Category Archives: Video

Film: Adaptive Behavior in Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels

Continuing our recent series of posts (here and here) on University of Oregon psychologist Lester Beck’s films, we bring one final film to your attention: Beck’s 1942 footage Adaptive Behavior in Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels (below). The film is described as follows,

Arranged and photographed by Lester F. Beck, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon. Beck also wrote the script for Human Growth, the first sex education film shown in Oregon schools in 1948. Filmed in part at Crater Lake, OR. Shows golden-mantled ground squirrels (which resemble, but are not, chipmunks) first at play in the wild, and then learning increasingly complicated tasks in a lab (coerced by nuts). Silent short full of unintentional humor and pathos. Was the basis for the popular educational film Squeak the Squirrel (1952).

The later film, Squeak the Squirrel (above), Continue reading Film: Adaptive Behavior in Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels

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More Lester Beck Film Footage: Human Growth

As a followup to last week’s post of psychologist Lester Beck’s Photographic Studies in Hypnosis we bring you more of Beck’s film footage. The above film, Human Growth, was produced in 1947 under Beck’s guidance as an introduction to human reproduction for American students. The film is described as follows:

The “Oregon film” was the first film about human reproduction to be shown in U.S. public schools. It was written by Dr. Lester F. Beck, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, and produced by Eddie Albert Productions. Sy Wexler directed and shot the film. The film was sponsored by the E.C. Brown Trust, a non-profit foundation associated with the University of Oregon since 1939, whose mission was to promote healthy sexuality and family life. Intended for seventh grade students, HUMAN GROWTH was seen by millions of schoolchildren in 20 countries, and won numerous awards. At its height of popularity, there were 2,000 prints in circulation, although only a handful currently exist. Two subsequent editions were released in 1962 and 1976.

As pointed out on the blog 16mm Lost and Found, the film received rave reviews from a number of publications, including Life magazine (which can be read online here). The blog goes on to note that,

Human Growth approaches its sensitive subject in a calm, facts-based manner. It demonstrates how families and classrooms can discuss sex openly and without embarrassment. Boys and girls are not segregated, and there is no moralizing. The film also models good pedagogical methods and exemplified how it should be used in actual classrooms. In the film, junior high students watch a film called “Human Growth” and the teacher leads them in discussion before and after the film. “Every single aspect of a film being made must have an educational purpose ultimately related to the classroom so that the film will aid the teacher, but never substitute for him,” Dr. Beck wrote in a 1964 article.

The film won every national and international award for documentary film, including the Golden Eagle Award from the Committee on International Non-theatrical Events (CINE). Thousands of schools from all over the United States and 20 countries worldwide adopted the film, with widespread approval from parents and teachers.

Other, similar films written by Beck can also be viewed online, including Human and Animal Beginnings (1966), Fertilization and Birth (1967), and Human Heredity (1969).

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Film: Lester Beck’s Photographic Studies in Hypnosis

YouTube’s CreativeCommonsTV has posted a clip of University of Oregon psychologist Lester F. Beck’s Photographic Studies in Hypnosis. The footage from 1938 is described as,

This silent film shows a woman being hypnotized and includes both pre and post hypnosis scenes. The hypnotist demonstrates how a patient’s mind can be manipulated as he pinpricks and burns his patient with controlled and suggestive reactions. This unrehearsed session of hypnosis features two students whom are given false memories. The pair are then tested about their memories and are given some basic psychological tests to see the effects of the hypnosis.

Tip o’ the Hat to the Society for the History of Psychology Facebook page for bringing this film to our attention.

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International Travel: York HT Professors Visit Brazil!

At the end of April, professors Thomas Teo and Michael Pettit, of York University’s History and Theory of Psychology program, visited the Department of Psychology at the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (Department of Psychology, Federal University of Juiz de Fora), which recently established a History and Philosophy of Psychology graduate program. Teo and Pettit spoke about their work at the Seminário de Pós-graduação em Psicologia (Graduate Seminar in Psychology) and were interviewed, along with others, for a video that is now on YouTube (above). 

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The Making of the Extraordinary

To coincide with the release of his book, Extraordinary Beliefs: A Historical Approach to a Psychological Problem, historian of psychology Peter Lamont paid a visit to the University of Surrey in February. As the University website describes,

On the 19th of February 2013, Dr Peter Lamont, Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, presented an evening of magic, history and psychology to a packed house at the University of Surrey’s new Ivy Arts Centre.

The event was co-sponsored by the BPS Wessex Branch and the School of Psychology at the University of Surrey. Earlier that day, Dr Lamont was interviewed by the Psychologist Dr Peter Hegarty about past and present exchanges between psychologists and magicians.

