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Razzell Peter, The conquest of smallpox: the impact of inoculation on smallpox mortality in eighteenth century Britain , London, Caliban Books, , rev. Shamdasani Sonu, Jung and the making of modern psychology: the dream of a science , Cambridge University Press, , pp. Sloan Kim. The inclusion of a title does not preclude the possibility of subsequent review. Items received, other than those assigned for review, are ultimately incorporated into the collection of the Wellcome Library.

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For instance, it would not be very accurate and additionally it would require much time for women to disassemble and reassemble their hair and bonnets. Although the laboratory did not employ any revolutionary measurement techniques, it was unique because of the simple logistics of constructing such a demonstration within a limited space and have it quickly and efficiently be able to gather all the necessary data.

The laboratory itself was a see-through lattice-walled fenced off gallery measuring 36 feet long by 6 feet long. To collect data efficiently, Galton had to make the process as simple as possible for people to understand. As a result, subjects were taken through the laboratory in pairs so that explanations could be given to two at a time, also in the hope that one of the two would confidently take the initiative to go through all the tests first, encouraging the other.


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With this design, the total time spent in the exhibit was fourteen minutes for each pair. Galton states that the measurements of human characteristics are useful for two reasons. First, he states that measuring physical characteristics is useful in order to ensure, on a more domestic level, that children are developing properly. A useful example he gives for the practicality of these domestic measurements is regularly checking a child's eyesight, in order to correct any deficiencies early on. The second use for the data from his anthropometric laboratory is for statistical studies. He comments on the usefulness of the collected data to compare attributes across occupations, residences, races, etc.

He had 9, respondents, each measured in 17 categories, creating a rather comprehensive statistical database. After the conclusion of the International Health Exhibition, Galton used these data to confirm in humans his theory of linear regression, posed after studying sweet peas. The accumulation of this human data allowed him to observe the correlation between forearm length and height, head width and head breadth, and head length and height. The method used in Hereditary Genius has been described as the first example of historiometry.

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To bolster these results, and to attempt to make a distinction between 'nature' and 'nurture' he was the first to apply this phrase to the topic , he devised a questionnaire that he sent out to Fellows of the Royal Society. He tabulated characteristics of their families, such as birth order and the occupation and race of their parents. He attempted to discover whether their interest in science was 'innate' or due to the encouragements of others.


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The studies were published as a book, English men of science: their nature and nurture , in In the end, it promoted the nature versus nurture question, though it did not settle it, and provided some fascinating data on the sociology of scientists of the time. Sir Francis was the first scientist to recognise what is now known as the lexical hypothesis. The hypothesis further suggests that by sampling language, it is possible to derive a comprehensive taxonomy of human personality traits.

Galton's inquiries into the mind involved detailed recording of people's subjective accounts of whether and how their minds dealt with phenomena such as mental imagery. To better elicit this information, he pioneered the use of the questionnaire. In one study, he asked his fellow members of the Royal Society of London to describe mental images that they experienced. In another, he collected in-depth surveys from eminent scientists for a work examining the effects of nature and nurture on the propensity toward scientific thinking.

Core to any statistical analysis is the concept that measurements vary: they have both a central tendency , or mean, and a spread around this central value, or variance. In the late s, Galton conceived of a measure to quantify normal variation: the standard deviation. Galton was a keen observer. In , visiting a livestock fair, he stumbled upon an intriguing contest. An ox was on display, and the villagers were invited to guess the animal's weight after it was slaughtered and dressed.

Nearly participated, and Galton was able to study their individual entries after the event.

Francis Galton: Pioneer of Heredity and Biometry

Galton stated that "the middlemost estimate expresses the vox populi , every other estimate being condemned as too low or too high by a majority of the voters", [50] and reported this value the median , in terminology he himself had introduced, but chose not to use on this occasion as 1, pounds. To his surprise, this was within 0. Soon afterwards, in response to an enquiry, he reported [51] the mean of the guesses as 1, pounds, but did not comment on its improved accuracy.

Recent archival research [52] has found some slips in transmitting Galton's calculations to the original article in Nature : the median was actually 1, pounds, and the dressed weight of the ox 1, pounds, so the mean estimate had zero error.

