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And a study done with all the 800 families where the mother was questioned extensively about child rearing practices in the home. Where the resultant information on a 65 page document was handed to a group of competent child specialists psychiatrists and psychologists and these specialists have looked over the data look at what the mother said. And make a decision as to whether the kid was healthy sick or moderately well adjusted and so on and so forth. The one outstanding inclusion was that if you kept a kid who was seen by the screening that prior to this emotionally disturbed there was nothing about the way in which the parent handled bought that child rearing practices which went hand-in-hand with the emotional disturbance of the kid. A permissive parent a strict parent a punitive parent. Awful parent. A
very protective parent and a protective parent. We found all of the kinds of child rearing practices equally distributed among kids who were well and among kids who was sick. I thought that the sick among kids who had trouble in school and among kids who didn't have a troubled school. This should I think the company to all of those who are past present or future parents because it doesn't seem to matter much what you do with kids as long as you accept them. You can have them over the head if you like them well enough. Kids will be healthy. You can be very strict and not causing any permanent damage to the food you may do other things but you're not going to precipitate an emotional disturbance by the way in which you practice. Children like this finding are so often you get
a guilty parent complex What I'd like done that's wrong. And when we say we don't think you've done anything wrong what's happened to the kid. It's as if the whole world for the parent was incomparable. And what happens at home not what happens out of them and very frequently it's only the mother we see and she didn't doesn't say what the daddy do that brought this kid into your hands. So we have to come back to the family and I've got what I'm going to go on the family what kind of things can we identify in the behaviors of fathers and mothers which there wasn't actually. And one of the areas which we don't find some evidence of parental interference is in the development of what we call gradual behavior and we have two kinds of aggression one of which we call anti-social. This is Little Jimmy who comes home tosses a rock through the
window. Little Mary happily takes the scissors and runs it up the length of the draperies in the room or down the tablecloth. Oh take some pain and very carefully on him and everything around and then we have pro-social by pro-social leg ration a little sister who comes home and slaps her brother in the face because he dropped a bottle of milk on the floor. Pretty aggressive behavior but it was done and the end result of socialization and the social that we have generally we find when we look at the kids and they know it's a reasonable price for the fifth rate so we can sort out these types of aggressive behavior pretty easily. This has been done in a series of studies none the investigated so that the parents to
describe their attitude and what they expect the kids what they do with each other and how they punish them how they don't want to. So on so forth. And then when we look at the result two factors began to emerge one is that boys are different from girls. This may be a striking finding. After all these years. But it's still true that we tend to think of the woman or girl female as being the opposite kind of creature from the boy but still very much like them. We say why is aggressive then we expect the girl to be to display the same kind of behavior but in the opposite way. What we find in the studies that both boys and girls tend to
be boys and girls tend to be very different kinds of aggression problems so it's an anti-social let they use. And strangely enough the model which seems to be most important in shaping their aggressive destructive abusive or punitive behavior is the parent of the opposite sex. But it doesn't operate in a very sensible way. What we find is that the punitive father. Who is very strict very repressive and produces in the girl a very aggressive. Awful individual whereas in the boy that same father produced a compliant submissive has an inactive child. So the
mother was aggressive strict rejecting. Has one effect upon the song becomes our strict and rejects and the opposite effect on the door. And we can play around with the concept. And findings to find out why this is so. But it's very difficult to elaborate on the lot. There's lots of theory and very little hard fact. The only thing that we can really conclude is it dangerous to conclude anything about the way in which children identify with their parents except to say that the opposite of what we generally what we expect is what usually happens. That if the father wants to force aggressiveness in a child and the son.
The best way is to let mother be very permissive about aggressiveness at home and very strict about aggressiveness outside the home and for the father to keep his hands off and not to be a disciplinary. If you want to vary a feminine girl out assignment in the negative sense but in terms of current stereotypes about what's good for a girl to be the nice little well-dressed polite compliant creature fish can be produced that being pretty aggressive at home on the part of the. More he beats up the kid the more aggressive the more of a salmon she will be when she gets outside. She may raise them within the home. That isn't important. A lot of this then is the beginning of
a much more scientific study about the factors that tend to operate in producing the identity of a child. Last year when we were talking about love and about the implications of some of these studies of the sexual feelings that people had for each other tonight we're talking about the way in which the world is seen and frames of I hate I love be aggressive and destructive I'll be sympathetic and empathic and many of these adage you can be identified in nursery school play kids with dolls in the way in which they behave at home. And so far over a period of 15 years we can make some predictions about what these kids do when they become adolescent. Unfortunately a lot of these studies started. Before we became very much concerned about apathy.
And looking back over the day here we find that apathy seems to be highest in the adolescent whose parents didn't have any particular orientation and were very inconsistent in what they did. When the kids were at nursery school and infancy the degree of Vasari or the degree of confidence in self which a parent exhibit seems to be a pretty good protection against the development of this terrible feeling with which one feels when one comes into contact with the so-called apathetic kid. Just don't know how to operate a street child is saying I don't know who I am whether I am aggressive or non-aggressive I've never had a model that gives me any feeling that there is a fixed point in the universe.
