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The Monster Study
Transcript of The Monster Study
he believed that stutters weren't permanent and it all depended on what you were told
His method was to take normal kids and criticise every word they said
stuttering was caused by either a physical disability, or a genetic effect
He proposed that stuttering had an environmental cause
he interviewed parents and their stuttering children, and concluded that all of these children were already labeled as stutterers at a very young age
Johnson hypothesized that these parents put so much emphasis on their children's speech behavior that they become too self-conscious, and nervous
He believed the stutter was reversible
He wanted to show that diagnosing and labeling young children as stutterers will turn them into stutterers Ethics The participants of the experiment were decieved because they werent told the entire truth of what the experiment was about Hypothesis Wendell Johnson’s question was “Do children stutter innately, or can we make them into stutterers?” Experiment Started in 1939 in Davenport, Iowa
Conducted by Mary Tudor
Head of the experiment was Wendell Johnson
The experiment was conducted to try and find a way to help children with stutters improve their speech but also to prove Johnson’s hypothesis
Children from the ages 1-15 years old were used
The children who stuttered severely received a 5 and those who spoke fluently were given a 5, the rest fell into place
took 22 orphaned children and divided them into two groups
One got praise during speech therapy; the other was constantly belittled and told they were stutterers
The other half were given negative speech therapy to the other half, belittling the children for every speech imperfection and telling them they were stutterers The subjects were children some unable to comprehend what was going on, or have a say on whether or not they wanted to be used for the experiment Tudor gained the children’s trust and used it against them so they would be a part of the experiment feeling safe Johnson had used innocent children just to prove his hypothesis, not thinking of their well-being Today, unethical human experiments continue to be conducted on vulnerable populations-- including children There are currently no penalties for conducting unethical experiments The children were orphans and had lack of right to withdraw from the experiment researchers who violate ethical research standards often gain professional prominence, not to mention financial rewards Aftermath There were no consequences for Wendell because his experiment was meant to be beneficial and were based on good intentions
There were positive and negative effects
The positive was that many were able to speak without a stutter
The negative was that others were left with permanent mental stress, keeping them from ever speaking because they were afraid to mess up or stutter
The medical justification was that the experiment was mean to help children be able to overcome their stutters and improve their speechThere was no medicine involved, just discipline
Many of the kids who received negative therapy suffered psychological effects and some had speech problems the rest of their lives
Reduced speech for all 6 subjects
Rate of speaking was decreasedLength of replies was shorter
They were more aware and embarrassed Stuttering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds Wendell Johnson 22 children were selected from an orphanage to be used in an experiment to see if stuttering was something you were born with or something reversible