Additional Web Surfing


Throughout our text (and in class) the treatment of women and minorities in the history of psychology is discussed. Please read the following interview and build on what we have been reading and discussing. Please make sure to tie it into specifics (e.g., particular researchers, chapters or movements in psychology).


Please watch the video above and discuss how it fits into the current chapter and previous chapters. For example biology, adaptation to environment, nature nurture, intelligence, behaviorism, etc.
We are not looking for specifics rather we are looking for evidence that you are actively and mentally engaged with the information presented.


After watching the video please discuss your overall impression of the documentary. Recall back to chapter one about the different approaches to studying history (i.e., Presentism v Historicism, and the others) and discuss what approaches the film makes took in presenting this historical piece. Discuss the issues regarding nature v nurture. Discuss the ethical issues surrounding the research examining Genie.


In our psychology class, especially this last class, something stuck out to me that is very relevant to this article. There were a few people in our class that were afraid to say "mentally retarded". Otto called me out in specific for saying "those people" instead of saying the term "retarded". Not a few minutes later a girl did the same exact thing I did and she was called out as well. The article mentions that people, especially in our generation, are afraid to offend. We are afraid to cross those boundaries. Chris Rock says something along the lines in the interview that when you cross peoples' boundaries no one laughs. You have to always worry about what you say regardless of the subject. Gay rights, minorities, politics. We've polarized ourselves on these issues to the extent they are getting harder to discuss in a general forum without someone taking offense, and offending people scares us. It begs the question, if we are culture that finds talking about our beliefs and opinions taboo how will we move forward to generate a united conversation in where two parties can just talk with out inflaming intolerable tension. In my opinion it breeds a culture where sharing an opinion is best done anonymously, behind a computer desk or cell phone. The article talks about the tension in Ferguson. One can hardly have a discussion about it with race being involved which in itself causes tension among both parties. So what do the majority of people do when it comes to such tense issues? the like a post on facebook but shy away when faced with a real person trying to converse about it. This is not a new trend by any means. Tying this into our psychology course, there was a chapter that talked about Mary Calkins. She was a brilliant psychologist and went on to become the first woman president of the APA. But, her journey was not easy. She studied under some of the greats and received the praise of the likes of William James, but was still denied a degree from Harvard for being a woman. In the history of psychology we are introduced to many brilliant woman such as Calkins who are limited by the lack of discussion in the psychological community of the time about the brazen sexism within the academic culture. I believe it was people like EG Boring and William James who advocated for woman to play larger role in the APA but it often fell on deft ears, not because a large number psychologists looked down on women in academics (although some did) but because no one wanted to have that conversation. No one wanted to put their two cents in the bucket and advocate for change because of societies restrictions. The majority of people have been, and may always be, afraid to stir the pot.

There was one thing I saw that seemed like a coincidence was that in the interview they were talking about Obama and how he was the first black president and it reminded me of Mary Calkins when she became the first woman president of the APA organization. This too two topics seemed to go together because surprisingly there was not much about black people in the history and psychology text book. This surprised me because I learned in abnormal psychology that statistically there seems to be more black people with disorders or in need of help in therapy than white people. I believe there a lot of contributing factors such as poverty and the places most black people are stuck to live at, tend to have more stressful events occurring. I thought it was interesting how Chris Rock sot of viewed Obama as a substitute teacher than a black leader like Martin Luther King or Malcom X. He does make a point those were one of the first black leaders that had to stand up for black people’s rights in general. Obama seems to be just an icon as being the president and only becomes a major issue under certain cases such as Ferguson. This is kind of like Mary Calkins, she became the president of APA but that even still didn’t change much on woman’s rights. I personally think that it is odd why people are so mad about the Ferguson case. To me it seems like most people are getting pissed off mainly because the person was a 12 year old. If you have seen the video you can see that he is playing with an air soft gun that looks like a real hand gun. If the hand gun didn’t look like it was real then it would make sense. When the police drove up the kids first reaction was pulling his gun out of his pocket, the police officer even had calls were people told them he had a gun and wasn’t sure if it was real or not. The main reason I feel like this particular case is blown out of portion is because there are hundreds of cases like this that are worse but most of them don’t get one the news. Cops frame black people all the time with drugs and send them into jail just to make a profit. Black people in general spend way more time than white people in jail, it might be because of poverty issues but it seems more like a race issue. It just seems odd to me that we as a society focus on particular things and turn a blind eye on other particular things. We tend to start regular behavior and practices and people don’t really judge such actions because they are used to it. In the interview they talked about if racism is more of a generational attribute and Chris Rock thinks it mostly is because when his parents were growing up they had it worse than him and now with his kids growing up he had it worse than them. It seems like when you belong to a particular generation it is hard to think out of that generation. Chris Rock even shows some of that when he talked about how his kids are in a mainly white person school and every day he asks them if someone was messing with them or just really worried about them in general and they think he is crazy for asking such things.

In class today we had discussions over racism and you actually mentioned your theory that has always been on my mind, if we don't talk about racism what so ever to our kids or never teach them about how it was in the past then would they even look at someone of the opposite race and think anything about it? Chris Rock talks about racism in this article and I loved the point that he made that African Americans have NOT made progress, but whites have made progress. Racism is definitely getting better in each generation. I look at my grandparents and even they are still slightly racists, then my parents who are not racists but still feel the need to make remarks like "that black guy" or "those black people." Then myself, who is not racist at all and I correct my parents when i don't find it necessary that they add the "black" part because I don't see a difference that it makes. Like Chris said, black people are not getting better over time, but white people our. We are making progress with the way we think about people who are not like us. Racism is/was not just a fad. It was almost like a disease. People were sick with thoughts that shattered their perception. We are slowly, but surely curing that. Will it ever be gone? Hopefully, but probably not any time soon. Racism exists in every race. It is not just whites being racists towards african-americans, it can be vice versa. Maybe we should stop focusing on the color of our skin and just stick with the golden rule, treat others how you would like to be treated. Teach kids that everyone is different from them. Some may be similar, but we are all still different, and we are all equal. It is hard to say whether taking the subject of racism out of our education would actually help or not. I think knowing history like that is super important, but if a kid never had any thought about the idea that someone with different colored skin could be thought of as less than him or her, then why are we allowing a thought like that to even creep in their head? You made a great point in class today about why the media has to say "a black unarmed kid was shot down." Why couldn't it just say "an unarmed kid was shot down." The media has to throw in the word "black" just to make it about racism. The media likes to start things so they can have a job. If a black cop shot a white kid would it be about racism? And if it was then would we have to start regulating the color of people in punishment of others to make sure they are the same color to avoid racism conflict? Or would that make it more racist? It is almost like people still want racism around just so they have something to be mad about. But that will exist with everything. Everything you say can be taken the wrong way and someone out there will get offended. People are always looking for something to be mad about so they can take all their anger out on that. We don't grow up being taught to brush things off and move on. Everyone makes a huge deal to stick up for yourself and fight for what you believe in, which is great, but people definitely take it to far. It is almost like some people have nothing else to live for but to find someone who pissed them off and fight them to make themselves feel bigger and better. Chris talks about how he has to be careful with what he says because he cant hurt anyone's feelings, because if he goes to far then he could lose his career. It is sad but it is true. Social media is literally disgusting now days. I follow famous people on twitter and they would post something that seems completely normal to me and i will read some random comments and there will be some people who are so pissed off about this person posting a casual photo because they act like it offends them in some way. If it isn't one thing with our generation it is another. There will always be problems because people think that you have to make everyone happy and that is impossible in our day and age because people are so greedy and picky about what they want to make them happy.
Along with racism being a problem still today, there are also problems with women's rights. The law may be equal, but not everyday life is. Our book talked about Thekla, the wife of Wolfgang Kohler. Apparently she was the one initially interested in the study with apes, but because she was a woman all the credit had to go to her husband just so her study could be heard about. The only thing she got credit for was the drawing of an ape. Im a business minor and in some of my classes they have mentioned that in the business world there are things such as glass ceilings, which is an invisible ceiling that prevents women from moving up in the business world just because they are women. Women are still deemed as incompetent compared to men. Not by everyone, but there are still people out there. Just look at our world though. You walk into a toys aisle at a store and the section for girls is pink and it has kitchen toys and cleaning toys, while the boys section is blue and red and is all about heavy lifting and having to be strong. I am not completely against the idea of men doing the heavy lifting because physically their bodies are meant to be stronger and if someone argues with that then they are just being dumb. But to have girls think that their only purpose as a women is for cleaning, cooking, and taking care of babies is still putting a glass ceiling on their life. Thankfully they have more popular toys for girls, such as Doc, which is about this girl who is a doctor (i think, im not completely up to date with childrens toys) so at least it is showing girls that they can do whatever they want. I could go on and on and list all the problems that our world has but no one has time to read all that. Chris made very good points though especially with the fact that white people are making progress. And honestly progress should be enough to make people happy. We cant expect everything to be all better in one day, but progress every will get us one step closer. I don't think having riots and destroying towns is helping a whole lot, but maybe people will eventually learn that on their own...
I respect Chris for having a good head on his shoulders even though he is famous. Reading his interview made him much more relate-able. It is also good that he can notice the difference in his generation compared to his little girls. For instance when he said he asks his girls basically about if they get treated differently and they just look at him like he's crazy. Reading this book throughout class i asked that question a lot about some of these people and their theories and experiments. We have to remember that with every generation its like a start over and it won't ever be the same as our own generation. Current generations though are partly responsible for how the future generations turn out though. If people kept that in mind maybe they would start to change how they think.

The first thing that reminded me of class is when Chris Rock was talking about George Bush. He referred to Bush being the “first cable-television president.” George Bush realized that he was not going to make everyone happy. He stuck with his beliefs and targeted the audience that got him the presidency. Mamie Phipps was a psychologist that we learned about in Chapter 15. She was an African American woman that wanted to receive a doctorate in psychology. Being a woman at this time was hard enough, and being African American was even harder. When she was in graduate school, her faculty advisor was a man that believed in segregation. Mamie did not let this stop her and she stuck with her best assets and finished her degree. She knew that everyone was not going to be a fan of her and, like Bush, she did not let that stop her from pursuing her dream. She stuck with her strengths; she did not try to win over the people that were not on her side.
Chris Rock also touched base on how his kids are growing up. He believed that his children are, “going to be the first black children in the history of America to actually have the benefit of the doubt of just being moral, intelligent people.” This reminded me of Lillian Moller Gilbreth. The book talked about Gilbreth in chapter 8. She was one of the first female engineers working with a PhD. The aspect of Gilbreth that related to Chris Rock’s statement was that she did not receive a PhD the first time she went to defend her dissertation. She went to the University of California Berkeley at an attempt to get her doctorate but was not awarded, so she went through the dissertation process all over again. While Ms. Gilbreth was not African American, she was a woman; and women at that time in history were treated like minorities. Chris Rock stated how African Americans in today’s society are not treated based on their skin tone, but by their morals and intelligence. Gilbreth’s first dissertation was shot down and she went through the entire process again. She was determined get her degree. This relates back to Obama as well. Obama was the first African American President. He did not let the previous statistics of presidents that came before him distract him from being president and fulfilling his goal. Obama was the first black president because he was determined. He persevered just like Gilbreth did. With enough perseverance both got what they deserved.
The last thing that caught my attention is when Chris Rock was relaying stories that his mother told him. Chris Rock said that his mother told him about growing up in South Carolina and how the black people had to go the vet to get their teeth pulled, and that they still had to go through the back door so the white people would not know that the vet was using their instruments on black people. This reminded me of the doll studies that Kenneth B. Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark researched for Mamie’s thesis. In the research, the two came to the conclusion that segregation was harmful to black children. It hurts their self-image and self-esteem. In the study, the black girls strongly preferred the white doll. The white doll was favored by all of the children. It would be tough to go through life believing that someone was better than you, or that you do not have the chance to be great due to your race.

I got a lot from Chris Rock’s discussion of politics and minorities. He discussed that it wasn’t that black people had gotten better; it was that white people had grown less ignorant and kinder. It was something that I really had never thought about before. He said that it was so asinine that people would even say such a thing. To say that black people have advanced is to say that they are the ones who held themselves back all these years. One is implying that black people have never been smart enough to run for president or be in any executive positions of any kind.

I thought that this was similar to what was said in chapter six about women in the education system. It wasn’t that men were more accepting; it was that women were advancing. If you were an educated woman you were considered a “freak of nature” and not of the normal female population. Women were meant to be educated in one thing, and that was to effectively take care of the home. Plus, it was speculated that having children could damage a woman’s reproductive system making it difficult or impossible to have children. It wasn’t the women holding themselves back from entering into fields outside of homemaker.

Another example from the same chapter was Francis Sumner, the first African American to receive his PhD in psychology. Even though his interpretation of the field was incredibly intelligent and Stanley Hall praised his dissertation, he was still only limited to teaching at black colleges. He made great advances while teaching at Howard University. Sumner made their psychology department the best in the nation at a black institute. He didn’t hold himself back.

Eleanor Gibson was a woman who was determined to do what she loved no matter who told her that she couldn’t. She received her PhD from Yale, and because of rules at the college that her husband worked at she was not allowed to be a professor. Even though she worked as an unpaid research assistant, she still continued to get prestigious grants and come up with a very well-known theory in the field of perception, The Visual Cliff. Gibson didn’t hold herself back. She went to several different professors at Yale before Clark Hull finally let her work in his laboratory.

There are many others included in this discussion, but those were some that stuck out to me personally. Chris Rock is right. There seems to be something very odd about how society looks at black community today versus even 20 years ago. The black community did not hold themselves back. The discrimination, racism, and under privilege they experience is the cause of this unfortunate under privilege. It is not the advancement of the black community. It is the advancement of awareness, kindness, and an overall understanding of being human in the white community that allows the black community to rise to positions that they could never come to in previous years.