Hegarty’s interview with Lamont is shown in the video above. In the course of just three minutes Lamont briefly touches on not only the relationship between psychologists and magicians, but also the importance of historical work for psychological understanding. If you like the video, it may be time to go out and buy the book!

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Wellesley Lab, World’s Fair, & Introspect. Videos

Occasional AHP contributor, and York University History and Theory of Psychology doctoral candidate Jennifer Bazar, has just released three short videos on the history of psychology on YouTube. The videos, each approximately 5 minutes long, explore the psychology exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (above), the history of the psychology laboratory at Wellesley College (below), and introspection (bottom), respectively. While great on their own, the videos are also fantastic resources for those teaching the history of psychology!

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Go Ask A.L.I.C.E. – A Look Back at A. I.

Go Ask A.L.I.C.E. Panel Discussion @ Harvard from Harvard University, History/CHSI on Vimeo.

On November 29th, 2012 the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (CHSI) at Harvard University held panel discussion to coincide with its museum exhibit, GO ASK A.L.I.C.E: Turing Tests, Parlor Games, & Chatterbots. The exhibit, which closed at the end of December and was one of a number of events organized to mark the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth, explored

… the strange afterlife of the Turing Test as it has circulated in popular, scientific, and commercial cultures. It reexamines elements of Turing’s own interactions with humans and machines, later imaginations of thinking machines, as well as a famous attempt to translate Turing’s parlor game into a real test of artificial intelligence: the Loebner Competition.

These issues were further explored in the GO ASK A.L.I.C.E. panel discussion, video of which is posted above. Among those who participated in this event Daniel C. Dennett (Tufts University), Fox Harrell (MIT), John Searle (UC Berkeley), Peter Galison (Harvard), Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard) and Sophia Roosth (Harvard). Video of the event can also be found here.

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APA Monitor: Civil Rights Activist Olivia Hooker

The November issue of the American Psychological Association‘s Monitor on Psychology is now online. This month’s Time Capsule section features a piece on psychologist and civil rights activist Olivia Hooker (right). At the APA’s 2011 convention Hooker spoke about her experience, when she was just six years old, of the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921. Hooker shares similar recollections in the above video from CUNY TV. As described in the article,

Hooker is also renowned as the first African-American woman to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard and as a pioneering psychologist when there were few African-American women in the field. Her other noteworthy accomplishments include writing a German vocabulary guide for psychology students, leading a Girl Scout troop in a town where she was the only black person, helping to establish APA’s Div. 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) and teaching people of all ages — from preschoolers to PhD candidates — to embody the Golden Rule.

The entire piece on Hooker’s life and work can be read online here.

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John Huston’s 1946 Film Let There Be Light

The wonderful blog Mind Hacks has just brought to our attention John Huston’s 1946 film, Let There Be Light. The third of three propaganda films Huston was commission to make for the United States Army, Let There Be Light features World War II era soldiers experiencing neuropsychiatric illness as the result of the trauma of war.

Initially banned by the US government, the film made its debut at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. Now the film – which showcases the experiences of these soldiers, their often harsh treatment at the hands of medical professionals, and the soldiers distaste for the military post-war – is available in full online, both on YouTube (above) and as a downloadable file on Internet Archive.

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New APA Monitor: Charles S. Myers & Shell Shock

The June issue of the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology is now online. The month’s Time Capsule section examines the work of British psychologist Charles S. Myers on shell shock during World War I. Historian of medicine and psychiatry Edgar Jones examines Myers efforts establish shell shock as a legitimate condition – and not mere malingering – and to treat those affected. As Jones described,

The first cases Myers described exhibited a range of perceptual abnormalities, such as loss of or impaired hearing, sight and sensation, along with other common physical symptoms, such as tremor, loss of balance, headache and fatigue. He concluded that these were psychological rather than physical casualties, and believed that the symptoms were overt manifestations of repressed trauma.

Along with William McDougall, another psychologist with a medical background, Myers argued that shell shock could be cured through cognitive and affective reintegration. The shell-shocked soldier, they thought, had attempted to manage a traumatic experience by repressing or splitting off any memory of a traumatic event. Symptoms, such as tremor or contracture, were the product of an unconscious process designed to maintain the dissociation. Myers and McDougall believed a patient could only be cured if his memory were revived and integrated within his consciousness, a process that might require a number of sessions.

The full article, Shell Shocked, can be read online here.

AHP readers may also be interested in a series of 5 films of World War I era soldiers suffering from shell shock posted online by the Wellcome Library (previously discussed on AHP here). The first of these is featured below.

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