And if I've never had that experience in early childhood what can I do about it now. I guess that there isn't very much in the way of prescriptions on how to do it that comes out of it that way. Be yourself and then to examine yourself. From all of this very mixed bag of finding. It's apparent that the development of antipathy is easy to relate to home conditions and parental expectations. Sympathy and empathy are apparently forms of feeling and behavior which exhibit themselves only rarely in patients relationship to children. Why this is so is apparently a cultural factor. We have a Biblical imperative in our Judeo-Christian ethic. Which is to be. We have to be good so that we shall be honored and obeyed that we understand one another and
respect children doesn't seem to be called for anywhere. We need coarse cultural studies to find out what happens where the Judeo-Christian ethic does not operate. We've had some examples in this country in this city in the lower crime rate. A lot of violence rate a lot of divorce rate and the high degree of coherence in early generation Chinese families today. The more recent studies have shown that as the families become acculturated the more like the rest of us the right to open our delinquency violence divorce and all the rest of the operators gets to be more like that of the population in general but you see the Chinese culture had a very different side of that fix which we left that in which we tried to destroy. We call that ancestor worship. As if that were a negative
term we never look for what was good and that kind of concept. We still don't recognize that there are vast numbers of people who don't accept what we read as a valid set of ethics which we got from our background. If we turn now to a much larger front than the individual of the small group namely the nation we can ask what psychologists and other social scientists have to say about international antipathies to what extent are these factors these chambers that I've talked about operate on the trans cultural scene. How do you like affect the conflict among nations which are today so dangerously in the a major catastrophic outbreak. Ever since the beginning in the first quarter of the 20th century social psychology has established the prevalence of hatreds both here and in other countries against members of
various nationality. It's important to know that the feelings of people in the United States about nationals of other cultures have not changed significantly in over 40 years. When asked we still prefer Canadians English and West Europeans Asians negroes and Africans in that order. The consistency of our added shoe still Japanese Chinese Russians and Negroes is truly remarkable in view of the extent of education that's been going on. These attitudes of antipathy in the pen of race of religion economic status political affiliation education education of the parents and the amount of graduate work of people of that. Citizens of the United States expressed reluctance to admit the discriminated for group kinship by
marriage to clubbers charms and even to citizenship in the United States when they have even an indirect way how they feel about it. It's true of course and antipathies such as these are measured only by verbal expressions of attitude and not by actual behavioral observations by the scientists. But we find pretty good evidence of this and what happens every day around us. One of the findings of these studies on racial and ethnic antipathies is noteworthy. This is that individuals who either consistently again or consistently free of discrimination or consistently discriminatory or consistently can feel that we're in the middle. More recently we've seen in the study that one on my own shop and individuals who insistently state in interviews that they have absolutely no anti negro prejudices.
They would marry negroes they would live with them and I would have met them to club. They would do everything that's nice decent and orderly. When they were asked to state on an information test but they felt certain things that they didn't vary. I tended to be pretty prejudiced and their insistence that they had that was a beautiful defined cover up for the existence of anxiety and antipathies and prejudices which caused them to back away. They were far less honest and follow it comfortable with their prejudices than those individuals who admitted that they had. A model that is the most assertion of the opposite is the motive the sense with which we are familiar. Today when we look at what some of our Hawking and leaders have to say they were all full of peaceful intentions and added.
It was Furthermore shown in many of these ethnic antipathies I hate is one symptom of a pervasive character structure. Which we call the AFP for fascist type of personality. This involves the superficial and rigid adherence to conventional values and emotional desire for subservience to a strong leader a tendency to wind gauge and carry an aggression. A devaluation of humans and all the evaluation of things and objects. Finally a need for a mystical justification of behavior which is destructive or cynical. This is the type of person John one can terrify paraphrases type of person and today is lying. We in the United States love peace. Our president knows best what's good for the country. We must see to it that no one heard the allies we
have the police the world our weapons and more instruments of the best in the world. Even if they cause injury to innocent bystanders. Finally we must throw our object is in jail because they are against our democratic form of government. Public opinion after all is just a personality contest. You can verify those moments every day speeches if you want and they fit in beautifully with this type of authoritarian repressive and and and pathetic character. In typically in the type of personality structure go hand in hand. What then about sympathy. How do we have a positive regard for all the feeling others feelings and sympathize rather than act against the other fellow. What seems to be unique about sympathy is that it involves two aspects of interpersonal relationship.