Within the text, chapters six and fifteen specifically discussed the issues women and minorities faced in the past while trying to progress and advance in life. We learned throughout the book how history affected the psychology of the time. During the rise of Nazi Germany when Hitler came to power this affected the academic freedom for Jewish professors such as Albert Einstein being dismissed from his position. Koffka spoke out about Nazi inference in academia, saying that, “only the quality of a human being should determine his worth, that intellectual achievement, character and obvious contributions to German culture retain their significance whether a person is Jewish or not.” Women faced discrimination and were limited in their opportunities for a long time. However, Koffka took a position at a private liberal arts college for women and influenced the careers of several talented women psychologists such as Eleanor Gibson. Individuals like Yerkes kept them out of his laboratory and Titchener kept women out of his groups but Koffka as well welcomed women into the meetings of his topology group.
Some of the thoughts that existed about women included things such as pursuing a degree beyond high school would have adverse medical consequences and one Harvard medical school professor even urged women to abandon their education after puberty as too much mental activity after that stage would possibly retard the development of their reproductive organs. Women however started to break the barriers and make remarkable discoveries such Mary Calking, and Margaret Washburn. Chapter fifteen discussed Civil Rights Act of 1964 which influenced the formation of the Association for Women in Psychology and creation of a division for the Psychology of Women. This division even launched the Psychology of Women Quarterly.
Minorities had just as difficult of a time showing their abilities, being held back by these white powerful men. Even though Bache’s study comparing the reaction times of whites, blacks and native americans found whites to have the slowest times he decided to ignore the Galtonian idea which connected reaction time to mental quickness / intelligence. Stetson also put away his findings which showed whites and blacks ability of memory to be the same. Successes however started taking place for the African American community. Through Brown v. Board of Education we learned of the mistakes that were being made through psychology when Clark showed the effects that segregation was having on black children. His APA presidency even led to the board of Ethnic Minority Affairs.
The interview with Chris Rock primarily covered minority issues, some past and some which remain today. He discussed misconceptions, controversies and his opinion on several topics. He brought up another point which I never thought about regarding comedy and discrimination. Within that profession its all about who is funny, not the color or skin or their sex. He mentioned people not wanting to do a show with Roseanne Barr but she’s funnier than everybody or Seinfeld as he’s Jewish but he as well is funnier than many. When Rock said, “A lot of people think rich people are smart,” it reminded me of Bache’s study comparing reaction times between blacks and whites and trying to cover up his results.
While much progress has been made for minorities and discrimination, he discussed how it can still be sort of an elephant in the room type of thing. Issues are still happening today such as Freguson which was mentioned in the article as well. Kids today grew up trying not to offend anybody, avoiding saying things like “that black kid over there.” It can be an awkward issue still today for many people I think who are trying to not discriminate against blacks and place stereotypes upon people. Chris still worries about his kids at school though, scared dropping them off with mostly all white children and asking them every day if anything happened.
The article discussed Obama quite a bit. I think it goes to show just exactly how much progress had been made and the barriers which have been broken. In the past nobody would have ever considered a black man holding one of the most powerful positions in the country. Chris discussed how the president should be graded on jobs and peace. Some people I think place more negativity upon him and judge him more harshly based on the color of his skin. For example the man interviewing Rock stated, “Obama’s been faulted for not showing anger in public....Of course, the moment he does do that, he’s accused of being an angry black man.” Hatreds are placed upon him which wouldn’t necessarily be an issue if he were of the white race.
I like how they discussed Obamas inauguration instilling some kind of hope in people of racial progress within the country but there has not been much at all. I never thought of things in this term before. People who grew up back in a time when discrimination was normal aren’t changing their views, its the kids growing up today who are creating the changes. He discussed it being more of a generational thing. Some kids today don’t know any different. They didn’t grow up in a time where all of the discrimination was taking place. They know a world with a black president, black secretary of state and joint chief of staff he stated. The article discussed that black people haven’t made progress. That would be like saying they deserved what happened to them. They’re not progressing, whites are just less crazy and giving them more opportunities such as Koffa with women in the past. Blacks though have always been just as qualified as whites. Blacks aren’t progressing he stated that whites are just getting nicer and aren’t putting up as many walls as in the past and hopefully this trend continues on.

I think that the Chris Rock article was really interesting. This really builds on what we have read about, especially with chapter 15. Chapter 15 has a section on minorities in psychology’s history, and talks about Kenneth B. and Mamie Phipps Clark specifically, but also makes references to huge moments in history, like the joining of the black and white schools. This chapter also talked about the perceptions of black children in a famous study that was later named the Doll study, in which Mamie and Kenneth gave children two black dolls and two white dolls and asked them questions about their preferences, which dolls looked bad, and which dolls looked like themselves. Black children preferred the white dolls and thought the black dolls were bad, and some even thought that they looked more like the white dolls. The conclusions of this study and the subsequent one they did inviting children to color in dolls, showed that black children’s self-esteem suffered from segregation. Kenneth eventually became the president of the American Psychological Association as the first African American to hold office. Chris Rock seems to believe that we are growing as a society in a good way, but maybe in a way that is too concerned with not offending each other, and I tend to agree with him. I’ve noticed this sort of ‘babying’ of people’s feelings especially in some of the more progressive things that I’ve been involved in. For example, this past summer I went to Texas for Planned Parenthood’s Power Tour, in which they help student leaders advocate for reproductive rights, and if you slipped up and said something that could be considered offensive in any way, you were glared at and had to rephrase what you said. A glaring example of this was when one woman said “A pregnant woman,” and had to change it to “a person who is pregnant.” Which is just absolutely absurd, in my opinion. Even a woman who is transgender couldn’t have a baby, the only person who can biologically have a baby (at least in this point in science) is biologically female, and has maintained their reproductive parts. I conduct telephone interviews for UNI’s Center for Social and Behavioral Research, and I’ve had people get offended when I use white (“I’m Caucasian”) or ask their race after asking if they were of Latino/Spanish/Hispanic ethnicity (“I just told you, I’m Latino”); people get upset over what you say when they don’t even understand what they are getting upset about. It can be really frustrating to do my job, I can only imagine how it must be for comedians. I’ve noticed at the Gallagher-Bluedorn that we really aren’t getting as many comedians as we used to when I first started at UNI, but I guess we aren’t getting a lot of what I would consider ‘big name’ things there either. I wonder if that really is because comedians are starting to shift away from colleges because we don’t find them as funny as older adults do. I think that we need to try and find a happy medium where things can be funny (look at the Basic White Girl stuff that was going on heavily at the start of the year) and not offensive. There’s definitely a line that we shouldn’t cross, but we also shouldn’t ignore things like race, gender, sexuality because that undermines what minorities have worked so hard for. Everyone needs to lighten up, a bit, I think. We’ve come a long way, like Chris Rock says, but soon it will be time to find that happy medium that works for (most) people. No matter what you say or do, you’re probably going to offend someone, but maybe we need to be more like Bush and less like Obama, and focus on who we are trying to appeal to, and not try to appeal to everyone, because we will lose.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Chris Rock, but I really enjoyed reading this interview. Maybe I just don’t like his stand up so much. Either way, this interview was pretty neat, and it made me think about a few things differently than I had before. He talked about various things, but some of the things he brought up were also recently brought up in our history textbooks. Hilary Clinton is brought up, and her chance at winning the presidential election. Rock says he hopes for a woman president or a woman late night talk show host. I just then realized that there hasn’t been a woman late night host, and it kind of shocks me realizing there probably won’t be one any time soon. You think here it is 2014, and the chance at there being a woman Jay Leno any time soon is super slim. We were just reading not long ago about the women’s sphere, about women only being good for being a mom and wife. A Harvard professor actually stated education for women harm reproductive organs. Women were discouraged from education then, now things like late night host and president. At first I think, well at least we’ve made some progress. Then I think of what Chris Rock said that I just loved, he talks about racism and says black people haven’t made progress, that white people have. I read that and I still think, ‘ehh I kind of get it’, then he relates it to Tina and Ike Turner- seeing them sit nicely at lunch and the naïve person thinks their relationships improved, while the one who understands what’s up knows he’s just stopped kicking her ass. There I thought holy shit, I’m one of those ‘their relationships better’ naïve people. There isn’t progress in women’s rights, just like the race thing, white men are getting nicer. I have never before thought of it like that, but now that I have I don’t think I’ll be able to see it any other way. Rock brings up Ferguson and all the things going on there, and it makes me think of the Civil Rights movements back 50 years ago, and the things that were taking place then. How we just learned about the negative effects of segregation by Maime Clark’s doll study. There was a time when segregation was forced, and here now it’s not and it’s still going on today.

This piece on Chris Rock was a very good read it definitely opened my eyes on a few issues and to looks at things with a different perspective. I thought it was really interesting when Chris talk about Obama and how the public is disappointed in how he is running the country and what his view on it is. He felt that Obama just took the wrong approach and should let the country fall into the abyss. The economy should not have received any stimulus and business should’ve gone bankrupt and the reason is so that it couldn’t be blamed on Obama. It would’ve instead been blamed on the previous Bush administrations for how they left the struggling economy to die as Obama takes office. He compared it to baseball and how when a new GM comes in and doesn’t bailout the team so that it’s on the old management and then they clean it up instead of solving the old management’s mistakes. Obama then could’ve looked like the hero by picking his own people and getting a lot more accomplished because bringing something back from the dead is more memorable then trying to bandage an injury. There was a lot of conversation about race in this article and how nothing has really changed except for the white man progressing even more and it reminded me about Mary Calkins and other women in psychology. During that time period women were only viewed as wives and mothers and that was their duty and responsibility. Those women who went to school and become something of themselves were often looked down upon and hard to fight their way through it all. Many of these women were still denied their degrees and doctorates that they so rightfully deserved because of society and how they viewed women. It was hard to believe that we as a society have become so politically correct and that we have to hold our tongues from saying something that may either upset or offend someone. This puts a lot of strain on each of us especially when it comes to the most important and influential topics of our lives that need to be addressed if we are ever to find a solution to them. Major topic such as race and equality more specifically in the recent media coverage of black men shot by white police officers. Everybody has an opinion and yet we are all constrained as to not talk about it or if we do to remain very limited in what we say so that we don’t cross the line. The only way to fix many of our societal problems is through conversation and by holding back we are hurting ourselves and the society we live in. We instead head off to our laptops and phones to secretly post what we feel while also being worried that we may been found out as to what we wrote about. I don’t think it is fair we should have to worry about offending others, we need to speak our feelings so that we can listen and understand each other’s viewpoints in order to figure out a proper solution. Many of the philosophers and psychologists in our book acted just like we do today. Some were afraid to speak their mind or to publish their works in fear of backlash from their government, the public, and the church in many instances and had to sit on their hands for so long before having the courage to publish their work. Others though did make that step to publish their controversial work anyway knowing the repercussions of their act but knowing it was important to do so in order for others to question what they know to be true.

In our class we’ve certainly gone over various cases of how poorly minorities within the field were treated. We see both blacks, or rather any race other than white, being stepped over, as well as women. I think this is best detailed in chapter 6, where we see Francis Sumner’s story. Francis Sumner was the first black man to receive his PhD in psychology and would go on to teach various courses on ‘race psychology,’ in which he focused on the culture of the African American community. Of course, I don’t see this as a great achievement story—rather I see it and I’m disappointed at the society Francis Sumner had to grow up in. In his time, there were very few opportunities for black people to even experience studying psychology and even fewer to be accepted within the field. And unfortunately this kind of attitude isn’t just limited to blacks, it’s to women as well. Given that women of that time were only expected to carry on a family, to be wed and have kids, they were discouraged from pursuing whatever higher education dreams they desired. It would come to the point in which men and women’s education would be separate. Women would be allowed little education outside high school while men would be allowed to experience the fullest extent of whatever they wanted.

However, what I truly take from this interview is how Chris Brown talks about an age of being too conservative, an age in which people are too afraid to offend others or to cross boundaries that might be deemed as inappropriate. It was probably started with good intentions, but as it had progressed, this kind of movement has certainly created a lot of boundaries. It states the obvious: if we as a culture are to progress towards a united nation then we as a nation have to get rid of this attitude over what is taboo and controversial. In class for example, when we were talking about mental retardation, one girl was called upon and tip toed her way around answers she was giving just so she didn’t have to say ‘retarded.’ On racial tensions in particular, the Ferguson incident for example. The media involved, CNN or FOX or even President Obama never helped the situation, rather it was all turned into a huge racial issue and by the end of it nobody even cared that a guy died—everyone was too concerned with the fact that it was a white/black issue.

Aside from this, getting back to psychology, I also fear for the uprising minorities who are getting into the business. In regards to Sumner, all I could find on him was that he worked in racially based psychological work. I looked to see if he had done anything to contribute towards more contemporary works and not just a selective field. For women too, if I hear any articles on psychology based on women I usually only see a woman credited towards this study. The problem with both of these is that these groups were and maybe are today segregating themselves towards a particular study that would be expected of them and not contributing to psychology as a whole. While noteworthy of course, it’s not contributing to psychology as a whole. Yes of course giving opportunities to the minority groups is noteworthy, however, limiting oneself to a particular study that defines that psychologist doesn’t help anyone—rather you’d just be spending your time tooting your own horn.

In conclusion, I do feel like people are too hung up on the differences between each other, and honestly they probably always will be. That shouldn’t be ignored, nor should it be brushed under the rug. It should be acknowledged so it can be changed, we should be encouraged to acknowledge these differences because ignoring will only allow these problems to continue.

I knew that Chris Rock was a well known comedian. What I did not know was that he was a very insightful man with interesting views on the world. While reading through this interview, I could not help but notice that I have never heard of race or racism being discussed in the way that he was discussing it. We have talked in class about how women and minorities have gone through discrimination in the past and in the present, but we have never gone in depth or had the view point that Chris Rock has had. His thoughts on the rioting in Ferguson were eye opening to say the least. He talked about how he would send in a white journalist and go through that person to ask the white members of the Ferguson community the types of questions that no one else has. The reason he wanted to use a white person was that he felt that he would get more real answers if the questions were coming from someone who was more similar to them. He also discussed how times are changing. It seems terrible in Ferguson right now, but Rock brought up a valid point. The younger generation is evolving. His children are living in a world that has much much less racism than the world that his parents lived in or even the one he grew up in. People are definitely still concerned with the differences they see in people. In the media, we here 'A white man was arrested today' or 'A black woman was killed today'. When the color of that person's skin, should really not be important to the story at all. In the end, views on minorities and woman are becoming better, but there is still all lot left to be done before true equality is reached.

The point that Chris Rock makes that most directly relates to our readings was his point about women and minorities in America.

It is amazing how far we've come in America with gender equality in such a short amount of time. Although we absolutely still have a ways to go, we have something to be proud of that Chris Rock can say, "I’m absolutely ready for a woman president. I’m ready for a woman nighttime-talk-show host, to tell you the truth. I wonder which will be first." And not only is this widely accepted, but many people would also agree with him. I never realized until he brought up that women don't really don't do night time comedy, and that opened my eyes to all sorts of other areas women still have a ways to make themselves successful and present in America. Our textbook makes it very clear that women faced many obstacles in the field of psychology. In chapter 6, the author talks about how difficult it was for women to even come out of subordinate and domestic gender roles during this time. If this was difficult in itself, how could they emerge as prominent figures in psychology at all? Even bogus theories came about, such as the periodic function and variability hypothesis.

And as for minorities in America, I think we are all aware of how far America has come in terms of segregation legislation and so on. Chapter 6 also talks about how difficult it was for minorities to even attend school, and in intelligence tests they were deemed not as intelligent as whites no matter how the outcome of those tests went. What is interesting about what Chris Rock has to say though is he actually praises the treatment between races nowadays, which is not something we often hear, especially from minorities. "The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people." This was absolutely shocking to read. Granted Americans could still make great improvements in race relations on both sides, we do live in a pretty decent country compared to how it used to be, and will probably only get better as the older generations and their adament ideologies die out and the younger more accepting generations ideas become the norm.

However, I think Chris Rock makes an interesting point with his theory that now race and differences are ignored to a fault in America. Obviously you don't want to use offensive and ignorant terms, such as the N word and the R word and so on, but to even address differences at all seems offensive to some. Personally, I think in some cases it is best to take race out of the equation, but to ignore race all the time as if it is the elephant in the room is unproductive in making any kind of change happen.

The link that I picked to read and write a reflection on was the interview with Chris Rock. One of the things that I noticed in this interview that have corresponded with some of topics we have learned in class is how things throughout history change. Specifically, I think it relates to presentism versus historicism. Presentism is when you look at things that have happened in the past with a present day view towards it. Historicism is when you look at things in the past how it would have been looked at back then.

