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The Monster Study
Transcript of The Monster Study
history Before psychology there was physiology and philosophy
Psychology became its own discipline in the mid 1800-s when German physiologist Wilhelm Whundt wrote a book and later opened the worlds first psychology lab
He saw psychology as the study of human consciousness and wanted to apply experiments to study mental processes
The Monster Study was conducted 60 years later while psychology was still a relatively new discipline Researchers The experiment was designed by Dr. Wendell Johnson but was conducted by one of his graduate students, Mary Tudor, while Johnson supervised.
Johnson was considered one of the most influential in his field of speech pathology
His background did influence his work because as a stutterer himself, Johnson was determined to find the cause and possibly the cure, for stuttering. What happened Conducted from January till late May in 1939 on 22 orphans in Davenport, Iowa.
Mary's aim was to induce stuttering in kids without stutters and tell some of the stutterers that their speech was fine and see if that showed a change
10 of the 22 were stutterers
The kids were randomly placed into two groups, the control group who were called the 'normal speakers' and the experimental group, the 'stutterers' each group consisting of 6 'normal' kids and 5 stutterers.
The 'normal speakers' were given encouragement and compliments and told that their enunciation was good.
Children in the group labelled 'stutterers' were belittled for every speech imperfection and told they were showing signs of stuttering and needed to change that immediately
Results Out of the 6 non stuttering children in the 'sutterer' group 5 began stuttering after the experiment and the 5 who were already stutterers, 3 became worse.
In the control group only 1 child's speech worsened while the rest improved.
Several of the children became shy and refused to speak up in class, their grades dropped and a few even ran away from the orphanage
Dubbed 'the Monster Study' by Johnson's peers
Realising the effect of the experiment Mary tried to reverse the damage done by positive feedback therapy, but the damage was permanent.
Johnson's hypothesis was proved correct Was it ethical enough to be conducted today? Bibliography
The Monster Study on Stuttering, viewed 16th March 2013. <http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/06/monster-study.php>
The origins of Psychology, viewed 16th March 2013
Wendell Johnson, viewed 16th March 2013. < http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/bai/moeller.htm>
Wendell Johnson’s Monster Study on Stuttering, viewed 16th March 2013. <http://everything2.com/title/Wendell+Johnson%2527s+%2522Monster+Study%2522+on+Stuttering> What happened "The staff has come to the conclusion that you have a great deal of trouble with your speech. . . . You have many of the symptoms of a child who is beginning to stutter. You must try to stop yourself immediately. Use your will power. . . . Do anything to keep from stuttering. . . . Don't ever speak unless you can do it right. You see how [the name of a child in the institution who stuttered severely] stutters, don't you? Well, he undoubtedly started this very same way."