The questioning of morphopsychology from Xavier Morales
Morphopsychology is the discipline without scientific endorsement that studies behaviour and personality, the way to face life, capabilities and the attitude of people throught the observation of the particularities and generalities of the face.
Morphopsychology: towards a theory of Face-Personality
In a morphological level, and according to the theory of Morphopsychology, the human face can be divided in three different areas, and the prevalence of one of these can be a good indicator of the character and personality of the person. Furthermore, it can give us an idea of the type of intelligence they have: brain intelligence, emotional or instinctive.
Critics to morphopsychology
As it happens with every pseudoscience, its principles and laws are based in observation, intuition or at best, in scientific research that has revealed a connection between two variables (in this case, a particular feature of the face and a personality trait). Since it would be crazy to confirm an absolut connection between a feature of the face and a personality trait, most of the Morphopsychology advocates back up its veracity in this correlation that has been obtained by scientific analysis. Thus, it should not be disregarded. Anyhow, the veracity of this type of theories is very limited and their theses are normally based in axioms, istead of in the result of scientific methodology.
However, the autenticity of morphopsychology lies in notions of genetic determinism of the behaviour, a theory that has been absolutely refuted by countless studies that show the decisive influence of education and social and cultural background in personality, style and attitude, as we could prove in psychologyst Adrián Trlglia’s article “Are we our genes’ slaves?”
Verification of Morphopsychology by Dr. Julián Gabarre
Morphopsychology and Psychology
The social psychologyst Xavier Morales disowns morphopsychology by saying that it is not scientific and determinist, and that a lot of the environmental studies refute genetic determinism.
He makes a coarse summary of morphopsychology (I do not know where did he take it from), because what he says contains so many mistakes that could surprise those who study this science rigorously and do research with MRI, measuring with unrivalled precision the shapes of the brain from the inside and their morphologies from the outside. These studies will be published in scientific magazines soon. We do not count with private or institutional economic resources, thus all the scientific studies are self-financed and we can not do them as quickly as we would like to.
I assume he did not read the book ‘El Rostro y la Personalidad in its 4th edition, or maybe he is not able to understand a complex methodology, that with patience and perseverance can be learnt. I refer to the experiences of those who have studied it deeply and patiently. As many of them say, it gives them a concrete knowledge they could not get studying psicology.
The vehemence of this blog entry is a consequence of the insults this man made without knowledge.
To disqualify morphopsychology saying that is a pseudoscience is a defamation that comes from a inmoral and reductionist mind. People who study the depth and complexity of the psyche and the particular contribution that it gives to the called science of psychology and the weaknesses in which the official psychology is sustained, know that traditional and present psychology is pretty abstract. Specially, social psychology, in which the psychologist Xavier Morales is basing his arguments. Consequently, psychologists have to be more humble knowing the vulnerabilities of our science as I explain:
I studied for many years the present psychology and I realized that it is built on the self-report, that is to say, it is built on what I want to tell to the psychologist or researcher, on how I see myself when they ask me about myself, tests and surveys.
Current scientific research still use the same methodology.
Information through interviews, surveys and tests have ‘insuperable bias to denominate psychology a scientific discipline’ because of:
- If I do not know my unconscious mind, how will I give objective answers?
- Furthermore, the psychologist or interviewer will interpret what I say according to their information, values and beliefs, thus the interpretation will also be subjective.
- There is research about perception (sight), smell, taste, hearing or touch, however people interact with all five senses, consequently analytical research will always be partial because it can not evaluate complexity.
- A clear example: during a selection process, if the candidate is moderately smart and knows what is the employer looking for, this candidate will adapt their answers and say whatever the interviewer (employer) wants to listen. The candidate will hide the things that can harm themselves and make them lose the job, thus the subjectivity of psychology is obvious. We will not be able to know what will their attitude towards work or natural competences (virtues) be, aspects that morphopsychology detects precisely and that are decisive for the success of the process.
- If business psychology would be so precise, human resources directors would all be psychologists and we can see that is not reality.
Therefore, a psychologyst that condemns morphopsychology, without knowing it as we can see in Xavier Morales’ blog, is making a big mistake.
The biggest intellectual indignity of a human being, specially if we are talking about a psychologyst, is to condemn what you don’t know, knowing the weaknesses of traditional psychology that I just talked about.