A couple of ways that these two words were reflected in this interview, was when Rock talked about how comedy has changed, and how racism has changed. The first one I will talk about is comedy.

One of the things that Rock says about how comedy has changed, is that he feels like he can't just come out and say what is on his mind like he used to be able to. Nowadays, someone is always recording what you do, and putting it on the internet. So, anything that could be deemed offensive could get him in a lot of trouble. The fact that he has to think about everything that he says on stage is really messing with his career, and making it hard for him to write jokes. So, in this aspect, the audience has a presentist view on things. They are looking at his jokes from this day and age of a standpoint, and some of the jokes he says that are offensive on purpose, people take too literally, and think he should be punished for it. Rock on the other hand has been around comedy for many years, and has a historicist view on things. He knows that there is a little bit of truth to every joke, and that is what makes a joke funny, or relateable. So, without even thinking about it he says jokes that he has no intention of offending people, but because there is some truth to it, and that is what makes him funny. However, that is the problem people are too sensitive, and don't see it as a joke.

The other thing I read in the interview was his thoughts on racism in America. One of the things Rock describes is that he thinks the kids of America are catching on better than the adults. When new movies like 42 come out and show how black people were treated kids are impacted, and want to make a change, whereas adults get the point of the movie, but don't really care to change anything. So, in this aspect the kids are the ones taking a historicist view, and the parents are taking a presentist view. The kids see through these movies how a black person would've been treated, and know that they wouldn't want to be treated that way, and they want to do everything they can to treat everyone equal. On the other hand adults may see a movie like that, and think, oh it already happened, and slavery is over now, so everything is fine, and that is the end of that. They see things through the way racism is portrayed nowadays, which to them isn't there, where in reality racism is still a big issue today, and needs to be addressed accordingly sometimes.

So, with all that being said, I think it was a great article to read, and gave some nice insight from an African Americans point of view. Usually you hear all about how bad white people are towards black people, from black people. And don't get me wrong, some white people are terrible people. But it was nice to read about how Chris Rock saw things as a whole, and didn't really pick a side on anything but saw things the way they morally should be, and that was pretty cool.

Terms: presentism, historicism.

As I was watching the Wild Child story I tried to answer my own questions and predict and understand Genie's behaviors. I don't believe I know any more than the scientists who worked with her, but I do have my own thoughts and insights on the case. My initial thoughts toward the beginning of the video were that she had missed critical points in her early development, certain guidelines set by psychologists that I learned in textbooks, and I was curious if these predictions would hold true. I also saw that she had animal instincts to which I was curious that they might be innate in nature. I had questions about the age old nature vs nurture debate, and I was curious to see how that could relate to the way Genie had been behaviorally trained. I will just talk about my inferences and my questions. I think Genie's "blind" actions, like feeling chicken on her face, showed that with little interaction with the physical world, she had yet to learn the properties of anything in it, she would have to interact with things to understand them. She certainly seemed to be a product of nurture, having apparently been responding to behavioral techniques used by her parents and new foster parents. Though a few things brought up the idea of her being an innate person. She and another wild child had animal likeness about them and and unusual preference in sensitivity to things like temperature. Although temperature seemed to be a learned preference; which brings up the idea of what other "natural" preferences might be learned. Can these wild children adapt to living naked outside in the winter, when we would estimate the death of a human somewhere in mere hours of exposure to certain temperatures? A couple of the most obvious themes of questions that researchers had was whether she had been retarded by birth and what she had the ability to learn. It was apparent the Genie did have the ability to learn, deduced by a man who was probably a social psychologist since he suggested that relationship forming was a key to learning (associationist thinking). The question I had for this was whether consciousness was something that had to be learned. Genie appeared to be missing natural characteristics that humans learn early in life; she and the other wild child would not have understood the need for some basic necessities like clothing, when to cut your fingernails and the ability to project ideas through an imagination so as to not be surprised by things that were unfamiliar but held similar physical characteristics of other known objects. Some of these things are learned early in life and support old theories of critical periods, however Genie seemed to learn to wear clothes and associate words. I wondered if she would be more apt to learn certain things because her brain would be more developed than the age at which an average human would learn these same things, or if Genie would have to learn these things for her brain to develop. I think it is hard to know what would become of Genie if she had been given the attention of loving parents and separate professional help that would extend through her life after she had been discovered. There were so many variables that suggested she didn't get the help she needed and now I believe we can't rightly conclude that she either had or didn't have the ability to surpass critical developmental periods. I think that because of this there is a question about forbidden experimentation on people like her, whereas I think setting up an experiment like hers from birth should be the only forbidden part. Testing her based on her performance from what she learned under professional and parental support would only show the abilities of the human body, unfortunately I believe that this case was treated poorly and left more unanswered than answered questions.

I found Chris Rocks interview rather interesting. I don’t know a whole lot about him besides the fact that he’s been in many comedies and is a comedian. I found it interesting when he got to the race aspect. Since we are a history class, we clearly know that we have come SUCH a far way from where racism used to be in the US. That being said, a professor in a class earlier today was telling us about the Alabama new law. They are moving DMV’s out of counties that are rich in African Americans. They do this because you must have a license to vote and if there is no DMV then these people cannot get their appropriate form of identification as easily. I feel like Chris agrees with the point that racism is still around and this point just backs it up. When he asks his daughters every day after school if anybody said anything (offensive), he is just proving that he is still nervous of racism as well.
Although this does not directly link to anything in our class yet, it proves the point of how we learn by things marked in history. He talks about the Prohibition as well as Rosa Parks when arguing for the gay-marriage rights. It shows that he knew things in history allowed it to be how the world is now and that this is going to be another one of those issues eventually.
The interview spoke a lot on politics, something that I do not fully understand or even follow. I think by doing so however they are able to look back at history again and see how past presidents have done things and how that is leading future or current presidents to conduct the way that they are or will be.

I read the interview with Chris Rock. I didn’t really get a good sense of what the interview was supposed to be about. They were all over the map with topics, but I think the one main topic was race. They would always bring up the race issue in whatever topic they were talking about. I am a fan of Chris Rock. He has some good jokes and he has been in some good movies. One thing about Chris Rock is he is always talking about race. He brings up that people like to forget about the past and they look at the things in history like a fad, when they need to look at it like a disease. I think that when he was growing up there were more racial tensions. So I understand where he is coming from. I understand why he needs to ask his girls if anything happened to them at school. He just grew up in a time when whites and blacks still didn’t mix well. In Chapter 6 it was the first time that we really got to see the inequalities in the history of psychology. The chapter talked about how the minorities couldn’t get into colleges because they were thought to be inferior to white men. That attitude has lived on for a long time. Some people are still treating minorities badly. There are just less that treat them poorly and more that stand up for them. I hope that one day we will be able to see everyone as a person and not for what we see on the outside. I am sick of everyone judging everyone else based on the color of their skin. It goes both ways. White people do it to black people and black people do it to white people. I am looking forward to a day when that doesn’t happen and we are all just people.

I found Genie’s case quite interesting and quite sad. As I was watching this documentary I was trying to relate the different approaches of studying history to how the documentary was filmed. The first approaches to studying history we learned about were persentism versus historicism. This documentary blurred the line between the two, and used both approaches interchangeably. This is most noticeable toward the end, after Genie’s research grant has been cut off and she is being sent to different foster homes. The narrator stops giving off facts about what happened, more like how it would be looked at with a historicism view. However, soon after the narrator and interviewees begin to look back on mistakes that were made, and they see these mistakes with a clear hindsight, such as used in presentism. This documentary also used mostly external history. It acknowledged the psychological aspects of Genie’s condition, but it also acknowledged the physical aspects and limitations of Genie’s condition.

Another issue in the documentary is nature versus nurture. Some believed that Genie was in her condition because her parents had confined her to a single room for most of her childhood. Others believed, or wanted to rule out, that Genie had been born with mental disabilities and that her severe condition was not just the fault of her parents. They compared Genie’s case with one of a boy who had been found in the wilderness years before. In both of these cases, the children improved with the help of scientists and therapists. However, neither of them became fully integrated with society. Both of their research grants ran out and both of the children were sent to live with foster parents, who couldn’t keep up with their lessons.

At the end of this documentary ethical issues were brought up. There were claims that the researchers cared more about their case than they did about helping Genie through her condition. They said that if they wanted to help Genie than the research would fall behind. If they were more focused on research, they said that Genie would be considered less. There were also the ethical issues of researchers getting too attached to Genie, when they weren’t supposed to. They also had researchers who tried to take over the study, and wouldn’t allow other researchers to see Genie for weeks. A main ethical issue I found with Genie’s case was that Genie had a bad home life, and once she was rescued from it she still didn’t have parental figures. The researchers and scientists that she worked with kept their distance from her, and once the grant ran out, she was moved from foster family to foster family. She still didn’t have a concrete home and a family that was hers.

Overall, I thought that this was a very interesting documentary. I could see benefits of the research and I also saw the problems with it. I felt sorry for Genie, and I thought that this study was treated poorly and that there was much room for improvement.

I read the interview with Chris Rock without any expectations. I do not have much prior knowledge about Chris Rock or stand-up comedy. Despite this, I found his views on racism to be very interesting. When discussing racial progress in America, Chris Rock stated that the fact that Obama is the first black person to be president is not racial progress. Black people did not make any sort of progress. White people did. In Chris Rock's words, "To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before." Obama as president does not mean black progress, but it does mean kids will grow up seeing black people in position of high authority. Older generations of people did not, which is why we tend to see more racism within older generations of people. When putting this into context of our history course, Chapter 6 discusses minorities in the field of psychology. Minorities were not allowed into higher education, which limited their abilities, which limited their opportunities. Now, more minorities are able to further their education, more minorities expand their capabilities, and more minorities hold positions that influence others. This is also true of women.

Chris Rock briefly talked about the struggle of women in our society. He said that he was ready for a woman to be president. I think in the same sense that a black man as president is not black progress, a woman as president is not female progress. This does not mean that a woman president would not have an impact on sexism in our society. Kids would grow up with a female president. Women in authority would not be unusual to them. I think right now, in both issues of racism and sexism, people like me, 20-year-old, well-off, white students, fail to see that racism and sexism are persistent problems in our society. In class, we have discussed how history can simply be knowing where someone comes from. Knowing that can help people understand each other. Knowing where people like me come from, mostly white schools and neighborhoods with middle-class parents, can help others understand why we do not see racism and sexism as an issue. Just this past week I realized how closed-minded I have been about racism and sexism within our society. I have a double major in psychology and music education, so I am required to take applied lessons on my instrument of focus, percussion. I came from a high school with more female percussionists than male percussionist, I did not realize that this was unusual until I came to UNI. I am now in a studio of about 15 with only 4 females. The past couple years I would experience little incidents with my male professors or with male student percussionists treating me differently than other males within the studio. I often would think it was because I was a female, but then brush it off and reassure myself that I was overreacting. I had never had an issue with sexism before, why would I now? After this week, I think I was right from the beginning.

We live in a society where sexism (and racism) exist, even if not everyone is always aware of it or experiencing it. I work with a group on campus called the New Horizons Band, an ensemble for people 55 years and older. One of the members, who I do not know very well, was discussing my future career this past Tuesday. He told me that I could not be a high school band director because I am a woman. I was so shocked I could hardly respond. He told me I was too small, I could work at a middle school or elementary school, and if I wanted to do high school, maybe I could be an assistant director. Even though the sexism was so blatant, I tried to brush it off because "he's just an old man stuck in his ways." This takes me back to Chris Rock's statement about kids growing up with black people in positions of authority. It'll be normal to them, and as a result, racism will diminish. If this is applied to women, it could be assumed that kids would have less sexist ideas than the elderly. This past week, I started teaching drum lessons at the Boys and Girls Club. Nearly every boy that came into my classroom felt the need to inform me and any girl in the room that "girls can't play drums." Where do the kids get these sexist ideas? If they are seeing more women in authority (their own drum teacher is a woman), why do they continue to have sexist thoughts? What if the thought that younger generations are more open-minded and less racist and sexist is wrong? Where will that leave the future of our society? Unfortunately, I am left with more questions about women and minorities in our society than answers.

I read about the Chris Rock interview and saw a few things that stuck out at me. I thought it was interesting that he said it was better and a good thing that everyone thought that Bush was unintelligent. It was good for the people to think he was dumb, but I didn't entirely understand that. He claimed this was an advantage compared to everyone putting Obama on a pedestal. I think this was because Bush was the president for eight years and we knew what was expected of him. Obama on the other side we did not know what would be once he became president.

More in relation to what we have learned in class, Chris Rock had a lot to say about racism. As we learned in class, minorities and even women back then did not have the same chances that white men had academically. Chris said that we often do not realize we are being racist, and that we try really hard not to offend anyone but end up doing it anyway. Racism is still a problem today. Maybe not as big of a problem as it was back then, but still an important issue.

Chris relating Ellen Degeneres to Rosa Parks also interested me because both of these women have made extraordinary differences in peoples lives and this reminded me of Mamie Phipps and Ken Clark. In the 19th century at a time when minorities were not treated fairly academically, they had done a lot of research for psychology and contributed a lot to the field.

I decided to watch the video about Genie. I found the video to be very interesting. I learned a lot of things about Genie’s case that I didn’t know before. I really only knew the very basics about her, so getting all of the details about her was a good experience for me. Her case was very sad, but it was also a good research opportunity for psychologists. Overall, I thought it was interesting, but I felt that the research done on Genie could have been done much better.
As I was watching the video, I was trying to figure out how they were using the different ways to study history. This was difficult because they used a lot of them. I felt that they used both presentism and historicism in this video. During most of the video, they were using historicism. We got a lot of details about what was going on at the time while the researchers were being interviewed. Each researcher gave their view about what they were doing with their research on Genie, but also talked about how they felt about it at the present time. At the very end of the video, it turns more into a presentist point of view because they weren’t really giving us any more facts about what was happening at the time. They mostly just talk about what they should have done and what went wrong with the case. I felt that this documentary used external history. They analyzed Genie’s condition mostly from a psychological standpoint, but also looked somewhat at what had happened to her physically. I also thought that this video used more personalistic history than naturalistic history. I felt that they talked a lot about the researchers and what each researcher accomplished rather than showing what affect the circumstances had on the people in the video.
Nature and nurture was something that was brought up quite a few times in this documentary. There was a lot of debate between the researchers on this issue. Some thought that Genie was the way she was because she was socially isolated for most of the beginning of her life. Other researchers thought that she was mentally retarded at birth, and that’s why her father isolated her. I believe that most of the researchers did eventually agree that language is influenced both by nature and nurture. The fact that Genie could learn vocabulary but not put full sentences together suggested that people have a critical period for language. This period must be early in life, and Genie missed it. This would be the nature side of language development. The nurture side is proven because Genie did learn some words over time. If she wouldn’t have been able to learn words at all, then it would have shown that language is completely nature. If Genie would have been entirely able to speak language, sentences and all, it would have suggested that language is completely nurture.
At the end of this documentary, the ethical issues surrounding this study were discussed. The main thing that the video talked about was the researchers. It was brought up that the researchers cared more about doing experiments with Genie than they cared about her as a human being. The researchers argued that if they cared about Genie, then they wouldn’t have been able to do as much research on her. Though the video mainly focused on this issue, I felt that there were many more ethical issues when it came to this case. I thought it was odd that Genie was allowed to live with someone who was researching her. I thought that this might cause the researchers values to conflict. I’m sure that while Genie was living with him, he felt like he was her father, which would influence the way that he researched her. I also found it problematic that some researchers were trying to completely take over her case and wouldn’t allow others to spend time with her. I felt that the biggest problem with this study was that Genie was not really allowed to have a steady home life. I’m not sure if the researchers had anything to do with that at first or not, but even after the research ended she was moved from place to place a lot. I feel that if she had a steady home situation, she maybe could have found people to call her parents. She had never really had that strong bond with anyone before, and I feel that if she knew that someone was there to support her, she may have had more success with learning to blend into society.

in his interview the main thing that sticks out to me is the fact that Chris Rock mentions boundaries and not offending anyone. these days everyone is afraid that anything that they say may offend someone or be taken the wrong way. you make one comment and it is blown way out of proportion. especially being a minority or a woman you are way more likely to catch heat for things this days. by this I mean that they are discriminated way more than any white ever will be. this makes me think about the section in the book about the education of women and the time women were thought to belong in the home doing things like taking care of the home cooking meals and taking care of the children. plus for many years African Americans were seen as property or slaves in the united states until the civil war, and even after that they were still treated like crap. now all of a sudden the world has changed and we have a black president and attorney general, and joint chief of staff. it also mentions that everyone wants to go back to an administration like when bush was in office but as soon as Obama gets mad he is seen as an angry black man. I feel like our country needs to get its ego out of the way and start saying what they mean. don't beat around the bush. it is mentioned that maybe the race thing is generational but its not going to be if we are always trying to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. our country is in a state of learned helplessness. these days they don't even keep scores to games because they want everyone to think that they are a winner. our country is shooting itself in the foot so to speak. everyone is scared of what everybody else thinks and its going to lead to our nation going soft if it keeps up.

