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Psychology won with Edwin J boring the Andrew Pierce professor of psychology and law on television lecture Harvard University. They subject to this program nature versus nurture. Professor boring. Well now our last time we were talking about sex and sex differences how men and women differ. And we got our cars and the problem of nature and nurture nature and nurture and everything that happens in its culture. And it's a learning that. And we found that there are these sex differences and there's a biological difference that starts things off. And you would expect this to be reflected in the culture sometimes where education works against the basic nature of the
control and what you have ultimately is a mixture of the two. We talked about the kinds of differences everything from an intelligence which stays about the same except maybe in adolescence and dominance in personality. And we saw how the two kinds of things got mixed up in how biology was always poking through and becoming somewhat important. And now this time we want to take the general problem of nature and nurture heredity and environment and that's how it gets into psychology and what it is that. Talk about biological inheritance and social inheritance. And we say something about how founders resemble each other and we're sorry a little bit about how behaviors and character will be a good stint for this program. Now I am down with the
biological inheritance. In every living organism plant or animal and it clears a number of tiny thread like shakes almost salt which I called Promise because they can't go on when they're stain and so can be seen in a microscope takes a microscope to see them. There are different numbers and different kinds of plans different kinds of animals. And then there are 24 pairs of chromosomes and I stress the word because they are worked out that way there are two sets to be said. Nobody calls them that this time just to make it clear to you 24. Another set then corresponds with the genes in the genes are the carrier carriers Terry
characteristics and characters that can be transmitted by heredity. And there are very very many of those. The estimate is from 20000 up to 450 and that's a tremendous number. If you head to the twenty four all end in measure they would be about 50 microns long just a little bit like that 58 of them alone then you divide that up into 20000 to take the conservative number. You find that gene is only about six million microns long. Mike is 100 times. You can't ever see nobody ever see the GTE. They're all the same color when they're in the
chromosomes of course they don't look different from each other but we see the cracks between the smaller cracks. But it might take the character paired off against each other. The important thing here is that the characters take an example. Man that verse is blue. You can train a case one chromosome but given the number that number it might have the eye color in it and it would be for Brown. If it's a pure color for Brown and that person would have. And would tend to give
children that are children doesn't matter that you have two brown eyed people and children about to be brown. The same thing goes for blue eyes. But if it makes then what's going to happen is that you have. First generation will have a blue gene in one set determined. Not because dominant. When mixed with another it always determines what will happen. Black and White guinea
pigs black or white or black jeans will always turn out alright. That's the start for sure. You know when he was working he worked out the sticks in her and she was doing it mostly with us. And let's pretend these are going to be pigs. Which is a pure black and white. Here's a white straight white. Children pigments that a mixture here and these make a black would show what's put this way so if you look down the top you'd see this is a it's a mixture.
And if you may make this one with another mix then you get all the possible combinations and you'll get black but that black that's this one you get this white with black. You get this black white white white. And then if you take one of these mixed ones and mix it with a pure you get these combinations and they all but true and pure. It makes one a mix of two whites in this way and here they are the guinea pigs. Only this time you don't see them explain their step. We got the labels. This is a pure black and white and here you are you see the ratio black to white but you know where the next ones are grey or a bluish gray in between.
Then you can see the mixed mix with two pure black to mix in the same way over and I like blondes that's what. To fix this general business. Yeah now that biology is the way the thing works with the genes. Care to talk about it. You better talk about Gene determine characteristics. The genes are always at work now that. What about a lot of work done. Fowler examines notions are tied up with blood and the surname. For instance well boring boring but if that's mine they say well the more sentimental women in my own way I get a new grandchild bar and they look to see if he's got any boring life.
But who would it be. Well I'm only had one parent it was a boring. My great great grandparents 16 great great. Just as you did too it was a boring. There isn't any real meaning to this. People have got to think carries on. Friends we are talking about and term and those two names keep coming up and they say Well Francis made his original famous cousin the Charles Darwin back in 1869 when he published a book called hereditary genius and what he did in that book was to show that. Eminent relatives evidence the right title for it. What he did was to show that the famous people with reputations who would have been and were related to each other. They tended to run in that way and he thought
about that famous in America which many many common people were Which down all the way. But let me tell you about the calico made up name it means the good bad. And it turned up at the training school. We talked about stuff but there was a machine. History mother and that mother had parents had minded parents who had a mother. Now this is smart.
Martin Kelly had a great grandfather here the great grandmother had this way just a normal taken back in 1912 these charges. And here's your next generation of women. Here's Martin Junior. Deborah's great grandfather he was an alcoholic at 93. Lived to be 93. People who weren't named people that we don't know.
