at U of Paris. Starts the Anthropological Society of Paris in 1869, picks up after Morton’s work. Comes up with tables of superiority based upon brain weight, whites still at top. Also shows that women have smaller brains. Brain is larger in mature adults than elderly, in whites than blacks, in men than women, in more eminent than less eminent. Broca’s major influence in the US was on Spitzka.
b. Facial angle and cranial index
c. Edward A. Spitzka, M.D., (1876-1922) and “brain size” (1903), Philadelphia –also an MD, in Philly. Began to do same kind of research in US as Broca. Publishes article in JAMA in 1908, called “the brains of eminent men”, saying that the larger the brain, the more intelligent the individual. Argued that brains get larger through use, so the bigger brains are used more. People could be reformed by exercising the brain. Spitzka also argued for the dependence of face angle and superiority, again showing white as superior. Craniometry starts to lose popularity around 1900 because of the beginning of intelligence testing. It wasn’t based on the face, the bumps on the head, brain size or weight, it was a branch of psychology and anthropology that showed that size wasn’t that important. Education and environment were much more important. Leads to IQ, showed fairly conclusively that real intelligence didn’t match up at all with these measurements. These three are seen as pseudoscience (but segments keep coming back).
3. Criminal anthropology –The recapitulation theory is true, that there is some ape in all of us. All of us develop differently (monogenism), some develop further than others. Certain races and genders are slowed down. Some races were compared to white children, they didn’t develop into mature adult intelligence. This is used to explain criminality. Savages and women were emotionally like children.
a. “recapitulation”—general theory of biological determinism
b. Cesare Lombroso, M.D., (1835-1909), Italy, Criminal Man (1876) and “The Medical Study of Criminals,” JAMA (1890) – “Stigmata” 2 –also an MD, professor at major med school in Italy. Did all of his research on prisoners. Believed that criminals never matured, the theory of innate criminality. Criminals of evolutionary throwbacks, didn’t develop normally. You can tell by their “ape-ish” features. He called it their stigmata, you can see their ape-ness. Used physiognomy, prenology, and craniometry.
B. Anthropometry and the study of growth and body size
The science of the measurement of size, weight and proportion.
1. Origins of the idea--phrenology and craniometry –before use in PE. There was a concern for inferiority amongst nations in the 1800s, a competition to see which nation was the biggest and strongest, and how can we account for these differences. The US was being criticized by other nations in the early 1800s for degenerating, becoming smaller and weaker, anthropometric measurements were nationalistic to show that Americans were not smaller or degenerating. Another influence was the belief that character was dependent upon appearance, so it would be good to study and collect anatomical data (craniometry especially). The belief that improvement and reforms was possible, which is why PE focused so much on anthropometry, also why MDs were responsible for PE because they could change and improve the human body through it. Anthropometry becomes more scientific as it progresses with the use of more math and statistics.
a. Lambert A.J. Quetelet, Ph.D. Belgium, (1796-1874) A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1835) –doctorate was in mathematics, also a statistician and interested in social science issues. Interested in how to describe the average man statistically, in 1820s and 1830s. Systematic measurement of hundreds of subjects, particularly height and weight. This was then published in A Treatise on man…his faculties. Came out first in French in 1835, translated into English in 1842, formed the basis for the anthropometric measurements. Came up with the law of growth, showed a normal growth curve. He made a connection between the biological growth curve and social development (This is a key point), connecting the body and the mind.
b. “Quetelet Index”, or Body Mass Index (BMI) –around 1830, formula used to form his charts, it was [weight (kg) / height (m) ]2, which is exactly BMI.
2. American adult anthropometry (the PE stuff was for college students, who were 14-19). Nationalism was a big cause, how did our stature compare with other nations. Study started in late 1850s, done at South Caroline Med college, looking at size of southern men, and comparing to men of different races, cities, countries, proving that Americans were not degenerating.
a. Benjamin A. Gould, Ph.D. (1824-1896) and U.S. Sanitary Commission study of Union Army (1869) –most notable study, funded by US sanitary commission, to look at Union recruits in the military. First large scale anthropometric study in US, started in 1861, concluded with publishing of the book “military and anthropological statistics” in 1869, by Gould. Gould was a statistician, his data included over 1 million men. He looked at height, weight, age, geographic and racial background, pulse rate, respiration rate, strength, head circumference, and others. It was the first time that “generalizing” had been used, or he came up with averages that could be correlated with other averages (for ex, average age vs weight, height vs weight). The relationship between body stature, character, and health, led to insurance companies using these height and weight tables to estimate longevity and who to insure. This led to biometry.
b. “biometry” (1875) –in AMA, 1875, biometry was first introduced as a term. It is the application of statistical methods to biological facts, and then come up with a calculation that was used to predict life expectancy. By 1879, we were using body measurements to identify criminals and possible repeat offenders. By 1896 we were using finger prints to classify people. Started to use biometry to estimate the possibility of disease within patients, it became a part of mainstream medicine.