The video I chose was the one with Genie. I think this video is presented in a historicism manner. It looks at the event in the context of the time of Genie. For the most part, it does not look at it from the view of today, with today’s knowledge, and today’s ideas only in mind. When discussing Genie’s discovery and research the video attempts to understand the whereabouts of language and communication of those times. It doesn’t apply what we know today. Though it does interview several “current” psychologists, they, too talk in past tense and about past knowledge. Another approach that his video takes in an internal history approach. I believe that this video is tracing the development of the theories and research about individuals like Genie and research and theories on communication and language. I also think this video takes a personalistic approach. By that I think they show that without Genie and Victor, we wouldn’t have any idea about these types of happenings. It was Genie and Victor who made history.
As far as nature and nurture goes, this video first tells about a push for nature. Professionals were wondering if it were possible for Genie to learn to talk at her age. Two important figures contributed to answering this question: Noam Chompsky and Eric Lenneberg. Chompsky believed that language was an inborn thing. We all have the ability to speak. The principles of language are born within us. Lenneberg was in agreeance with Chompsky, however, he believed that there was a time limit to when we could use our innate language ability. Lenneberg said that if it were not used by puberty then it’s highly likely that the ability will be lost. Together, Chompsky and Lenneberg built a critical period hypothesis. On the nurture side, individuals like Therapist David Rigler (and his wife), thought nurturing her case was the key to success. Rigler and Marilyn worked continuously worked with Genie. Marilyn tried to get Genie to connect with her world, her past, and herself.
I think that researchers were as ethical as they could be for their times. I’m not sure if there were strict laws to protect the rights of individuals. They did get the best they could. They used the best technologies, the best professionals, and the best techniques that they could get. I, myself, believe that Genie was completely suffocated by researchers and individuals alike. I don’t think Genie was given the option to have a break from their tiring studies. Genie didn’t know any better. She had no idea about what was going on. I wonder if her mom gave consent for their studies or if Genie was child of the state. Genie did have different caregivers who did or did not give consent to certain things, but Genie could not give assent. One other thing pointed out was the depth in which Genie was studied. The researchers studying Genie was done over and over and over to the point that validity was unknown. However, Genie’s identity was hidden. Her birth name and her parents name were not given out. Though she was put on many videos and written about a lot, her full name was protected. This is at least an attempt to protect her identity. With all of this being said and done, I am not sure if they exploited her. If I were a researcher who got a hold of a rare case like this, I would want find all the answers I could too. It is tough to criticize when I have not been put in this situation and when I can understand why they did what they did.
Terms and Terminology: historicism, internal history, personalistic, assent, consent, validity, individual rights, nature, and nurture

For this particular assignment, I decided to watch the 55 minutes documentary on the case of Genie and the case of Victor. It was a documentary worth watching. Both children who experienced extreme neglect from a very early age. Scientists and researchers questioned whether these children were born with pre-existing intellectual disabilities or it was in fact their environment which delayed their cognitive abilities. It was a question of nature versus nurture. Victor’s history, for the most part, is unknown. He was found wearing no clothing and he had scars all over his body. For Genie, she was tied to a training toilet in a bedroom day after day for nearly 10 years. After the discovery of these children (both occurred years apart), it gave scientists an advantage. They were able to study the effects of this neglect on the children without immorally inducing the neglect.
Due to this neglect, both Genie and Victor experienced developmental delays. One thing we can question from these two unfortunate cases is if in fact the critical period is a true phenomenon. Previously in this class we had discussed the ideology of the critical period. This meant that our developmental milestones are time sensitive. One example for the documentary said that Lenneberg believed if a child does not develop language before puberty, it is unlikely they will at all. Genie was an exception. Around the time Genie was experiencing puberty, she was still learning new words. Was this enough to debunk the critical period hypothesis. Possibly. But Genie could only learn so much, as she succeeded in linguistics, she was unable to form sentences properly.
Genie was able to express emotions, use sign language, and even form attachments to others. She blossomed. This goes to say our nurture does play a factor in how we behave. But the road to get her that far was a difficult one. As soon as doctors and scientists heard of her case, they all wanted to implement their ideas for possible treatment. After reading the first couple of chapter in the textbook, it is fair to say there are a lot of differencing opinions and perceptions on what is best for one specific client.
The study of Genie was unfortunately cut short due to a cut in government grants. The government did not see any organized, reliable, conclusive data being collected and refused to continue to support this cause. It was also said that the doctors who were on Genie’s case did so to make themselves “famous”, not truly to help her. I think it is difficult to not get attached to your clients but you need to make that line clear. Genie’s researcher was the same as her therapist. She even lived with two of this. This time of closeness created a sense of attachment and entitlement to Genie. She ended up being shuffled around foster homes where she again began to experience abuse and neglect. She digress to non-verbal communication and is said to live in a home for intellectual disabled adults. What we can concluded for these two cases is that nature and nurture interact together. If Genie had not escaped her parent’s neglect, she would have not thrived as much as she did. It was believed she was not intellectually disabled from birth, it was the lack of nurture which created her atypical and delayed behaviors.
If we were to look at this from a historicism perspective, the scientists look at what exactly went on a tried to understand what Genie experienced. In the documentary, I remember listening to one of the doctors say something along the lines of how he could not empathize with Genie. He could not see the world the same exact way Genie sees it. He could guess what it was like for her but he could not truly understand. A presentism perspective would include all the information we know now. After all the debates and studies of nature and nurture, we could apply it to Genie. We have learned a lot from her case and many people in today’s society might misunderstand and look down on Genie. Regardless, due to the discovery of the “wild child” we were able to study her and begin to understand something that is completely immoral in nature. Every human being deserved the right to grow up the best they can be and to be loved by another.

The video that I choose to watch and discuss was Genie. This video was very moving to me, it was interesting to learn about the other case of the “wild child” Victor. It blows my mind the things or actions that people can do to each other. That someone could lock a child away for ten years, the fact that after she was found the father committed suicide. It shows that he knew and understood that what he had done was wrong. The question of nature versus is nurture I feel has been around since the beginning of psychology. As new ideas and concepts kept forming in history and new research is discovered, these concepts keep evolving. We know now that in reality both of these contribute quite a bit and not one is fully correct. That they work together to produce an outcome, now with that being said. If someone has a little more or less of the nature or nurture the outcome will be different. A good example of this is the Genie case. Her environment deprived her of any physical contact, she was not taught any behavioral or cognitive skills. He body continued to develop but her mind was limited. The idea of nature vs nurture makes me think of the internal and external history. External history is history that examines factors external to discipline that influence history of that particular discipline. For example any social, political, economic, and institutional discipline. Now as for internal history, it is defined as the history of ideas, theories and findings of a particular discipline, without any regard to the influence of external factors. It was captivating watching the case unfold, and to watch her progress and to see what steps they took to help her get some of those abilities back. That within the first few weeks she was able to understand simple ideas. Yet, she did eventually meet her peak. She couldn’t form grammatical correct sentences, she could rely messages. A few other concepts that come mind that have very opposing views. Looking at materialism and determinisms. Materialisms proposed that the only reality is physical reality and that in the end everything can be reduced into physical and chemical properties. Now looking at determinism, it says that all events have prior cause. Overall, I found myself questioning if what they had done in her case was right. They started to test her and make all these experiments to help her yet they failed to find her a good home. In the beginning they talk about how important it is that she starts to form these secure attachments, yet they don’t follow up at all. I find it ridiculous that after she “no longer shows change” or the fact that they did not properly conduct these experiments that they lost their funding. I feel that because of their carelessness, she would up getting her just as bad as before. I feel that the lawsuit was justified but for more reasons than the ones listed. They talk about giving her IQ tests, once a year, repeating certain tests or experiments can ruin its validity. How did they know what they were measuring was correct they don’t. Each psychologist, or care giver talk about how much they care about her, but in reality so many extreme mistakes were made. They did really present this case, in a historicism way. They talked about new ideas that had come out at the time, they looked at an older case for reference. If I were to look at it with today standards these people would be in even more trouble than they were back then.

Terms: Nature vs nurture, internal and external history, materialism, determinism, historicism

For my attendance project, I chose to watch the Ethics video about Genie. I have learned about Genie many times throughout my psychology classes, especially when learning about nature vs. nurture. However, like so many other topics, I’ve never really broke the surface of the story and would only talk about the basics of the studies that came from Genie and the information became run down. This video was very interesting and restarted my interest in the little girl. It was interesting to watch more of the rehabilitation that was involved in the little girl’s treatment and be able to watch the videos of her movements and different development she achieved. I personally feel that due to the uncertainty of Genie’s past we can not really discuss how she proved that nature or nurture was more critical in development. The video talked about how people were not really sure if she had a mental disability from birth or if her disability was caused from her abuse. After watching the Ethics video, I personally think that nurture is more critical for development in earlier years and it slowly fades into the back while nature and the situations people are faced with become more dominate.
This video was presented in the manner of historicism because it looked at the situation through the views of that time era. Rather than how we would view the same situation if it occurred tomorrow. I also felt that the video focused on a personalistic view of history because it viewed that one specific person and their discoveries or events the changed the course of history and contributed to the development of history.
The concept of Genie and Victor is heartbreaking to think of and imagine the torment those children had to face. Of course it is very interesting information and provided great insight into the more unknown areas of human development, but one has to wonder if the research in these situations became more important than the personal concept with the children. I do not think that the debate on nature and nurture will ever be resolved. Cases like Genie arise and people think the research will help distinguish which one is more important, however I feel that it made the debate more complicated and unknown.
Terminology Used: nature, nurture, historicism, personalistic, human development,

I read the Chris Rock interview and there were a few things he said that stood out to me. The first was that black people have not made progress in our society, but rather white be have. He stated that Obama was not the first black man capable of being president, he was just the first man to be elected because of how the white people attitudes have changed over time. This ties into the fact that the minorities and women who are influencing psychology today are the first capable, but rather it is just that society has become more open-minded with equality.

Another thing that he said was that comedians are always judged when they are practicing their routines at comedy clubs. If they happen to say something to offensive, it may end up on social media and have an impact on their career. This also reminded me of the racism and sexism that was discussed in chapter 6. These women and minorities were judged before they even had a chance to prove what they were capable. People just assumed they wouldn't be good enough and there did not give them the credit they deserved.

Lastly he talked about how Ellen Degeneres and how she was the gay Rosa Parks. I found this to be a very accurate comparison. Rosa played a big role in the civil rights movement, just as Ellen has in the gay rights movement. These two women are comparable to Ken and Mamie Phipps Clark. Mamie and Ken are very important to the history of psychology. They made huge discoveries even though they were very much so underrated.

Terms: Ken and Mamie Phipps Clark, , history of psychology, equality

I watched the video on the "wild child," Genie. This video was about a girl who was locked in a room for years, who had no access to the outside world or much of any contact with humans outside of that room. Genie was isolated by her parents for most of her life and did not even learn how to talk. My impression of this videos as that it is an extremely crazy and sad story. I feel so bad for Genie having to be isolated for so many years and growing up in this horrible situation. Although this definitely does help see into social isolation and other important psychological topics, it is so sad to see this video and think about what Genie must have gone through. This video relates a lot to the nature vs. nurture debate in psychology. Many psychologists in the past believed that nature was completely in control. Chomsky, a psychologist who believed language was innate, is someone who can be discussed in regards to Genie. If Chomsky was correct that nature was completely responsible for language, the case of Genie would not be possible. Even if Genie was isolated from everyone she still would have learned language if Chomsky was correct. However, people like Skinner and other behaviorists believed that behavior was leaned through observation and so forth, thus on a more nurture side of the argument. It can be seen through Genie that this must be somewhat true. Genie was basically unable to talk when coming out of this room and also walked very oddly, not as a normal human would. This shows that Genie was not able to learn through observation or learning from her parents or others. This can show how nurture does in fact play a factor. If nature was the only factor in learning then Genie should have been able to learn how to walk and talk on her own, even without the help of her parents or anyone else. This showed everyone at this time that nature and nurture must work together. Another aspect of this video was presentism vs. historicism. This video was made with a presentism point of view (when it was made.) They did refer to the past because there was a similar case they wanted to look at as well as discussing psychologists of the past, I felt that most of this was done in a presentism point of view. I think it also shows that it is this way because some of these ethical things would not have been allowed today. If this video or case was looked at now from a presentism perspective, I think that they would view this differently and see how bad some of these things were. It seemed like many of these scientists were more concerned about finding out psychological information rather than really caring for the child and making sure her life was better. Although some of these people did seem like they cared about Genie, many appeared to just want to study her and learn from her, rather than realizing she was a person as well. The ethical issues in this were quite a bit. Like I said, many of the scientists seem to just want to study her rather than caring about her feelings. They had many scientists and psychologists coming in just to watch her, something that definitely would not feel good for any human. Genie was essentially put on display as this "wild child" to these people as well as the world hearing about her case. Rather than giving love to this child and making sure she was well taken care of, the priority was research. Tests were done over and over on Genie and she was pushed to her limits just for research. The end of this video really seemed to be the worst to me. Genie was moved around multiple times and then finally given back to her mother, the woman who did this to her in the first place. I hope that if this case happened now, we would realize that this is not fair to her and should not have been done in this manner.