This is a woman her name. She was sexually immoral and feebleminded you got all the bad things coming down that path to normal people which wouldn't have happened if this kind of thing is going on. So let's talk to someone about her. Well social hurt happens. Cultural psychological grounds are all mixed up together. More emotional than the British cheer more than the book. But the children. Maybe there's a biological basis. Maybe there's something in there but generally a separation of genes for
nations or to mix and what you'll probably there is just the training of the parents who take an Italian boy to put him in a state different than British state and excitable of emotional enthusiastic just like he grows up excitable emotional and gesturing this would be the sort of thing that happened. Well take the economics take. Well well well well education and education will buy manners and. Case and knowledge and things of that and beauty for women beauty of face beauty of sorts of ways in which money comes into this thing and then that goes down so the children are that way. If the money what about the straight psychological
one about parents who treat their little boys harshly and beat him when he sneezes. Well that's people on the ground tough play grandfather and let that thing down you see how it kind of social inheritance. Begin again children are like their parents they learn what is learned what is important when they're probably going to go that morals are formed there in the family structure as they go. How can you have a happy marriage if you want happy marriage. Well the best way is to have happily married parents. Maybe this isn't so easy to get if you happen to turn out
the other way but that would be the thing to do. Then the next thing to do would be to find somebody to marry who had happily married parents. That's the surest way. And how could you be a neurotic if you want to be in a rush just to get a pair of neurotic parents that does a great deal for you for your neuroses. You see this saying oh I could never have carried out this is all social care. Now let's see. So it's nature and nurture working in nature emotionally contributes to structure and nurture contributes to the way they work and the function so the boy gets gets two legs he can walk but he gets practiced to know each turn so he learns to walk and that way some things seem to come with growing up. They just mature into the animal man. And they are hatched hatched in
water and their little swimming like thing that swim. And in one experiment they had a batch of larvae like things they let one set swim around in fresh water in the other in drug walk which paralyzed them so they didn't swim but they had grown quite a bit bigger in the fresh water that put the ball together in fresh water. A few minutes. The ones that hadn't had any practice were swimming around with hardly any difference they just needed to be. There's an experiment two twins Johnny and Jimmy and Johnny practice from two weeks old or two years old and all sorts of athletic undertaking. Jimmy was kept clear and so when they were put together Johnny was ever so much better.
I mean climbing around on chairs climbing the pedestal doing all sorts of things that young boys under 2 years old could do. Jimmy never really in this case quite like it was more coming into the stronger one. There was a little difference. Up to 10 years ahead Jimmy picked up very quickly even though he hadn't had the practice. Well let me tell you a story about myself because my parents didn't send me to school I don't know why. But they didn't send me to school I was 9 years old and I was put in with a six year old and I didn't know it. And I looked pretty bright because of course I had a mental age of nine then or I should I think I must dad. They had a mental age of six. And after a couple of months I was promoted to the second grade because I was that so there I was with a mental age in the second grade in middle age. And I was doing short division with the second thing and I heard
him doing vision the other side of the room went home and asked my mother how to do long division. She showed me. And so right away I did some long division took them back to teach me and I learned to do long division just missing the long division on didn't know the techniques when I was ready to do it it wasn't hard it was easy that this is what happened. This is biology then coming in. Wow. All right. That's that's part of the thing. Now let's talk about what's been called him princess. This is a word that zoologist has contributed to us. You take ground that is Gaza and ducklings and chicks and you try to find out how it is that they
know how to follow their mothers. They know how to follow their mothers because they see their mother during the first six hours after hatch and if they see another mother has brought up some chicken then the chicks will follow the follower headers that matter of fact so they always have their heads up. And if they don't see any mother of that sort but they just follow him here. And here are all the way up. Doesn't matter reports on skirts and dresses just ahead. We go swimming because you head further down this is called The End has to happen within six hours approximately after 24 hours it's too late. This happens in all sorts of situations. You have very little
you know is an example of this. Not only one day but it kept following her. I can tell you more about it than the song says because it never associated with the flock in the same way it would have. It stood well and wished that same thing happens to a chimp and say if he grows up in a human family that's been done several times in an experiment. If you put him back in a crowd of them then he looks alone. Well this is an imprint. This is imprinting and some of it is learning. Children learn how to song birds learn their songs. Oh do you get that from that parents. Pretty much that there was an experiment in which fresh air and blue birds. Were
all hatched out in the shade and grew up together with parents in the same room. Then younger birds ever sang the right way for they got their songs all mixed up. You understand them apartment what genes told them to do and park play then something else so this is the way in which young children are started. All right now let's say something about twins they're pretty twins. Then they are probably fraternal twins. They look pretty much but they're not quite alike we think they're maternal. But that means that too different from the mother have been combined with two different from then and they've grown up and they have different heredity they get it from their parents and not as different as if they were a different family. But they have different sets of patterns of genes depending is whether the genes came from the bees that is the mother
