Slide 1 - Hunting Hills High School

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology
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Monster Study Conducted by Wendell Johnson

PowerPoint by: Samantha, Kendra, Caitlin

How could an experiment in children's speech therapy end up getting rated the fourth most unethical psychological experiments in history?

Wendell Johnson April 16, 1906 – August 29, 1965

Wendell suffered from stuttering, so he spent most of his life trying to find the cause and cure. He was the present and valedictorian of his high school in Roxbury, Kan. His impediment often ended up leaving him speechless; which left him with a needed desire to find another way to express himself. He started to lean towards the study of literature, writing and speech. The speech center at the Iowa University hospital was named in honor of him. He conducted the “Monster study” in 1939.

Wendell Johnson chose Mary Tudor (one of his graduate students) to conduct the experiment while he supervised her research.

Johnson and Tudor conducted their experiment on twenty-two orphans aged between five and eighteen; Ten whom were stutterers.

None of the children knew they were going to be part of an experiment. They just thought that they were receiving speech therapy.

Out of the twenty-two orphans that where chosen, eleven of them received positive speech therapy; being praised and rewarded for their accomplishments, while the others were belittled and put down for every imperfection.

Positive Therapy;

Children were taught the fundamentals of speech. They were rewarded, and praised for signs of improvements. The children with slight speech problems actually started to show signs of improvement.

Negative Therapy;

The children were repeatedly put down and told they had a speech impediment. This resulted in many of the normal speaking children feeling self conscious as they began to having a stuttering problems.

The children were left feeling worthless after weeks of being belittled.

Although his experiment was proven successful it was inhuman and cruel.

Johnson was the first psychologist ever to talk about the significance of a stutterer's attitudes, thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

Johnson tried to keep what he and Tudor did to the children secret in fear that it would ruin his reputation.

60 years later a letter was sent to Mary’s house addressed to "Mary Tudor Jacobs The Monster”.

Some of the content of the letter read:“You destroyed my life.” “I could have been a scientist, archaeologist, or even president. Instead I became a pitiful stutterer.” “Even to this day I avoid people.”

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