I chose to watch the video on “Genie(Secret of the Wild Child)”. I started watching this video and realized that I had seen it previously on TV. I remember thinking that it was a strange and interesting case the first time I saw the documentary, but now that I have more knowledge in psychology, I find it to be an even more fascinating case. Genie was a 13 year old girl found in a house near Los Angeles, who was severely disabled from years of maltreatment from her parents. She was strapped to a potty chair almost 24/7 and locked in a room where she had almost no contact with anyone. The film does a good job incorporating both approaches (presentism and historicism) into the presentation of this film. They talk about what it was like during the time Genie was found and what they knew, while also comparing her mental and physical abilities to the standard today. They also talked about another example of a “wild child” that was discovered almost 200 years prior to Genie being discover. By having these two cases to compare to each other, psychologist are able to combine the information on them to get a better understanding of the nurturing and how it has an effect on learning and development. In my opinion, this film did tend to lean towards the presentism approach, because they wanted to apply what we know in the present to a case in the past. The issue regarding nature v nurture in this film, is an excellent argument for nurture. Yes nature goes along way, but without proper nurturing in childhood, the psychological and physical effects are catastrophic for the development of a child into their adolescent and adult years. There are always ethical issues surrounding experiments with human subjects, but especially with this case since Genie did not have the mental capacity to give consent to the research done on her. Since most of the research that was done on Genie was noninvasive observations and teaching, there weren’t a lot of ethical issues that I found to be a problem with this case. Since her mental and physical capacity was so low to begin with, the treatment Genie was receiving would only help her learn and start to develop normally.

Terminology: Presentism, Historicism, nature, nurture, ethical issues, development.

I think that the documentary was quite fascinating. This may seem a bit cruel to say, but I think it was somewhat beneficial that this happened so that people could study a case like this. It would not be ethical if psychologists and scientists decided to do this on their own in a lab for over a time-span of around a decade. They lucked out that a cruel family decided to treat their daughter in such a manner, that she could later on become a science experiment. I cannot believe that a father could isolate and bind his daughter and tie her to a toilet and a crib. How dare he hit her with a board anytime she annoyed him if she made noise. It isn’t like she was using words to annoy him, but just sounds. Maybe if they would have taught her how to speak, and would properly feed and socialize her she would have been a better child that he could withstand. I thought it was ironic that he first believed she was mentally retarded and this is why he did this to her, and then later on researchers found that she was not born with mental retardation, but after her abuse led to brain damage. I think that this was studied by a presentism point of view, but only when it was made. If it was made today, which would be unethical unless they changed the way they studied her, it would be more of historicism. At the time it was made, it was not frowned upon as much for how they studied her, which makes it presentism. It is the interpretation and assesses the past only in terms of present understanding. Once she was rescued by the social worker, they studied her for many years in the hospital by scientists and psychologists and while she was bounced from multiple foster homes. Since Genie was isolated for over a decade, she was not taught the English language which gave linguists the perfect opportunity to test their theories and hypotheses identifying critical periods during which we humans learn to understand and use language. Throughout the time scientists studied Genie, she made substantial advances with her overall mental and psychological development. Within months of being discovered, Genie had developed remarkable nonverbal communication skills and gradually learned some basic social skills, but even by the end of their case study she still had many behaviors characteristic of an unsocialized person. She also continued to learn and use new language skills throughout the time they tested her, but ultimately remained unable to fully acquire a first language. Her case study helped prove the theory of nurture rather than nature. Without her being taught and learning from observation and conditional learning, then she would never have learned later on in life on how to become more socially normal, and start to learn how to speak. If the nature belief was true, then she would be able to learn how to communicate and know how to behave properly in social situations, instead she threw tantrums randomly and could mainly only say a word that was last said in the end of the sentence that she had heard. Throughout her being studied and taught how to express her emotions, she developed more and more, and even started learning how to eat more solid foods, and started to develop mature feelings for others. I believe that without the help of all the researchers involved, she would have been stuck at a mental asylum, and never develop as a normal human. I’m sure that Galton would disagree, and think that she was born less intelligent and she should not reproduce. He was influenced by his half cousin Darwin and his book on the “Origin of the Species.” The view that humans acquire all or almost all their behavioral traits from "nurture" was termed tabula rasa ("blank slate") by John Locke. A "blank slate view" in human developmental psychology assuming that human behavioral traits develop almost exclusively from environmental influences, which I think relates to Genie. I think that Skinner and Pavlov would also agree that her development is caused by nurture rather than it being innate. I think that the ethical implications in this study is that they did not seem to really care about her feelings, or think of her as one of them, a human. Rather they looked at her as just a lucky case they could experiment on and might have secretly been pleased that her family was so cruel and unethical so it could benefit them and their research. I think though that this was necessary to study, even if it was a bit unethical. It was a rare case, and helped uphold the theory on nature versus nurture. I also thought it was unethical that they moved her from home to home in foster care and even with researchers’ family so that they could study her more. It would have been better if she had only been studied like once a week in a lab or hospital, and then able to try and live a normal life in a place she could really feel felt like was home. I also think it was wrong they sent her to live with her mom in the end, even though she was not able to take care of her before.

Presentism, historicism, conditional learning, Galton, Darwin, Origin of the Species, nature, nurture, John Locke, Skinner, Pavlov, developmental psychology

I read the Chris Rock interview and two things stood out to me in regards to what I thought the main concepts were of the interview. One of them is the political correctness that has come over America. Chris Rock discusses it in terms of what limits comedians can go to in regards to their material. He talks about how in the past it was not something that most comedians thought about but now is something that they do. A second theme that I noticed was the advancement in America for minorities both for race and sexual orientation and women. Chris Rock makes an interesting point in that these people are not making advancements for their community but rather society as a whole is changing which allows them to gain more roles in society i.e. having a black president.
To the first concept, political correctness is something that Rock discussed is becoming an issue for comedians but I also feel that this is something that is also a social thing. This is something that I have seen change growing up. Individuals are more and more worried about not offending anyone in what they say. This has led to people getting upset about the word choices of others when before these things would not have effected people in such a way. One thing that Chris Rock said about offensiveness which I really liked is, “You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.” This is possibly one reason to why Donald Trump has so much popularity is that he is not worried about being too politically correct. He says what is on his mind and says the things that everyone is thinking but politicians are too worried about saying in fear of upsetting possible voters. This type of issue can be somewhat tied into individuals in the field of psychology who spoke out against what was of popular thought in the field. Men such as René Descartes and William James who challenged popular thought with new ideas.
The second concept that I found was the progression of women and minorities vs the progression of a nation as a whole. When progressive movements happen in this country such as women’s suffrage or a large event such as having a black president people tend to believe that these individuals are making great strides and really advancing their community. Chris Rock counters this thought with the idea that white male society is advancing rather than the prior. How he supports this is by stating that there have always been individuals who are qualified for positions such as a black person being qualified to be president before Obama but society, i.e. white males have not been accepting of this idea. So when events like having a black president or women’s right to vote, it isn’t their communities progressing but rather the white male society progressing which allows these things to happen. We have seen this in psychology with women and minorities beginning to make head way in the field. Individuals like Francis Summer, Mary Calkins, and Christine Franklin.

Terms: Francis Summer, Mary Calkins, Christine Franklin, René Descartes, William James

I chose to read the Chris Rock interview and found it extremely relevant to Chapter 6 which we just recently read. He discusses many important issues related to racism including the Obama being the first black president and the events in Ferguson, MO. These events show a sharp contrast in the progress America as a whole has made in the area of racism. On one hand, Americans for the first time elected an African American man to the presidency, trusting him to govern this country. Yet, if the shooting in Ferguson was indeed fueled by racism as so many argue, this could show that not everyone shares the same mindset when it comes to minorities. I found Rock’s theory about progress to be quite intriguing. He ascertained that it is not minorities or women themselves that make progress but that it is the changing mindset of those who hold racist, sexist, or homophobic views that results in progress. It is the recognition but also an increased acceptance of individual differences. It was never the case that there were not capable women and minorities. It is not the case that women and minorities have somehow “evolved” the capabilities which allow them to compete in society over time. All along it has been a select group of people, often white men, who have determined that minorities and women were less. This is a whole new way of thinking for me. However, I think it is important to remember that minorities, women, homosexuals, and other oppressed groups have contributed to these changing mindsets. In a sense they have changed the racist, sexist, homophobic zeitgeist of their times through various movements and actions which eventually brought about a generation recognizing their abilities, thus resulting in progress. It took people like Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Ellen DeGeneres to affect this change. Yes, mindsets had to change for progress to occur, but those views didn’t change on their own.

I also found Chris Rock’s comments about investigating racism, sexism, or homophobia as quite fascinating. It is so true that our society today thinks of these ideas as fleeting. Yet, despite the rise of more people accepting of the differences of others, there are still many who hold the same views. That is why we continue to see people attacked for their race. Women are still often paid less than men. So, even though we may not refer directly to the variability hypothesis in assuming that men can reach a higher set of skills than women, there are still people who employ this philosophy. What we should be asking is why? This is where I see the most relevance to psychology. Not only do we see the effects of these viewpoints in the field of psychology but we can study them both from and empiricist’s point of view and more importantly with experimental psychology. I hope that some of these issues are addressed in future chapters, but the knowledge of why people hold such extreme views of minorities, women, etc. could help us understand the progress in the history of our country as well.

Terminology: evolution, zeitgeist, individual differences, variability hypothesis, experimental psychology, empiricism

This documentary about Genie and Victor was the only choice to watch because the other link did not work but i am glad that I got to watch this. After I was watching the documentary I realized that I had seen it before and I remember thinking that the way they treated her was horrible. When Genie was found she had almost never been out of the house and was locked in a room tied to a chair almost 24/7. In my opinion, I thought the video was great with using different approaches like presentism and historicism to explain Genie’s life after she was found. They would talk about what happened in the past with Genie and then they would compare that to the information they know about now to conclude their studies and findings. I also believe the little bit about Victor was well documented because it gave actual footage from when it actually happened.

Genie also is a great example of a very controversial debate; nature v nurture issues. At the time, Chomsky inquired that language is not learned but we are born with language embedded in us. However, other researchers and scientists believe in behaviorism like B.F. Skinner and believed that behaviors like language all can be learned through things like classical conditioning. In the case of Genie it shows that nature is more important in learning because she could learn information and words but could not form actual sentences. Nurturing her at the age of 13 did not help her form words and be capable of speaking. That shows to me that during growing up nature is more prevalent.

What they did to Genie was very unethical in my mind. After testing Genie and finding all that they could about her they kind of just dropped her. Once the researchers realized they were not going to get anymore information from her they did not really care about where she went and what happened to hear and also did not follow up to make sure she was okay really. They stuck her in a home for mental adults instead of a caring home with Butler. When she lived with the Riglers it seemed they did not really care about her. In general the researchers did not care They also cared about single secure attachments that she could get and so had her with just one person. I feel like in general the lawsuit made sense but it is a lot more complicated.

Terms: Chomsky, nature, nurture, presentism, historicism, B.F. Skinner, classical conditioning

I chose to do my report on the ethics documentary about Genie. My overall impression was that this story is so sad. Not only was she abused and isolated for the first 13 years of her life, she was abused after the research was over too. I think switching homes would be hard for anyone to go through but it must have been twice as hard on her in the condition she was in. On the presentation of the story, I think it was mostly historicism because the doctors talked about how they thought about and handled the situation at the time. Closer to the end of the end of the documentary, it was presented in a presentists view because they were talking about how the situation should have been handled. I think the makers of the documentary did a good job of presenting the story with both internal and external historic views. Having the doctors talk was the internal aspect and having the narrator and the people who had opposite view points talk was the external aspect. This documentary focused on the doctors and what they were doing to help (or hurt) Genie, so I’d say it was more personalistic history because it focused on the people who were directly involved with Genie. Overall this was a well written documentary and the uses of primary sources really helped the validity of the documentary.

Genie’s case deals a lot with the debate about nature vs. nurture. Francis Galton believed that some traits, like the ability to learn, were passed down through generations by their parents. The doctors that were on Genie’s case challenged that idea and said that she could be rehabilitated, taught how to function and be put back out into society if she was in a nurturing environment that encouraged her to learn. There was also a theory in developmental psychology that there is a certain age limit where a child can learn how to speak and the doctors challenged this theory too. In the end, the doctors taught Genie how to say a lot of words, but she was never able to make a complete sentence. But Genie learned how to make relationships and how to communicate non-verbally on her own before they taught her sign language. So ultimately, I think her case supports both sides of the nature vs. nurture argument.

Genie’s case also brought up a lot of questions about ethics. From the moment the doctors saw Genie to the moment she was finally out of their care, they were doing tests on her. During the end of the documentary, the two lawyers that were suing the doctors and the children’s hospital were talking about how some of the tests the doctors were running were tests they had made up. Some of the tests they were running were being done too many times so the validity of the tests went down each time it was taken. So the accuracy of all the results they got from Genie are possibly invalid because of how many times they ran them. Another violation of ethics is the fact that during all of the testing, Genie didn’t have a stable home away from the doctors. Doctors are not supposed to love their patients or live with them so the fact that some of the doctors did live with Genie for four years was not necessarily a good thing. The doctors living with Genie also could have skewed the results. Since Genie lived with one of the doctors for a while, how many times did Genie’s feelings get put second to the testing? Overall I really liked this documentary and would suggest watching it. It was very interesting to see how Genie’s case developed and ultimately ended.

Terms: Historicism, presentists, internal history, external history, personalistic history, primary sources, nature vs. nurture, Francis Galton, developmental psychology

I watched the Genie documentary since I was familiar with her case and interested in getting a refresher over it. The case is still a fascinating, and heartbreaking, one to go over even for a second time. Obviously studies like this cannot be done regularly for moral reasons, but when the opportunity presents itself I believe it is important to get the most out of it in the most humane way possible.
Genie's scenario raised several question about the nature vs. nurture debate. Was she delayed because of her isolation from early childhood, or had she been mentally deficient all along? It did not seem that there was a concrete answer to this pressing question at the time, although today we are aware that both sides play a part in forming who we come to be. Those on the nurture side of the debate would argue that Genie's development had been slowed by her isolation, and that her improvement with therapy and forming bonds proved that with the right amount of nurture that a person can be changed. However the naturists would say Genie's inability to function as a completely normal human being proved that her nature, or genetics, were too strong to over come.
The film for the most part looked at the work that was done with Genie from a historicism stand point. It stated facts and concerns that the doctors, psychologist and social workers had at the time they were treating Genie and what knowledge was available to them on how to most effectively help her development and well being. It wasn't until the end of the documentary that there was criticism for how it was handled, and most of it came from people who were directly involved with Genie's case.
Genie's case and even Victor's is a prime example for why we study history, for the betterment of our future. With each case like this that is presented to us, there is a better understanding and what should be done next; past mistakes can be avoided, and leaps can be made in an effort to overcome obstacles of any sort that are presented to us.