in combining. These come from a single cell that divides and then each half of it then separates into a person and they have identical genes they are different you say and so they ought to be. And now you can begin to study it that way. Here they are you see your twin. You could bring them up together and the way identical twins are generally then you can make lots of measurements of what there are and how these men don't need to be physical test the measurements Eric out in this case is just arbitrary but I want you to see the relation of the correlation point 80 percent. This is a case where they got the same gene. And you bring up a part that is to say one state in the
found where it was born another becomes it goes into a foster found it becomes a foster child. This happens in adoption cases. There you see you don't have it all the same. Sure but very much the same and the carbonation drops to 65 that begin to show you what's happening. You take the reverse case. Here are fraternal twins they've got different genes in so far as there's four of four sets of genes the A's and B's are the mother and they are brought up together and they're twins you know they're the same age they're always working together and always being given the same thing maybe they're dressed alike even the fraternal twins. Those came out 50 you see. So in this particular case majoring in this particular way to say he didn't reduce nearly so much as nurture reduced so that nature was that the more important thing or that's that's the story from the twins account
for eugenics you G E N I C S eugenics he wanted people to get better Barney wanted to encourage the best people to have the children the most. That this is the eugenics program of how to get people better bar and that and of course how to get. The worst warn people there are ways to discourage people from having children and to encourage the very best of the geniuses in the top not me. And turban would be with a gifted girl. But those gifted children those fifteen hundred twenty eight California children with hundred forty are better. We talked about last time there the grand grand proud that of that generation that could have gone on that way. All right. Now now where are we. Well we've been talking about nature and nurture and we said Nature works through that. That's the way it determines a great many things but perhaps it doesn't
determine so much as many people saying certainly not nearly so much as people just saying that determined nature will operate than effective. To go on but it does never work. It always gets made or always gets developed then by nurture you see nature coming in and sometimes liberally minded people get it. Nature doesn't have very much to do with it it's all nurture the Russians believe this once upon a time they gave it up. But politics makes them do it. But anyhow that was the belief but of course course nature is work you don't get men you know they don't never get a morning glory hatched out of chickens. Those things don't happen in nature and nurture operates
then on top of it. These business has been working with the determination of how to recognise your mother and how to follow her even though your mother is stuck up on top of some sort of a law. That's something special. Well here's where we are now. I promised you that I would talk about the philosophy of determinism in science. This is because some of you complain at the very beginning of this course that I wasn't clear about it and I said wait wait until we've had the cores. Wait until you've seen how much determinism operates and how it works and what the facts are and then let me discuss this with you. Now next time I'm going to do it next time it's going to be a conversation maybe it isn't psychology you know there's some
Psychology One
Nature Vs. Nurture
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Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Dr. Boring recaps the last episode when he talked about sex, and focuses on the problems of nature and biological differences reflected in psychology. Biological inheritance and social inheritance are discussed. Dr. Boring describes the laws of cell biology, chromosomes, and shows Mendel statistics of inheritance. He concludes that nurture contributes to functions, nature to structure. Imprinting, the term invented by Conrad Lawrence for zoology, is mentioned. Imprinting is learning, partly by genes, partly by imitation. Dr. Borings analyzes studies of fraternal twins and identical twins, and draws the following conclusion: nurture reduces thing more, nature never works alone, nurture operates on top of nature. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
Episode Description
This series (of 38 programs) presents Dr. Edwin Boring's famous psychology course which he teaches at Harvard. He gives the basic facts and principles necessary to uncover man's awareness, thought and behavior. Stress will be placed on the biological development of these phenomena and the role of heredity and learning in determining human abilities and human efficiency.
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Zoology; psychology; Lawrence, Conrad; imprinting; twins; Biological Inheritance; Nature vs. Nurture; Harvard University; Boring, Edwin G.; Social Inheritance
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: Rice, Roger W.
: Pray, Leonard C.
: Messenger, Lawrence J.
: Prodan, Peter
: Lovell, Edgar
: Hollander, Lilly
: Gardner, Elizabeth
: Stevens, Joseph C.
Director: Davis, David M.
Engineer: Richardson, Arthur
Engineer: Harvey, Frank
Host: Boring, Edwin G.
Narrator: Pierce, William W., III
Producer: Sisson, Thomas K.
Sound: Busiek, William S.
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Identifier: 284032 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:28:55
Identifier: 09199A (WGBH Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Kinescope
Duration: 00:28:55
Identifier: 843f7ad71cd4382e764c7d85052eba3939595050 (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
Format: video/quicktime
Color: B&W
Duration: 00:00:00
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2302351-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2302351-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
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Chicago: “Psychology One; Nature Vs. Nurture,” 1957-06-19, WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 1, 2021,
MLA: “Psychology One; Nature Vs. Nurture.” 1957-06-19. WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 1, 2021. <>.
APA: Psychology One; Nature Vs. Nurture. Boston, MA: WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from