The number of open-minded psychologysts that are learning morphopsychology (facial psychology) is increasing because it gives them a concrete knowledge that is precise and very useful to know what happens to the patient and why. This way they can use the most suitable therapies, not like traditional psychology, that as I have learnt in my life, is abstract.
No psychologyst that has studied morphopsychology condemns it.
Morphopsychology: genetic determinism?
A different way to condemn morphopsychology is calling it deterministic, as Morales does. With this point, he condemns himself again because it is obvious that he doesn’t know anything about it.
The shape informs about the function. In other words, the structure informs about the function, but we know inevitably that with the function, in the majority of cases we can change the structure, thus the function.
How can people with no information say that morphopsychology is deterministic?
Jung used to tell us that “the psychic is physical and mental, and the face is a big true that is there“.
He also said that “there is a principle of synchronism in the face and in the psyche because the principle of causality did not seem enough to explain certain phenomena of the psychology of the unconscious mind“.
The neuroscientist Inger Kjaer (1995) shows us that “the face, the craniofacial skeleton and the central and peripheral nervous system have a connected development”. According to De Myer and other researchers, “the underlying brain and the overlying face are intricately intertwined.”
Josehp Le Doux explains that the nerves that control facial movements and that return the sensations from the facial movements to the brain go directly from the brain to the face, without passing through the spinal cord. This makes the connections shorter and faster in the transmission of the nervous message (efferent-afferent) due to the proximity between the face and the brain.
The twenty muscles of the face control facial expressions and defensive reactions, and provide a rich source of information, much of which is not evident to the inexperienced or sometimes to the experienced. These muscles are controlled by the seventh cranial nerve and their interaction produces a large number of facial expressions.
Alterations in the normal brain and cranial base growth may result in an abnormal facial model that persists after birth (Sperber 1992; Diewert and Lozanoff 1993).
As we see, human craniofacial prenatal development can not be separated, as is often the case, from the development of the nervous system.
In analyzing the morphogenetic growth of the primary palate in its early stages, it has been found that there is an intimate relationship between the face and the brain during normal craniofacial development. According to some authors (Diewert and Lozanoff, 1993a.b) , “the face is essentially endured by the growing brain, which undergoes extensive changes in the development of its morphology.”
Boughner and other authors (2008), in a study on anatomy and developmental biology, have come to similar conclusions. They studied mice whose facial structure had been genetically modified (caused a shortening of the face). Subsequently, they performed a morphometric analysis and observed how the mice exhibited a significant reduction in brain size and skull base length. According to the authors, these results would support the hypothesis that reduction in facial size is a secondary consequence of reduced brain size; This would show that there is a direct relation between the size of the brain, the length of the cranial base and the facial structure.
The prestigious researcher Geoffrey H. Sperber (1992), an expert in craniofacial development, explains the extreme complexity of human cephalogenesis processes.
According to this author, early brain and craniofacial development interact to such an extent that the brain below and the face above are inextricably intertwined, underscoring the importance of the embryological processes that occur during the first year of life, which have an enormous impact In the subsequent development.
“The events of the first weeks of intrauterine life are the most important events that predict one’s complete extrauterine life. What is initially established to form someone’s face, dictates the whole future, because the face is really the destiny.” (Sperber, 1992, p. 110)
Therefore, according to Sisodiya and other authors (2008), it is “through these recent advances in the understanding of the human brain through closely related entities such as the face, where changes may be more obvious to identify or easier to study, and in some cases may provide direct information from the brain, (…) the craniofacial biological development is understood more than the cerebral. The face can be used as a mirror to understand processes that occur in the brain and that, because of their complexity, they are more difficult to study.”
It is, therefore, observing these links (between brain and face) how you can know more about the development, structure and operation of the human brain. In the coming weeks, I will publish my doctoral thesis in Spanish and English in this blog for those who want to gain knowledge about the connection of the face and the brain.
In the face we observe the genotype and the phenotype and as a consequence, the psychology of that moment. Example: If a person becomes very fat, it can slow down their dynamism, and if they lose weight, they can be energized simply because they will have to carry more weight. Therefore, what we observe with morphopsychology is its current biology, which is composed of its genetics and its epigenetics, and as we know, if it has more or less weight, the intellectual potential will be the same, but the approach of his life will be different: more active or more passive and as a consequence, the overall results will be different. I have put this simple example but they would be multiple and we should not be clogged in the endless debate of “if it is the structure that does the function or if it is the function”. I have already explained that there is a synchronism.