Terms: Nature, nurture, historicism, presentism

I watched the documentary about Genie because that is the only link that would work. I had heard about the case before but didn't know that much about it. It was interesting to watch, but I was sad that I didn't get to know how she turned out as an adult and what she is doing now. They should have included that so we could see whether the tests, the counseling, and the teaching actually helped her later on in life. There was a lot that this documentary didn't discuss and so many questions and dilemmas were raised.
With any case there's questions about ethics, but this one is more difficult. They were faced with a study that can't be duplicated because it would be inhumane, but since it was given to them, they wanted to test out theories and questions other psychologists had previously asked. This case is a prime example of the reasons why we study history. While there may be so many discoveries already that psychologists have found, there may be some questions that were raised that couldn't be answered for ethical reasons. So when Genie was found, there could be studies done involving these previous theories created by psychologists to see what ones are correct.
One discussion that really relates to the Genie case is that of nature and nurture and which one influences a person more. With Genie, she had no interaction and was in isolation for the first 13 years of her life. So all the things she already knows, or can easily pick up would have to be mainly nature, while the things she needs to learn, or unfortunately already learned from her isolation would be influenced by nurture.
One of the main things that they tried to look at with Genie, is whether there was a critical period to learn a language or not. And while Genie picked up on words and learned their meanings, she was unable to put them into a grammatically correct sentence. The psychologists also wanted to see figure out if she had been born mentally challenged, or if the isolation had made her that way. But when they worked with her, they saw that each year she grew up a year mentally as well, which isn't normal in adults who are mentally challenged.
While there were so many things that they wanted to study and see with regards to Genie, there was too much studying going on, and it may have been detrimental for Genie to be constantly looked at under a microscope and tested. While there may have been many doctors who loved her a lot, their priorities were still to learn about her and her mind instead of just trying to get her towards a normal life.
While these types of cases cannot be replicated, when we come across this situation again, we can be ready now that we understand more about what goes on inside the brain, and hopefully they can focus more on rehabilitating the patient rather than studying them.

Terms: ethics, theory, nature, nurture, critical period, isolation, replicated, rehabilitation

I remember watching this exact video when I took my first high school psychology class, and it still wasn't any easier to watch. My impression of this documentary is upsetting. It's sad to know that these kinds of things have happened and still do. As a psychology major, though, it is interesting to see how these things happened and the effects that it caused on these children.
I kind of want to tie in the one conversation that we had about why K-12 school and learning in general isn't fun anymore. Obviously Genie grew up differently than the average child, but she still was so interested in learning new things all of the time. When we were much younger, like K-3, learning was exciting, like it was for Genie. However, once we get to the upper grades, we are thrown information that gets to be less interesting and "fun". The reason why I'm tying this in is because it seems like it's almost inside of us to want to learn. Yes, Genie was raised differently, but she still wasn't aware of how she was compared to others.
Nature vs. nurture is definitely the major debate in this case, especially when talking about Victor. Both Genie and Victor grew up in extremely nontraditional ways and both reacted and continued growing differently. In Genie's case, there were many people that were interested her and cared for her, however in Victor's case, many were only interested in him as a study subject. In my opinion, it makes me feel like learning close to, or past, the critical period is affected by nurture.
Ethics is definitely something needs to be discussed along with Genie's case as well because I feel like the studies on Genie were ethical in the beginning but lost it later. They wanted to care for Genie, however, they also were extremely interested in what they could discover from her. It seemed as though they cared for her, but when the funding for studying her ran out, the family that adopted her decided that they didn't want her anymore. If they truly cared, they would have continued to care for Genie and do everything they could to help her.
Terms: ethics, nature, nurture, critical period

The story of Genie as a wild child is always interesting to learn about. The documentary video went more in death about her situation than what I've learn in past classes. It was interesting to see how much psychology has progressed since this case. Even though it was about 45 years ago that she was saved from her parents and the tiny room she was confined in. The ethics of her case was a huge controversy. She was a living, breathing, example of a forbidden experiment. Research flocked her to see what she was like, if she would learn language, if she could be 'civilized.' Genie's case also continued to add to the long argument of nature vs. nurture. This argument has been a huge part of the history of psychology.
The video and her case offered a lot of questions. During the whole video I couldn't help but question how this case would be handled if it had happened during a more modern time? What if, heaven forbid, another case similar to this were to arise? Would we be more prepared to handle a case such as this one? Is there a better way to have handled Genie's case or is what they did back then the best than can be done in a situation just as that?

The case of Genie, "The Wild Child" is the only link that would work and also sounded very interesting to me. I had heard of it in some of my other psychology classes but never knew so much about it. Although this documentary was very informative, I also decided to do some research on my own to answer questions the documentary did not. For instance, her father. Genie, was understandably the center of attention for the questions her situation raised but I believe her father was the one with the real issues that needed to be looked into. Although not possible with him taking his own life, how could a person socially isolate, beat and continuously threaten at gun point another person, yet his own daughter? After doing research on my own, I found that his violence came from him being teased relentlessly as a child for being named "Pearl" after his mother. It is believed he killed his first daughter Dorothy by wrapping her in a blanket and putting her in a drawer in the garage. His first son also passed due to choking on his own mucous, also believed to be an act of this evil man and his third child was sent to live with his grandmother after his father hospitalized his mother. Violence was not new to this family. In the case of Victor, the question is brought up, "What does it mean to be human?" More philosophical than psychological in my opinion, this answer is very subjective. Biologically, it's very easy to dictate something that is human, but cognition brings in a whole new question. It could be argued Genie's father was not human due to his hostility and lack of compassion for his wife and own flesh and blood, it could be argued Genie and Victor are not human due to being feral or "wild children." I think before this question can be answered, the word "human" must be defined.

Another major point in this documentary is the ability to learn language. From a historic perspective I can see why this question would be a huge one. But today, with our large influence to make Americans bilingual in school, we know that children learn language more easily at an early age. However I do believe that if a 40 year old has the ability to learn a second language, however difficult it may be, a mentally retarded, socially isolated teenage child has the cognitive ability to do the same.

To answer the question many people are wondering, it is fairly unknown what Susan "Genie" Wiley is up to now a days. She lives a very private life and is said to be in a privately run facility for six to eight mentally underdeveloped adults. Although not in direct contact with her. It is said that she seems happy.

Well seeing as how the only link that worked was the Genie link i chose that one, though i’ve heard about it many times in my other classes and had no real interest in it. Genie was deprived of all but basic human contact since the time she was a baby until a social worker found her tied to a potty chair. She was not exposed to language and they thought she was also beaten if she made any form of noise. She was animalistic in nature and demeanor, and after she was admitted to the children's hospital she entered into an aggressive therapy to try and teach her language and motor skills. This case is brought up in many nature nurture debates, because it begs the question of would Genie’s underdevelopment have existed if she was reared in a normal way, or was her father correct when he judged her as an infant to be mentally retarded. Regardless of if she was no human deserves that kind of treatment no matter their disability.
I honestly think even today she would have received almost the same treatment, as we don’t have much experience with such children, and introducing them into a language and society. We have very few Quasi Experiments to go on, and her case is the main one people look to.
It would unethical to expose children to such circumstances in order to work out a treatment plan, so we will never have much data or a sure fire way of integrating them into society with little long term repercussions.
I saw no real presintism in the video, i mean how could there be, we are as lost now on the subject as we were back then?

After watching the Chris Rock video, I began thinking about different political and social aspects in a different way. Rock covered many topics throughout the video and touched on things such as discrimination, racism, equality, and the evolution of society. He talked about two parallel issues with racisms being a more positive situation of Obama becoming the first African American president and a more negative situation involving the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. The two situations were on complete opposite sides of the spectrum and both addressed the topic of racism. Rock commented that there had been plenty of American Americans before Obama that were more than suitable to become president, but society had not evolved at that time. The election of Obama showed the progress of the society and a hurdle of racism that was overcome. However it seems like with one step forward, there was another step back with the shooting in Ferguson. If the shooting was caused by racism, as many people believe, it shows that the whole of society has not completely overcome the struggles of discrimination and racism.
Rock talked about his own theory of societal progress in the maters of discrimination and racism. He talked about how minorities and women themselves do not need to be influenced to make progress, but they need to influences others in order to change the mindsets of those who are homophobic, sexist, racist, etc. These differences need to be recognized and accepted in order for society to continue to move forward. People need to address the select group of people who continue to discriminate towards other who are different for them and help them to understand and evolve their way of thinking. It does not matter if law after law is put in place to stop discrimination, it will only stop with a change of mindset in the corrupt view of people who believe they are superior. Discrimination was seen in psychology as well. Many women were discriminate against, especially in the earlier years of the field. An evolution of the field as a whole and the mindset of other researchers were the reason for women to be able to break the glass ceiling within psychology.
I also really liked the part of Rock’s talk when he covered how people are more and more concerned about offending other people that society is placing more limits than they are even aware off. This made me think of the ridiculous argument that is happening now about the Starbuck holiday cups. I am not even entirely sure about why people are upset over a coffee cup, but in America apparently it is a pretty significant thing. Forget about all of the countries that are poverty and war stricken, our coffee cups that we will hold for a half-hour tops are a solid red color. I feel that Rock was saying that with people being so self-centered about minimal details causes for the society as a whole to never be able to move forward and evolve into a more positive system. If people would be able to not be offended so easily and take everything so personally, we might be able to address problems more head on and actually work towards solutions instead of side stepping the problems in order to not hurt people’s feelings.
Terminology Used: discrimination, racism, glass ceiling, racists, sexist, homophobic

I looked at the article about Chris Rock for this assignment. This article talked a lot about racism and different inequalities in society. One of the points that Chris Rock brought up was about Obama being president and how so many people say that he is the first black person qualified to be president. Rock talks about how this is absolutely ridiculous to say. Before Obama there were many other black people qualified to be president and it may just have not happened. I think this relates to what we talk about frequently in class about does it really matter who did the research or is it more about what they found. Dr. MacLin often talks about how it is not as important to remember the names as it is to remember how they contributed. Similarly, we discuss how if the person who found something out or contributed a great deal to psychology it is very likely that someone else would have done it. Although up to this point in our readings we have not learned a lot about black people in psychology, I think this can say a lot about psychology and racism that may have been present. A lot of the times we look at what is present in a book or in society rather than looking at what may be missing or absent. I think the fact that after reading 11 chapters of a history of psychology book and seeing little to no black contributions shows just how strong racism may have been and may still be. Going along with this, women are often rarely talked about in psychology history books as well. Mary Calkins is often one woman talked about most prominently in psychology and a few follow suit, such as Dorothea Dix, a woman we read about in chapter 11 that helped reform asylums. Even though there are a few women mentioned, when compared to men in psychology you can see just how lacking women were in this field. Similarly, we also learned how some psychologists did not even want women to participate in their research because they thought they had lower IQ's and were the inferior of the two sexes. Another thing that Rock mentions is typical ethnic group stereotypes or gay stereotypes. Although he does not talk much about homophobia or homosexuality in general, I think that is a topic that can be seen in psychology. It was not talked about too much specifically in our book up to this point, but I know that homosexuality was often seen as a disorder back in the day. Homosexuality was in the DSM as being a mental disorder and there were many treatments for "getting rid" of this in people. I think this can show how much a society can change and develop. Many people used to see homosexuality as a mental condition and something very horrible at that. Now, however, gay marriage is being legalized and is definitely not seen as a mental disorder (by most). I think all of this information shows how racism and discrimination is still a big part of society, even though we have evolved some. Often times people like to act like racism is no longer around since slavery was abolished or homophobia is gone due to laws allowing gay marriage. I think we can clearly see by acts in Ferguson, and other crimes of hate or discrimination, that this is not the case.

Terms: Racism, discrimination, homophobia, Mary Calkins, Dorothea Dix

I looked at the documentary about genie for this weeks attendance points. as far as the presentation goes I feel tat it was more of a historian presentation because it was all in black and white and presented so that we could learn from the story of the girl. as far as nurture versus nature goes it is a bad topic. I say that because e mature is genetics and nurture is the environment. the environment that this little grew up in was horrible and will affect her for the rest of her life. its horrible to think that a person could actually lock a child up like that at all especially with no human contact or communication at all. the other role would be genetics and it will be hard to say how genetics will effect her as time goes on. the little girl could barley walk or talk when she was finally discovered. I also think that the fact that all of these people did all of the studies on her like she was some kind of a freak of nature was ridiculous. I feel like they should have been more worried about her psychologically than worrying about what she could learn to do. that little girl is going to be messed up for the rest of her life because her parents decided that they didn't want to take care of her before she was finally found. the whole situation that was found to be happen to that little girl is ridiculous and disgusting.

Chris Rock’s discussion of politics and minorities really influenced my perception of many things and got me thinking in a way I hadn’t before. Chris talked about the fact that it wasn’t that black people had gotten better, it was actually that white people have grown less ignorant and more accepting. I had never thought about it in this way before and I am really glad I am now. Chris basically said it was foolish of people to even imply, and especially to say, that black people have advanced as if they were the ones who held themselves back all along. It is basically implying that black people have never been smart enough to run for president or be in any executive positions.
I could relate this to as I read in chapter six about women in the education system. In that point of view, it wasn’t that men became more accepting, it was that women were advancing. Educated women were considered a “freak of nature” and abnormal from the rest of the female population. In that line of thought, women were meant to be educated solely in effectively taking care of the home and kids. And in the same chapter Francis Sumner was discussed. He was the first African American to receive his PhD in psychology. He had an incredibly intelligent interpretation of the field and Stanley Hall praised his dissertation, yet he was still limited to only teaching at black colleges. Sumner didn’t hold himself back in the least, he made great advances while teaching at Howard University. He made their psychology department the best in the nation at a black institute.
Another great example of a minority who did not hold themselves back was Eleanor Gibson. She was determined to do what she loved even if many told her she could not. She received her PhD from Yale but she was not allowed to be a professor. She worked as an unpaid research assistant and still continued to get prestigious grants and develop a very well known theory in the field of perception, The Visual Cliff.
Overall there are many more examples proving that Chris Rock is indeed correct. The black community, or any other minority for that matter, did not advance. Rather it is the advancement of kindness, awareness, and understanding of the majority that allows the black community to rise to their full potential.

After watching the Genie documentary, I am nearly at a loss for words. I feel so bad for that child. Regardless of whether she was born mentally retarded or not, no child should be treated that way. One of the things that kind of irritated me the most though after watching this documentary was the extensive amount of testing that some of the psychologists did on her. I realize that this is a break through discovery fro psychology, and this is an opportunity that could be once in a lifetime to try to get answers and results, but at some point they have to notice that Genie is still a human. I don't mean to give a negative report by any means either. I think it is great that so many people wanted to help Genie, and try to get as close as possible to functioning as a normal human being, but doing test after test all the time, and having to switch parents, foster parents, homes, and foster homes all the time does a lot of damage to a kid, and she definitely didn't need any more of that in her life. With that being said, I think it is great how much the psychologists cared for her, and it was excellent to see the kinds of improvements they helped Genie make.

Recalling back to chapter 1 of our history and systems of psychology text book, one of the ways to view the history of psychology is either through a historicist or presentist view. If one is a historicist, that means that they view history by putting themselves in the shoes of the people that lived back in the days of the time period of interest. If one is a presentist, that means that they view history from the viewpoint of how things are in the present. In this documentary, the film makers used both of these approaches. A historicist view was used when they related Genie back to the first known case of when a boy named victor was discovered after having no human contact his whole life. Psychologists were able to look at a lot of the research on Victor, and relate it to some of the ways that Genie was acting. One way the presentism was used by the film makers in the documentary was by all the tests that they ran on Genie in the present. Genie had been neglected the first 10 years of her life, and unfortunately to say didn't need the things that all the other kids her age needed. She didn't need to know how to play with toys, or interact with other people simply because she has never been around it. Psychologists working with her though thought that she needed that interaction, and needed to learn all the things that kids her age should know, because that is how things are suppose to be this day and age. So, presentism was used by trying to get Genie to where society says she needs to be in this day and age.

