INTEREST IN ASTROLOGY AND PHRENOLOGY OVER TWO CENTURIES: A GOOGLE NGRAM STUDY1

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Abstract

Summary.

The Google Ngram Viewer shows the frequency of words in a large corpus of books over two centuries. In this study, the names of two pseudosciences, astrology and phrenology, were compared. An interesting pattern emerged. While the level of interest in astrology remained relatively stable over the course of two centuries, interest in phrenology rose rapidly in the early 1800s but then declined. Reasons for this pattern are discussed.

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