19th Century Neuromarketing?


Scientists have been trying to explain human behavior for centuries, and one of the more interesting techniques was phrenology, or the use of head shapes to characterize personality. This collection of tiny heads is from the British Science Museum, which explains:

Phrenology originated with Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), a German physician, assisted by his colleague, Johann Kaspar Spurzheim (1809-72). Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Gall and Spurzheim eventually disagreed and went on to promote rival systems of phrenology… A wide range of different heads are present. For instance, head number 54 is that of a scientific man; head number 8 is recorded as the head of an ‘idiot’.

See more tiny head pictures and lots more cool stuff at the Science Museum’s History of Medicine website. One has to wonder whether some clever 19th-century marketer had the idea of classifying potential customers by the shapes of their heads…

email

This post was written by:

— who has written 957 posts on Neuromarketing.

Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

Contact the author

Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing Get 100 amazing brain-based marketing strategies! Brainfluence is recommended for any size business, even startups and nonprofits!
Guy KawasakiRead this book to learn even more ways to change people's hearts, minds, and actions.   — Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and former chief evangelist of Apple
Brainfluence Info

{

1 response to "19th Century Neuromarketing?" — Your Turn

}

Richard 7. April 2009 at 11:21 am

This is really freaky and is that Sean Connery second row and a few in from the right? And number 54 is most certainly an idiot!

Reply

Leave a Reply