As far as nature versus nurture, I think this documentary says a lot about nurture. Being in isolation for those first 10 years of her life essentially ruined Genie. The younger years of a child's life is when there brain is the most malleable, and when they pick up on most things. With Genie not being able to experience these things, she is essentially 10 years behind where she is suppose to be. A lot of things are innate, like eating, drinking, communicating in some form, secretion, but many other things that humans need to survive are picked up from our environment, and Genie didn't have that. Not growing up in any sort of environment really messed up Genie's life, and it shows how much we need a balance of both nature and nurture to survive life in a normal manner.

As far as ethics go, I already kind of mentioned it in my first paragraph. I thought the research they did on Genie was good, and something that needed to be done, but I think the researchers took it too far. They used Genie for too many experiments, they never really asked for informed consent, they just did the experiments, and they couldn't have been getting very valid results, because they were using the same tests all the time. I think it was great what they did with Genie, but they treated her more like an animal in some instances, rather than a human being. I believe it was unintentional, and they weren't trying to do so, but they weren't really focused on the well being of Genie, but rather to find out the answers to damage that had already been done.

Attendance Week 12

I watched the video about Genie, and I could not believe what the child had to go through. Even if she was born retarded or not, she shouldn’t have been treated like that, and put in isolation for ten years. I thought for sure after being in isolation, she would have a lot more physical problems other than walking because she was supposed to be growing and maturing as she got older, and I was surprised she wasn’t affected as much with the psychical attributes as much as the mental. I think that it might have been overwhelming for her once out of isolation that so many people were around her. They all wanted to help, and thought that she was really interesting, but I think they could have approached the situation differently.

When it comes to studying history, I think that the documentary provided both a historicism and presentism way. It presented historicism because the researchers tried to put their selves in the shoes of Genie in order to find out more about her. They referred to the case in France about a boy named Victor who was also in isolation for most of his life. They also used presentism by viewing things of the present time period. They ran so many tests of Genie in order to find out how her brain worked and if not she was retarded from birth or not. Both ways, I believe are good ways to study history, but in my opinion for this circumstance, I think presentism would work better in Genie’s case.

As we know, the nature vs. nuture topic is very controversial. But, I believe this film is a prime example of why nuture is important. Nature, if Genie was born retarded, would be a factor, but we don’t know that for sure. What we do see is that because she never socialized with anyone before, she didn’t communicate, that yes, nuture does play a huge role in learning.

I believe that the researchers and doctors around Genie all had good intentions and wanted to help her. But, I think they might have exploited her a little bit, and used her for their own ideas and research. You can see in the documentary that some people cared a lot for her, they became attached and treated her like their own daughter. But everyone probably didn’t feel this way about her, they only wanted to be around her for their own selfish reasons like Butler, who fostered her for a time. Genie should have never been given back to her mother or put in foster care. She needs attention at all times.

I’m not too sure what the article was supposed to bring to light about the oppression of women and minorities and as so I won’t be quoting it much, though I did read it. That being said yes, women and minorities have been appressed in history. Only in recent times have they started to be seen as equals to the “White Men”. Even in psychology’s history they were thought to be inferior or lesser.
Freud for example had coined a theory known as Penis Envy. Basically stating that a woman realizes she doesn’t have a penis in an adolescent stage of development and therefor realizes she can’t possess the power that a man can, because he does have one. Freud was an extreme misogynist, thinking that women are the weaker sex, as was the common thought in his time.
Looking back at everything we have learned so far in class, there is a distinct view of Heteronormativity in psychology as a whole. We try to understand what went wrong with people by comparing them to the “Norm” of societal roles we think they should play. When in fact we should know better as not everyone falls into complementary roles based on their gender. This is coming from a presentist point of view, yes. Psychologists in my opinion, the people who study the human condition, should know better than to generalize toward heteronormativity. Not only in that of gender roles, but in sexuality also. Homosexuality in the past was a diagnosable disorder in the DSM, and was “treated” by electro shock therapy. Later we as psychologist realized the error in this and struck it out of our book of disorders seeing that it was not a disorder, but in fact a true sexuality.

Discrimination has been a huge factor in our history. We screened people trying to migrate to America through Ellis Island with a test made by Henry H. Goddard. Doing so rarely would any of them show an exceedingly high score on them, which added to the false superiority thinking that white people are smarter. These tests were cultural normative, and based on the assumption that the ones level of understanding of English was satisfactory, that one has had the amount of education needed to understand the complex questions on the test, and that they had the proper math skills.
These thoughts of false superiority do not just confine themselves to recent times but are seen across human history. Though I am happy to see that we are finally starting to get passed things such as Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Socioeconomic Status, Disability/Ability, Religion, and anything else that keeps us from seeing one another as equals. We have Interracial Marriage, Gay Marriage, The Americans with Disabilities Act, Black Lives Matter campaign, COEXIST (my personal favorite), Interfaith Churches, One’s social class no longer defines who can be your friend or who you can marry. All of these things are great steps toward uniting society as a whole. Sure there will always be those who for some reason think they are superior. The COEXIST movement “works in communities with a history of conflict to repair the divides caused by prejudice, hate, and violence” As to racial superiority, National Geographic thinks that by 2050 most of the citizens born in America will be a homogeneous mixture of all races, this will be the new average, the new look of an American.
Hopefully by that time we are still on the right track when it comes to acceptance. Sure we have had our fall backs as of late with the shooting of Travon Martin, the unwarranted police brutality across the nation, hate crimes against the LGBTQ* community, the hate that Donald Trump is stirring up in his presidential campaign, among other things. However change does not come easy, there were protests against innocent children when integration in the school system started, there was police brutality with the freedom marches of MLK, and there was the assassination of MLK. But we can’t let that stop the changes for the better that are happening in our society. Sure there may be casualties and tragedies along the way, but out of them we need to find what we are fighting for (be that metaphorically or physically).
It may seem that I was sidetrack away from the history of psychology, but is psychology not “the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context”? As psychologists I think the movements going on around us should be something we focus on to grasp one’s context. As psychologists we have the duty to study the Zeitgeist of the world we live in or are researching. It is an essential part to the human condition, and also a great predictor of what is to come in the near future of Humans.

When I first started reading the interview with Chris Rock, I was kind of confused. They started talking about politics right away, then moved to income inequality, and then all of a sudden talked about people hurting Rock’s career. They just moved from topic to topic so quickly that it was hard to get a good idea of what the interview was about. However, I did think that Rock made some very good points with some of the statements he made about racism, inequality, and not wanting to offend anyone. Chris Rock being a comedian, we know he makes fun of a lot of people or things that are going on in our world today. I found it interesting to hear him talk about things in a “normal” way, he isn’t just an arrogant comedian who doesn’t actually know what’s going on in the world, he was surprisingly (to me anyways) very informed and has some strong opinions about the things going on in our society.
For example, he talked a lot about race and inequality. In our class so far, we’ve talked about women in psychology that were denied PhD’s and other academic and career opportunities because they were women (Chapter 6). We still see some of these problems in our society today whether it’s women, african-americans, homosexuals, or any other minority. Chris Rock is obviously african-american, but it was interesting to hear him talk about being in Biloxi, Mississippi and performing in front of the worst crowd he’s ever been in front of. He talked about how comedians don’t have the opportunity to try out their acts in front of other people before they perform, so they don’t always know how well a certain joke is going to be received. Performing in front of a mostly white crowd in Mississippi, some of his jokes and punchlines that he used did not go over well with the crowd and he said he really didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in the same town over night. This is a great example of how racism is still evident today, and how people still need to be careful of what they say so that they don’t offend too many people. Obviously, someone is always going to be offended so they goal isn’t to offend anybody, just to offend as few people as possible.
A lot of the ideas, theories, and experiments that have been associated with the influential people in psychology that we’ve learned about in this class, are based off ideas or proposals of people that came before them. I think the same could be true for some of the things that Rock talks about in his interview. Without the civil rights or women’s movements, and even something like getting rid of Prohibition, the gay rights movement may not have been something that was even possible. Rock also makes a good point about Obama fixing Bush’s problems when he should have just let everything fall apart so he could be the one to put everything back together. The people and leaders that come before us will always have an influence on our future actions. How we handle situations placed in front of us is what determines whether or not those previous people and actions will have either a positive or negative influence on us.

The interview will Chris Rock was not at all what I expected, I was expecting something more focused about his race, and how it affects everything. I found it really refreshing that it was not the case, he talks about the struggles of being a comedians, and how everything is so politically correct. Which I feel is still a HUGE issue, take for example to newest scandal that’s been all over the media. Is the fact that Starbucks took “Merry Christmas” off their holiday cups. People are outraged and are trying to say Starbucks is waging a war with Christians. Never mind, the current political dilemmas, and the fires in Indonesia. Yes, Americans are pissed off about “Merry Christmas” on their overpriced coffee. The interview talks about how society thinks rich people are smart, and why we vote the way we do. What was going through my mind was Donald Trump, he in my opinion would be a horrible president, yet people disagree. I keep seeing political ads, from Hilary Clinton talking about making women rights better, that there should be equal pay. This is such a huge thing, that is such a huge demographic that she is targeting. I feel that people don’t really pay attention to women’s issues and how they are being treated. People argue that America is not that bad with women’s issue as some other countries, that we here in America our women don’t have to suffer acid attacks. Regardless of the severity, they are still issues that need to be addressed. Relating this back to our readings, look at Mary Whiton Calkins, she was one of the few women, who did not care about discrimination. That she received for trying to get a higher education; she still choose to push past all that and try. She is probably one of the most cases in psychology. She even studied under William James, it did not matter to Harvard. During her time, it was much frowned a pun for women to seek a higher education. They were stuck with this idea of a women’s sphere. Meaning that women were socialized to believe that they were created for the purpose of making and maintaining a family. It was even said that if a women were to do earn a higher education that she would have adverse medical consequences. One Harvard student said that if women learn too much during puberty it would stunt their reproductive organs. That is so crazy! Not only that there was this concept of variability hypothesis, that men were more intelligent than women. That men are the superior gender in the species therefore that the trait of intelligence was passed down to them. Looking at this in a presentism way, we know now as a society that men and women remember things differently but it does not necessarily mean, that one gender is fully superior. Looking at today’s society and the whole wave of feminism, how people understand it differently and portray it differently. People argue that if it’s for equal rights then why it has the word ‘feminine’ in the name. It’s called feminism, because both genders need to learn and accept that, having feminine traits is not a horrible thing. I honestly could go on and on about all the issues that still happen today, that even in today’s world. Women have a hard time getting the credited they deserve.

Terms: Mary Calkins, Women’s sphere, new psychology, variability hypothesis, William James

After watching the Genie documentary I am very intrigued on the subject. Before watching the documentary all I knew about Genie’s study is that she was locked away in isolation for many years and that psychologist’s goal was to see if nurture played a pivotal role in development in people. Somethings that surprised me was the fact that individuals took the liberty to become her foster parents. The one situation where the woman wanted to be the foster parent to Genie is something that I understand. She believed that she was protecting Genie because she felt the psychologists were running to many studies on her and took the science aspect over the care of her. I also did not realize that there was a law suit from Genie’s biological mother against the team that worked with Genie. She felt that the scientist over tested Genie and lost sight of caring for her. Watching the documentary I can see where she is coming from but I can also see the importance of a situation like this from a scientific stand point. One of the psychologists pointed out that if psychologists main objective is to better science and discover new information than the focus on care of Genie will become second. I think one thing that needs to occur, no matter how important the situation or opportunity, that if the focus of the study is on an individual that care needs to be main focus. This falls into guidelines of current APA in which ethics is the main focus and that means that no harm should come to the subject(s) and that the research done must show a benefit to the public. For myself to make more educational decision on who was more in the right, I would need to look into more information that just the facts presented in the documentary.
At the beginning of the semester we went over chapter 1 in the book which discussed different ways at studying history. This film does just that, it takes a look back at a very significant point in history for psychology. Although there are many different perspectives to which we can study history I think the one that fits this documentary best is the historicism perspective. Historicism perspective is looking at history and tries to understand events with the terms and knowledge of the period. I believe that this perspective is the best way to describe the documentary by the way the presented the information. They used past tense the majority of the time and never really reference what we know now and apply it to the situation at the time. They describe that at the time they did not know about development and language pathology and that they recognized that Genie was a significant opportunity to study this and great opportunity to make a point to the nature vs nurture debate.
One big issue that this documentary hits on is the nature vs. nurture debate. Once news of who Genie was and her circumstance, psychologists jumped on the chance to meet her and study her so see if nurture plays a large part in the development of an individual. Since Genie was isolated for the very important developmental years of her life she was unable to experience the same situations and stimuli that children who are not isolated would. One debate that psychologist have with this is if Genie was born mentally retarded. This would contaminate data that psychologists found to backup that development for people is more nurture. If mental retardation was the case for Genie, then developmental would already be hindered despite if the child was brought up in a normal environment. If this is not the case, then this instance would be the staple for the point that nurture is a crucial part to the development of an individual.
When studying an individual for scientific purposes, those scientists must follow very strict ethical guidelines. However, these guidelines have become stricter in the recent years and the ones that scientists follow today are not the exact ones that the scientists followed during the Genie study. An ethical issue that came up during the documentary was when they discussed the law suit. Genie’s mother sued the team that did the research accusing them that they did not care for Genie and put studying first as their priority. This runs into ethical issues because the first priority for scientists is the wellbeing of the subject(s). In the Genie case, the scientists were accused of not putting Genie’s care first which would be one of the most unethical things that they could do.