3. Anthropometric studies of school children and young adults –back to anthrometry and PE. More growth charts as related to age.
a. Sir Francis Galton, (1822-1911) London, Natural Inheritance (1889) and The Chances of Death (1897) –key person for anthropometric studies of children. In London, an anthropologist, scientist, and cousin of Charles Darwin. Tried to understand laws that governed variation and psychological differences between people and races (from generation to generation). Invented the term eugenics, the science of improving the heredity from generation to generation. Explains the titles of his books, both based upon anthropometric measurements and the science of biometry. Pioneered statistical methods. A huge influence of the following men (all MDs). They were looking at this as a very important part of treating and keeping patients and children healthy throughout generations.
b. Henry Pickering Bowditch, M.D. (1877) – Boston –physiologist at Harvard medical school, in 1870s began collecting data on 1000s of Boston schoolchildren. He was also interested in whether women were inferior, so he looked at stature and physique of American women. In 1872, he was the first to find out and publish that girls surpass boys in weight and stature at puberty, also that most girls complete growth at 15. Also determined that growth was dependent on socioeconomic environment. By 1880s, the field of public health picks up all of this kind of data. Public health begins to realize that living conditions are a key part of preventive medicine. Realization that we can use longitudinal growth curves to aid in prevention and diagnosis of diseases.
c. Charles Roberts, M.D. (1876) – London –English Counterpart of Bowditch. Corresponded regularly Bowditch, replicated Bowditch studies with London school kids. Also formed weight and height and age tables, looked at individual variation.
d. Influence of physical education (Hitchcock, Maclaren, Sargent, Hanna, McKenzie) –PE used anthromopetric measurements more than any other profession, dominated by MDs. The American Association for the Advancement of PE, started in 1880s, all of the presidents (except Blakie) had MDs. The AAAPE named three honorary members in 1890s: Galton, Bowditch, Roberts. Abnormal growth, as determined by anthropometric measurements, was associated with disease. The PE educators theorized that diseases could be avoided if everyone developed in the “normal” category. If they didn’t fit in the normal range, their bodies could be trained into normalness (Dio Lewis, a weak chest, and TB).
e. William Townsend Porter, M.D. (1890’s) – St. Louis –A physician at St Louis Medical College. Studied St Louis school children in 1880s and 1890s. By 1893, Bowditch had recruited Porter to come to Harvard, Porter was a prof of comparative physiology at Harvard for the rest of his career .Collected data on many things in St Louis. He was the first to introduce vision and hearing studies. Adds to the package that children are tested for. Porter connected biological data with “precociousness”, or a child that shows early maturation. Porter started publishing in 1890s the physical basis of dullness and precocity. Attempted to document the relationship between physical characteristics and mental capabilities. He said that averaged precocity correlated directly with average height, which means shorter = dumber. Even more reason for PE to develop bodies, and why physical culturists never gave that up. This became a key issue of the child study movement, saying that we need to study children. A big reason for the separation of kids into different grade levels based on age. YMCA still emphasizes body and mind as a way to build character.
4. Physical training, physical culture, and anthropometry –all of the physical culturists come back to anthropometry. Making the body bigger and stronger makes the body healthier and improves character and personality.
5. Ernst Kretshmer, Physique and Character (1921) and The Personality of the Athletic
Type (1936) – Germany –Body and character were entwined. Kretschner (1888-1964), an MD, did all of his work in Stuttgart and Berlin. Subtitle of physique and character shows the relation between constitution and temperament. Kretshmer renames the three temperaments to aesthenic (mental), athletic (motive), and pyknic (vital). Connects each physical trait with character traits. Shows photographs of pure temperaments. Kretshmer was an MD in psychiatry. He then connects body types to mental illness. Observed that a disproportionate that manic depressive patients had a body type of the pyknic. Saw that disproportionate number of schizophrenic showed athletic and sometimes aesthenic body types.
a. aesthenic, athletic, pyknic –each body type has a personality associated.
C. William Sheldon, Ph.D. (1898-1977), The Varieties of Human Physique (1940), Varieties of Delinquent Youth (1949) Also believed body types could identify criminality, Atlas of Men (1954), and “typology of body build” or “somotypes” – New York –psychologist, somatotyping, categorizing the body based off of build. Changes the temperaments again to ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. These three forms led to photos taken of nude students as data. Became Harvard faculty member, and started taking nude photos of college students. Traveled around NE USA and took nude photos of freshmen (men and women), this research came after his most famous book “The varieties of human physique”, where he first used the terms ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph (another version of the temperaments). Atlas of men showed his collection of photos of men. Atlas of women never made it when, in 1950, a UW freshman lady told her parents, and led to lawyers and a raid and burning of all female nude photos.
1. ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph, and gynandromorph –gynandromorph refers to the degree of which a person possesses the traits of the opposite sex (women having muscles), Sheldon saw this as abnormal. Attached character traits to body types as well, in atlas of men, rated the body types of each temperament on a scale of 1-7
2. somatometry
III. New techniques to identify personality and intelligence develop in psychology
A. Psychometrics –began to adopt more statistics and better measurements. Books came out in 1890s about the new psychology, going away from phrenology and physiognomy, began saying that we can analyze the mind separately from the body. Thorndike was a big proponent of this in the 1890s. Led to mental testing of mental and personality traits (Binat test in 1905, which led to IQ testing). These tests were dependent upon direct aptitude measurements, rather than indirect through body types. Through the early 1900s these body types were actually considered scientific. However, since then, biological determinism has gone away (but it will keep coming back).

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