Michael Bulmer, Francis Galton: Pioneer of Heredity and Biometry - PhilPapers

James Surowiecki [53] uses this weight-judging competition as his opening example: had he known the true result, his conclusion on the wisdom of the crowd would no doubt have been more strongly expressed. The same year, Galton suggested in a letter to the journal Nature a better method of cutting a round cake by avoiding making radial incisions.

Studying variation, Galton invented the quincunx, a pachinko -like device also known as the bean machine , as a tool for demonstrating the law of error and the normal distribution. He also discovered the properties of the bivariate normal distribution and its relationship to regression analysis. In , the French physicist Auguste Bravais — first developed what would become the correlation coefficient. Galton invented the use of the regression line [60] and for the choice of r for reversion or regression to represent the correlation coefficient. In the s and s he was a pioneer in the use of normal theory to fit histograms and ogives to actual tabulated data, much of which he collected himself: for instance large samples of sibling and parental height.

Consideration of the results from these empirical studies led to his further insights into evolution, natural selection, and regression to the mean. Galton was the first to describe and explain the common phenomenon of regression toward the mean , which he first observed in his experiments on the size of the seeds of successive generations of sweet peas. The conditions under which regression toward the mean occurs depend on the way the term is mathematically defined.

Galton first observed the phenomenon in the context of simple linear regression of data points. Galton [61] developed the following model: pellets fall through a quincunx or " bean machine " forming a normal distribution centered directly under their entrance point. These pellets could then be released down into a second gallery corresponding to a second measurement occasion. Galton then asked the reverse question "from where did these pellets come? The answer was not "on average directly above".

Rather it was "on average, more towards the middle", for the simple reason that there were more pellets above it towards the middle that could wander left than there were in the left extreme that could wander to the right, inwards p. Galton went beyond measurement and summary to attempt to explain the phenomena he observed. Among such developments, he proposed an early theory of ranges of sound and hearing , and collected large quantities of anthropometric data from the public through his popular and long-running Anthropometric Laboratory, which he established in , and where he studied over 9, people.

Galton's study of human abilities ultimately led to the foundation of differential psychology and the formulation of the first mental tests. He was interested in measuring humans in every way possible. This included measuring their ability to make sensory discrimination which he assumed was linked to intellectual prowess. Throughout his research Galton assumed that people who reacted faster were more intelligent than others. Galton also devised a technique called " composite portraiture " produced by superimposing multiple photographic portraits of individuals' faces registered on their eyes to create an average face see averageness.

:Francis Galton: Pioneer of Heredity and Biometry.

In the s, a hundred years after his discovery, much psychological research has examined the attractiveness of these faces, an aspect that Galton had remarked on in his original lecture. Others, including Sigmund Freud in his work on dreams, picked up Galton's suggestion that these composites might represent a useful metaphor for an Ideal type or a concept of a " natural kind " see Eleanor Rosch —such as Jewish men, criminals, patients with tuberculosis, etc.

This work began in the s while the Jewish scholar Joseph Jacobs studied anthropology and statistics with Francis Galton. Jacobs asked Galton to create a composite photograph of a Jewish type.

source Galton hoped his technique would aid medical diagnosis, and even criminology through the identification of typical criminal faces. However, his technique did not prove useful and fell into disuse, although after much work on it including by photographers Lewis Hine and John L. Lovell and Arthur Batut. In a Royal Institution paper in and three books Finger Prints , ; Decipherment of Blurred Finger Prints , ; and Fingerprint Directories , , [66] Galton estimated the probability of two persons having the same fingerprint and studied the heritability and racial differences in fingerprints.

He wrote about the technique inadvertently sparking a controversy between Herschel and Faulds that was to last until , identifying common pattern in fingerprints and devising a classification system that survives to this day. The method of identifying criminals by their fingerprints had been introduced in the s by Sir William James Herschel in India, and their potential use in forensic work was first proposed by Dr Henry Faulds in Galton was introduced to the field by his half-cousin Charles Darwin , who was a friend of Fauld's, and he went on to create the first scientific footing for the study which assisted its acceptance by the courts [67] although Galton did not ever give credit that the original idea was not his [68].