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Ethical Violations In "The Monster Study"

910 words - 4 pages

The Monster study is speech impediment experiment that was done on the children that lived in the orphanage. This experiment was conducted to find out if stuttering was inherited or did environment play a key factor. Wendell Johnson was the speech pathologist that conducted this study to find the cause and cure for stuttering. This study violated a lot of ethical issues because the children were psychological harm, informed consent was not given and the subjects were deceived. Wendell Johnson had a biased opinion in this study because he was a stutter himself and was desperate for a cure. In this paper, I will discuss the background of this experiment and the violations of ethics that were done in this study.
The Monster study began on Jan. 1939, in Davenport, IA at the University of Iowa. The participates of this study were orphanages whose parents died in the civil war and their mothers could no longer take care them, so they were left in an orphanage. Johnson got permission from the University of Iowa to conduct his research at this orphanage. When conducting his research, Johnson decide to recruit one of his students to help with the experiment by the name of Mary Tudor. Mary Tudor was avid but timorous student that was willing to get involved in the research. In 2003, Reynolds stated that Tudor’s responsibility in the study was to tell non stuttering students that they stutter and to tell the one’s that did stutter that they have perfect fluency. Her experiment begins with 22 subjects, none of the subjects were told of this study. They were also told that they will receive speech therapy.
In 2003, Reynolds stated that Tudor’s experiment, she had to induce healthy children into stammering: she also told stammering children that did not stuttering. Before this study began, there were ten participates that were target by matrons and teachers. The ten participates that were target as stutters were divided into groups. Five were group IA the experimental set and group IB were the control set. Group IA was told that there speech was fine and they had no problem. The other group IB was told your “''Yes, your speech is as bad as people say.'' The remaining twelve were ages 5-15 and was chosen randomly and they were separate into two groups of six. Group IIA were told that they were showing signs of stuttering and they must correct themselves immediately. In Group IIB, this was the control group and they were told that their speech was normal and was praised for their enunciation. The subjects in Group IIA sought a lawsuit against the University of Iowa because of their psychology harmed they received from this study.
In this case study, there were a few incidents of violations of ethics. In 1998, Callahan recommends that researchers should follow the...

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