Genie (feral child)

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  • Created by: Bryony
  • Created on: 20-11-13 21:25
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  • Genie
    • Situation before she was found
      • Age 4: Genie became ill
        • Taken to doctor -> parents told Genie had possible signs of retardation
          • Couldn't check due to Genie's fever
          • Father used this as justification for Genie's later treatment
      • Genie's grandma died -> Genie's father became bitter
        • Moved family into the grandma's house -> began isolating the family
          • Genie became completely isolated
      • Genie was tied to the potty chair in the day and her crib at night
        • Little stimulation, father and brother did not speak to her, mother eventually became blind and also stopped talking to Genie; beaten for making noise (eventually was silent),
        • Subjected her to this ritual ill-treatment in an attempt to 'protect' her
      • Said to be a normal baby, normal development for first 6 months
      • Father didn't like Genie -> wouldn't let mother spend much time with Genie
      • Father promised mother that she could seek help for Genie if Genie lived to 12
        • When Genie reached 12, he went back on his promise
          • At 13, Genie's parents had a huge argument and Genie's mother took her to get help from a welfare worker
            • Police were contacted, parents charged with child abuse
              • Genie was submitted to hospital -> severe malnutrition
    • How privation affected her development
      • Scored as low as a one year old on a maturity test
      • Made very little sound
      • Could only understand her own name and the word 'sorry'
      • No internal working model for attachment
      • Not:
        • Able to stand upright
        • Able to chew properly
        • Toilet trained
        • Able to stop drooling
        • Able to socialise
        • Able to speak
        • Able to cry
        • Able to focus her eyes on anything more than 10 feet away
    • Development once found
      • 1973: Genie's articulation began improving
      • !974: The Riglers helped Genie learn ASL
      • If she could not express herself in language, she would act out or draw the message she wanted to get across
      • According to Curtiss:
        • Begun to develop language by October 1971
        • Only began to use two word phrases after gaining a vocab of around 200 words
          • Children usually start two word phrases around the time of knowing 50 words
        • After she moved in with the Riglers, she began to use negative forms of language
          • Two months later, Genie began listening to people even when they weren't talking to her
        • Genie was soon able to use words for colours, sizes and qualities
    • Strengths/ Weaknesses
      • Strengths
        • Very in-depth look into something that could never ethically be re-created
        • The intense education given to her after she was found gave her the opportunity to develop her brain enough to function to some standard in society
        • Not many strengths as outcome was negative
      • Weaknesses
        • Unlikely to ever be repeated -> 'The Forbidden Experiment'
        • Don't know if she had any learning disabilities before her abuse
        • Experiments were not done in a systematic way -> few results published
        • Retrospective data
        • Genie may have had innate psychological problems
        • A series of careers meant Genie lacked a stable base
    • Experiments done as part of the case study
      • Interviews with Genie's mother
      • Reports from the psychiatry division in the children's hospital
      • Videotapes
      • Observations of Genie's speech
      • Psychological testing
      • Tape recordings
      • Language tests
      • Neurological tests
      • Work with written language
  • Not:
    • Able to stand upright
    • Able to chew properly
    • Toilet trained
    • Able to stop drooling
    • Able to socialise
    • Able to speak
    • Able to cry
    • Able to focus her eyes on anything more than 10 feet away

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