“The human being is subjected to forces and pressures of biopsychosocial type (natural, psychological, social conventions, cultural values) that modify and construct (or reconstruct) the natural development of its primordial structure, giving rise to a dynamic and particular facial phenotypic expression.”
Jean François Lambert (January 200), Head of the Unit of Psychophysiology at the University of Paris IV, Pierre et Marie-Curí, and President of the Unit of Psychophysiology at the Interdisciplinary University of Paris (UIP), after several studies with morphopsychologists, said: “if all mental activity is necessarily subject to cerebral functioning, such a unity does not reduce itself to nervous physiology which would not know how to construct the ultimate horizon of Morphopsychology (…) All relations between nervous structures and mental activity are more open than ever and Morphopsychology finds its place in this opening. (…) Neuropsychology provides susceptible arguments to confirm numerous empirical studies and intuitions to Morphopsychology. (…) In short, Morphopsychology is capable of providing human psychophysiology the dimension of which, often, is a little lacking. (…) Through Morphopsychology I have had the opportunity to discover new coherences between the different knowledges within which man is both object and subject. Psychologists and psychiatrists who, unknowingly, disqualify it, do not know that there exists in the correspondences of form and psychism a reality very deeply charged with profound meanings.”
The method of morphopsychological approximation has proven unsurpassed by any other human method until now, as hundreds of students already know, some Psychiatry professors, directors of psychiatric hospitals, psychiatrists, and multiple psychologists, who have had the patience to come and train at the ISM have understood that “nothing deep and precise is learned with a few hours or days of study.”
Engineers, medical graduates, or any other professionals, know that in order to master what they have learned at University, they will have to experiment and acquire knowledge of what they have learned for much longer, as in morphopsychology, which is learned not by rote but by osmosis, until one remains soaked, and then you can study the uniqueness of each human being, who is unique.
Therefore, to my colleague psychologists (who are closed minded), I would ask for more humility and that as many of them are already doing, prepare yourselves in this complex knowledge, but with absolute precision, to give answers and solutions to your patients and without a doubt, you will be more effective and therefore more respected and valued.
Mr. Morales, if you do not learn the methodology, intuition is worth nothing. It is missing the truth.
The vital tone that is learned by observing is not intuitive, is learned by the observational method, and unfortunately, there is still no metrology to measure the tone that is decisive to know the attitude of the subject to life, whether active or passive.
With our method we can measure it. Hence one of the co-directors of my doctoral thesis made the following statement when he learnt the dimension of this knowledge: “your methodology is light years of conventional psychology but it will cost you very much to carry it forward since the interests that are played here are huge.”
The tone is an essential element to know the behavior of each human being. Hence many of the deficiencies of official psychology. Mr. Morales says that the observational method is more or less intuitive, which reflects the ignorance of this methodology.
In the face we see the subject’s unconscious and its conscious part. As one of my students, a psychologist of a certain age, says: “with this methodology you are charged with psychoanalysis and current psychology, and we will have strong resistances.” But as I said, there are more and more psychiatrists and psychologists who are being trained with rigor and obtain an accurate and concrete knowledge.
It is true that there are unethical people who have not studied enough and have not followed the ongoing training that is required to master it. These, with the face of impulsive, of weak self-consciousness, on guitar, which as we know there is a domino of greedy psychopathy, without any scruples, leads them to organize courses even online, in which you can not see the dynamism of the person and therefore, are a farce and a deception. These students can not do a study of the consultant, since they have not learned to see the dynamism of the person, and in addition, the photographs may be altered or with approaches that give distorted forms of appreciation.
Many people from all over the world ask us to study them through photographs, which I have always denied knowing the mistakes I would make. As Louis Corman said, “they are not useful to see the dynamism of the subject to study.”
What I denounce is that this wonderful methodology should be taken into account by schools of psychologists around the world and integrated as part of their teaching as soon as possible, to be more effective and to control its praxis.
Doctor CUM LAUDE in Facial Psychology from the UAB