This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses phrenology, which is a pseudoscience that claims to be able to use bumps on human skulls to make inferences about personality traits. The article details why phrenology is not a true science, and reviews the history of phrenology, the role of phrenology in the debate about the organization of the brain, how phrenology came under scientific criticism, and modern iterations of the technique.
Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts, English Language Arts (B.E.S.T. - Effective starting 2021-2022)
Grade Level(s): 11, 12
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Freely Available: Yes
Keywords: pseudoscience, phrenology, neuroscience, informational text, text complexity
The text's grade band recommendation is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
The content in this article aligns properly with subject matter included in an advanced biology course, and it enhances knowledge students will learn about the increasing importance of "true science." A nice feature of this text is the way it integrates subject matter and traces the development of a time period where phrenology was accepted by the scientific community to a turning point where it began receiving scientific criticism.
The author is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University Medical School and is President of The New England Skeptical Society. This allows for a discussion of valid and reliable sources.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Steven Novella, MD/Neurologica
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Martin
Is this Resource freely Available? Yes
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.