The first is the perception of the situation within which the other person operates. The understanding of where he is and why he is there. One of our own outstanding social psychologists describes sympathy in this way. We don't confuse the emotion we perceive in our neighbor with the emotion we would experience if we were in a similar situation. We see that our friend is a play by the puzzle we have put to him. But we're not complex in the least. But we sympathize. We can perceive another's in time to him without it becoming our own things to feel vividly the conviction of another person is far from having the same conviction but it is sympathetic. It's one thing to see that a person is in pain and quite another to experience the pain ourselves even in sympathy. The feelings don't emerge from those of the object of sympathy. It's this capacity to observe psychological happenings in others that makes relevant social action
possible. What Ashley is saying in this is that one of the conditions for sympathy or living together with one's feeling together and living together with somebody else. Is the understanding of the conditions both around and within the person who is to be sympathetically regarding the other condition is the communication of that awareness to the other person. Sympathy is a social condition that is not enough to recognize or even to feel within oneself. This is valid only when it leads to communication and to joint action. We can't deal with other people unless we become aware of their situation experiences and unless they know what we're aware of. So to return to the arena of international conflict here we must face the fact so often mentioned of the mis perception of the other nations values goals and even vocabulary. You can't understand another person if you consciously don't see what he sees or try to see what he sees. It's becoming increasingly clear
that one of the major obstacles to peaceful solutions of conflicts lies in the lack of understanding of the of the documents we're talking about empathy defined for large groups is the effort to imagine how the world along with the other side hear that the difficulties accumulate for awareness to take place in the framework of international relations. This basic information must be available both to decision makers and to the people who carry out back or reject the decisions. And at least one important conflict the Vietnamese War there has been a consistent than determined effort not to make relevant information available to us. I'm going to use the war as an example of the relationship between antipathy and empathy. Because what we say about it applies equally to the feelings that we have about black power juvenile delinquency. The Mideast hippies and drug users. We start with a lot of meth
perception mixed vocabulary and the delicacy to communicate an unwillingness to ask the right question. Let's start with the with the confusions caused by misconception. I would first quarter with change in the one good study even I did state added to what was taught the was indicative of the confusion is caused by medical seeding the social and political realities. The National Opinion Research Center and a group of social scientists the Stanford University studied in depth during the last year attitudes of a nationwide sample of citizens. First they concluded that although people have mixed feelings about the war more were in favor of the escalation and escalation real dogs or hawks were exceedingly rare. Only 6 percent being consistent proponents of war and 14 percent consistent proponents of peace at any price. Of course 88 percent were willing to negotiate with support troops. All the half one afraid of what would happen if that came out ahead in a free election or would be given a place
in the Vietnamese government ferried a vast majority of reservations about continuing the war in the face of a possible cause human and economic. On the other hand over 60 percent would consume the same the same people of the 60 percent would continue the war if it involved only the mobilization of National Guard units rather than full scale mobilization. So so while the half of the interview was were not the story by the figure of a half a million United States troops in Vietnam and eighty one percent of the people who were against negotiated peace. If it meant a communist takeover there were very conflicting attitudes which led people talking out of both sides of the mouth about the same set of data. Other studies have suggested that these misperceptions occur in sixth form. One a diabolical and in the image to their old self image.
Three of them are also limited for selective inattention. 5 The absence of empathy and six military overconfident in the present conflict the phrase lacked that of a diabolic enemy and in the image is reflected on both sides. We see an atheistic monolithic aggressive power with an manipulating minority quote communists they see an economically devouring along a monster aggressive and manipulating in the interests of a limited exploiting. If you look at the utterances in the newspapers on both sides you can find about 100 percent on one side saying things of this sort. Ninety eight point nine percent on the other side. This is one of these journalistic. Studies which proves that we haven't really begun to communicate the very old self image fact that can be documented in many ways. We can't back out. We would be thought of as weak. We clobber of the. One would wonder in our case whether we can hypothesize that a leader
surrounded by females and his immediate family sees more of a need was that their own self-image than an individual who was had more male influences in his personal history. One would like to play around with this hypothesis to help us understand what's going on. So we can go through a lot of these other factors and we would end up with the statement that we really have been pretty unsure of what we're talking about. We did a study in which we asked Japanese to indicate what the word democracy meant to them. We did the same thing using the same form for people here in this country for our democracy is a value word if either good or bad it's important or unimportant. Yes the Japanese about democracy and ask them to check the same adjectives good and bad on me I think. What the effect of a
fishing power. Let's get to the point with rapidity. Is democracy a democracy as. You heard Bernard Reese Director of Research at the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in New York as he spoke on the subject. The empathy and antipathy of man. This was another programme in the series. Peace love and creativity the hope of mankind. On our next program Sidney Morgan Besser Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University will discuss the eclipse of reason this series originated at the Cooper Union in New York City and was recorded by station WNYC. The programs are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
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Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind
Empathy and antipathy of Man, part one
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the second part of a lecture by Bernard F. Reiss, Postgraduate Center for Mental Health.
Series Description
This series presents lectures from the 1968 Cooper Union Forum. This forum's theme is Peace, Love, Creativity: The Hope of Mankind.
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Speaker: Reiss, Bernard F.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-10-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:27:12
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Chicago: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Empathy and antipathy of Man, part one,” 1968-01-23, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 12, 2024,
MLA: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Empathy and antipathy of Man, part one.” 1968-01-23. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 12, 2024. <>.
APA: Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Empathy and antipathy of Man, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from