After watching the video please discuss your overall impression of the documentary. Recall back to chapter one about the different approaches to studying history (i.e., Presentism v Historicism, and the others) and discuss what approaches the film makes took in presenting this historical piece. Discuss the issues regarding nature v nurture. Discuss the ethical issues surrounding the research examining Genie.
I thought the documentary was powerful. I had never heard of this case with the child not being able to experience things until later in life. I have heard of other cases where the children were in a different country and they were in foster care and treated like that. I think the fact that this happened in America had a big impact on me. I thought it was interesting to see how the research team handled the situation. I think that at first they handled it in the correct way getting her help at the hospital. I think that they needed to do that to see how she would react to people. I think that as it went on they did do a lot of experiments and tests on her and didn’t really let her be a child and do things of that nature. On the other hand you can make the case that she had to learn things before she could be a child and experience what children experience. I would be interested to know if she was retarded at birth or if she became retarded from isolation.
I think the film takes a few different approaches to presenting this piece of history. They used the Great man theory to describe some of the researchers in gene’s case but they used it for sure in the case of victor. I think that overall they used a historicism approach to the documentary. They try to make you understand what was happening at this period of time and why the scientists were doing what they were doing.
This study brings about the case of nature vs. nurture. In gene’s case her nature and nurture were horrible and she was beaten for making sounds. That led her to not talk and be mute. Her being isolated from society also affected her mental development. The research team improved both her nature and nurture so it is hard to say which one had the bigger impact on helping her to be better. At the end of the documentary they said that gene was in foster homes and at one of them the parents beat her for vomiting. She then returned to the children’s hospital and refused to open her mouth or make sounds for the fear of it happening again. I think that this shows that the nurture that you receive can affect the progress that you make. If you experience something that happened in the past you are likely to revert back to the behavior that helped you survive the situation. I still think that because both the nature and nurture are changed at the same time it is hard to say that one is more important than the other. I think that they both are equally important. To see which is more important you would have toi conduct a study where you have one good nature and a bad nurture and one with a good nurture and a bad nature and one with good nature and nurture and see how that affects the person. Because it isn’t ethical to do that to a person we will never know which one is more important.
I think that there are a ton of ethical issues surrounding the case of gene. First off she was a subject of some horrific treatment. She needed to be taken out of the house and to receive some sort of treatment. I think that the team started off right trying to help her to develop skills that normal people have. Where they cross the line is when researchers are having her live with them and they are doing experiments in the home with her. I think they should have only done experiments in the lab and let her do what she wants when she is at home. Another unethical thing that resulted from the researchers taking her home was them abandoning her when the money stopped coming in. If you aren’t going to care for her long time and you are only doing it for the money then don’t do it. It is unethical to make money off of a child because they live with you and you do experiments on them in the home. It is also unethical of the company that stopped funding them because they didn’t do enough research. I think that they did a ton of research the results just weren’t what the company wanted to see.

I decided to watch the video on Genie and Victor. I found Genie’s case quite interesting and quite sad. My primary thought toward the beginning of the video was that Genie missed dire points in her early development period. The video attempts to understand the whereabouts of language and communication of those times. I also saw that she had animal instincts to which I was curious that they might be innate in nature. I learned a lot of things about Genie’s case. I didn’t really know anything about her, so getting all of the details about the case was a good experience for me. Her case was very sad, but it was also a good research opportunity for psychologists. Scientists and researchers questioned whether she was born with pre-existing intellectual disabilities or if it was the environment which delayed their cognitive abilities.
As I was watching the video, I tried to understand how they were using the different ways to study history which was difficult because they used a lot of forms of study. Everybody had questions and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to study such a rare case. The video used both presentism and historicism. Most of the video was historicism. They gave a lot of details about what was going on at the time. Each researcher gave their view about what they were doing with their research on Genie, but also talked about how they felt about it at the time. Towards the end of the video, the view point changes to more of a presentism point of view. It was no longer about the facts of the case but focused more on what was done wrong or what could have been done differently. Genie’s condition was analyzed mostly from a psychological standpoint, but also included some of what had happened to her physically.
Nature and nurture was something that was brought up quite a number of times in this documentary. There was a lot of debate between the researchers on this issue. Some thought that Genie was the way she was because she was socially isolated for most of the beginning of her life. Other researchers thought that she was mentally retarded at birth, and that’s why her father isolated her. I believe that most of the researchers did eventually agree that language is influenced both by nature and nurture. The fact that Genie could learn vocabulary but not put full sentences together suggested that people have a critical period for language. This period must be early in life, and Genie missed it. This would be the nature side of language development. The nurture side is proven because Genie did learn some words over time. If she wouldn’t have been able to learn words at all, then it would have shown that language is completely nature. If Genie would have been entirely able to speak language, sentences and all, it would have suggested that language is completely nurture. Scientists and researchers questioned whether she was born with pre-existing intellectual disabilities or if it was in fact their environment which delayed their cognitive abilities.
At the end of this documentary, the ethical issues about the study were discussed. It claim was that the researchers cared more about doing experiments with Genie than they cared about her as a human being. I think that the researchers were as ethical as they could at the time. They used the best technologies, the best professionals in their field, and the best techniques at the time. If I were a researcher who got a hold of such a rare case like this, I would want find all the answers I could too. It’s tough to criticize when I have not been put in this situation and when I can understand why they did what they did. They didn’t have very many cases to look back on and reference to on how to handle the situation. Also it not that the scientist were looking to get famous but that the case was on that was rare and attracted attention. How was she given back to her mother or was her mother even allowed to have a say in what should happen to Genie when she allowed the abuse and neglect to go on for as long as it did. She ended up being shuffled around foster homes where she again began to experience abuse and neglect. She went back to non-verbal communication and is now live in a home for intellectual disabled adults.

Terms and Terminology: historicism, psychological, presentism, physically, internal history, nature, and nurture.

Week #12 Attendance Assignment

This week I decided to read the interview between the comedian Chris Rock and Frank Rich. They touched base on many controversial topics such as racism and sexism and where they think we stand in today’s society. Looking back at what we have learned in this class, I’d say we have in fact come a very long way but we are not where we need to be. In the textbook, I can remember reading a section which said a Harvard professor published a study which concluded women should not be educated because it takes the energy from their reproductive systems. The sad thing is, people back then believed it. It kept woman in an oppressive state, not wanting to succeed due to the threat of miscarriage or unable to have a baby all together. Now we high rates of women who attend college and are highly educated, and reproductive. The two do not go hand in hand. But sexism is still alive. A gap in pay between genders completing the exact same jobs is outrageous. Some women have stood up to speak out against this, even some men. The first woman to pop into my mind is Jennifer Lawrence, a well-known actress. She has refused to act under some film companies due to the lack of equal pay between male and female directors. I think she has a right to make a fuss. It is the year 2015. Another topic is the topic of racism. I’ve heard countless people say America isn’t racism, we have a black President. The interview between Chris Rock and Frank Rich also talk about Barack Obama. They also spoke on the topic of gay marriage, which since the article has been posted, has been passed as legal by the Federal Supreme Court. The biggest thing in this day in age, everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to it. With the boom of social media accounts and unlimited access to internet, it is possible to hear the opinions of nearly every single person in the whole entire world (obviously the one with internet at least). It’s like we are all shouting our opinions without listening. Nothing can be solved without understanding. As a comedian, I would find it difficult, just as Chris Rock has said, to try not to offend anyone with the jokes he says. I think it is great people stand up for what they believe in. And I do think some jokes are completely not funny. If the only time someone is exposed to a certain topic is in the form of a joke, that’s a problem. For example, a lot of people make jokes about women. Usually degrading. But what they don’t realize is there is some truth behind it. And if you only see it as a joke, you will never take the topic at hand seriously. Women’s issues are not jokes. Same as the discrimination and racism minorities experience daily. Same goes for those who identify as gay or lesbian. I think we live in a time where we are attempting to break these barriers of oppression and that is why people are so offended by it. We are all trying so hard to get somewhere but we are not seeing the change.

I chose to do this assignment over the Wild Child story that features Genie’s behaviors. I think nature vs. nurture is very evident here. She missed points in development at an early age as well as having different animal behaviors and instincts. It proved that Genie needed to have some sort of interaction with the real world in order to understand and make sense of everything. I think we learned from this in both a presentism and historicism state. We see how the narration goes from letting us see what is actually happening as well as them talking about different mistakes made. I feel like this documentary is very useful. At the end of the video, we see the ethical issues involved with this study. The one that I found the most disturbing is how the researchers treated Genie. She was treated as an experiment and not as a human. They should have given her reasonable respect. The researchers claimed that by showing care towards Genie, that it would in turn compromise the outcome of the study. It points out clear takes on societal issues compared to how Genie was raised. I did not however agree that this was fair to Genie. It is in a way humiliating and she has much room for improvement.

I decided to read the interview with Chris Rock. It kind of took me by surprise. I thought that the article was going to be focused more on race or women’s rights. It seemed to me that it was more about the struggles comedians have with being politically correct and how far they can go with jokes that have to do with race. He did talk more about race and minority issues towards the end though. The one thing that really stood out to me were his comments about how much life has changed for minorities even in just the last 20 years. I really liked what he said about how it’s not about how far minorities have come, its more about how far white people have come since then. That was something I had never really thought about before and it really made sense. I liked that he thought that the people who are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. are the ones who need to change, not the people who are being discriminated against.

Many of the things that Chris Rock talked about in this interview can be related to the conversations we have had about race and minorities in class as well as the reading from the textbook. Chapter 6 in the book had a good section about how women in the past were denied the same opportunities as men. This can be seen in today’s society as well. There are jobs where men and women are doing the exact same thing, but the men get paid more. There is also a lot of racial discrimination that goes on in today’s society. You see examples of it on the news almost every day. I’ve especially noticed it in situations that involve cops. It seems like stories that involve a white person doing something bad to a black person always make the news, but if the races are reversed then we don’t hear much about them.

The discussion about political correctness can also be applied to today’s society. It seems like no one can say anything without someone getting offended by it. I especially see this on social media. Someone will post something, and someone else always finds something that might be wrong with it. It’s like we need to make sure we word everything we say or post in just the right way to make sure that we don’t offend anyone. In my opinion, in most cases that I’ve seen on social media, there was nothing to be offended by in the first place. Some people just like to twist words around so that it sounds like there is actually something to be upset about. The example that I’ve been seeing lately are the Starbucks holiday cups. Apparently, they usually have some sort of holiday decorations on them, like snowflakes, snowmen, etc. This year, they are a solid red color. That offended some people because taking away the decorations meant that Starbucks didn’t support Christmas. If they don’t support Christmas, then they don’t support Christianity or God (even though snowflakes and snowmen don’t symbolize Christmas or God in any way, they symbolize winter. I just think that the whole thing is ridiculous and that people get offended over the smallest things. Those small things can get made in to a big deal very quickly, and I think that is what Chris Rock was trying to get at in his interview.
Terms: race, women’s rights, political correctness, minority, discrimination

I watch the Genie documentary and every time I hear this story I learn something knew and it always amazes me how terrible she was treated. Genie was treated like a piece of garbage. Genies father was very domineering and treated genie like she had an intellectual disability when she was a baby and that is why he treated her the way he did. But that doesn’t explain why he treated the rest of the family with disrespect and regardless if she did have ID or not no one should ever be treated this way. This video uses both historicism and presentism. They viewed the story in the shoes of Genie and the family back in the time it occurred and used the knowledge of presentism to talk and discuss about Genie. They look at the lives of Genie and Victor in there shoes as historicist. They analyze both of the children as presentist. In regards to nature vs. nurture, I think nurture is very, very important in the development and the growth of a child. Genie had very minimal nurture and other animals nurtured Victor and he showed more development than Genie. Nurture is vary important in a young child to make sure there brain is developing in appropriate ways since the young years of a child’s life a said to be some of the most important years in development. This is when a child learns most tasks that come with modeling and teaching, such as speaking or using the bathroom. When a child is treated the way Genie was treated it depletes development and makes her show resistance in development later when she is trying to be taught and helped. Nature is key also in development because a lot of times children learn right from wrong and new words and how to behave out in the environment with other people around to watch and model from. Learning how to eat and drink appropriately also comes with nature and that is very important in life and development. The people that did the research and the documentary had very intentions when covering this case but I also think there are some major ethical controversies behind this case. I think they were doing the right thing in terms of studying for the science behind the case but I don’t think all the extra documentaries and some of the testing done just seemed more along the lines of trying to publicize the story instead of the wellbeing of the little girl that had already suffered enough in her life. I think they should have take the case at the developmental pace of Genie instead of being so concerned about the research if they would have taken it slower they maybe would have gotten more out of the entire situation. I don’t think it was right that they didn’t find somebody to take care of Genie and become a parental figure for her and deemed it to be so bad that researchers were getting to attached to her. Maybe that is was she needed a person that could constantly help her develop in every situation at all times.

The Chris Rock interview was interesting. I’m not really familiar with who is he really. The main issues that are discussed are race and discrimination with women. For the most part it’s just race. The only chapter that I can really relate this article to, is Chapter six. During the 19th century the focus was on educating middle and upper class white men. Women and minorities weren’t equal to them and therefore did not receive the same privileges as white men. Women were to be regarded as the caregivers and caretakers. Further education past high school was detrimental or harmful for women, they should be focusing on getting married and baring children. Women were not as smart as men, it just wasn’t possible. This began changing in the second half of the 19th century, women were now becoming college students, although it was based on what was appropriate for women. African Americans were even worse off than women. They were believed to be completely inferior to white people. This gave way to struggles in getting higher education, and when they did get higher education, graduate school was rare, and jobs even rarer. We have come a long way in the last 50-100 years. Things aren’t the same but we still face those issues today at a much smaller scaler, but nevertheless it’s still there. Chris worries everyday about his children getting picked on in a mostly white school. These things don’t just stop happening. Race is something we learn about in textbooks but it’s still in the present. It’s interesting that Rock said, “To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.” He makes a really good point by this. It’s about looking and reflecting on what happened in the past, why it was that way, how it became that way. I think it’s for the same reason we study history. Rock briefly discusses sexism. He believes we should have a woman president. I think it’s because we, even our kids, the younger generation to see woman in high positions of power. It’s not about finally having a woman president, it should be about having a president that happened to be a woman. It is like Rock discussed, it’s not women progress or anything. It is like saying women deserved to be suppressed in the past.

This week I decided to look into the interview with Chris Rock and Frank Rich. The interview covered a wide variety of topics from President Obama, racism to sexism. The issue of gay rights was briefly discussed as just yet another way that people have been discriminated against, and just like with racism, and sexism the issue will soon become a problem of the past. Those three hot button topics however have an interesting relationship to psychology. For racism it is theorized to stem from our primitive days where another clan, who would often look different from our own, would be a warning sign to avoid these potentially dangerous individuals and is where the us Vs. them sentiments of racism come from. This theory by no means validates racism or gives it any worth, and is just a theory, but just for the sake of conversation; let's look into how archaic racism is. There obviously is no longer a need to maintain a closed off community with in a certain group. There are several videos or images that become popular from time to time of young children of different races engaging with each other in play or meeting for the first time. There is no fear, or hatred between the children, which disputes this earlier theory and poses a new one that racism is a learned behavior, nurture, and not cause by innate characteristics, nature. Sexism is another hot topic in our society. Much of what is brought up today is the unequal pay between women and men. While this issue is still an important one, women have come a long way in the last 100 years. Sexism is another characteristic that has its roots and our long ago past where men needed to protect the women for the sole sake of reproduction and childcare. This norm has only changed recently in comparison to how long evolutionary characteristics take to occur, but bio psychologist would say we are simply acting out our natural instincts to survive and pass on our genes. But that raises an entirely different dilemma, are we just slaves to our biology or are we capable of making decisions on our. The movements being made to lessen the gap between men and women seem to lean toward the latter. Racism and sexism seem to be leftover traits from a distant time that holds no beneficiary purposes in our current time. While there is still and will continue to be work done on improving both of these issues, it is important to understand the history of these issues in order for our society to learn from our mistakes, understand them, and use them as a tool and stepping stool to change our understanding of who we are, how we came to be, and what we can do to change for the betterment of all.

Attendance week 12

I choose to read the interview with Chris Rock for this assignment. I think one of the most interesting points that Rock makes in this interview is that the reason there is a black president is because white people have become more open minded. He said that Obama is not the first African-American who is smart or worthy enough to be president but it is the fact that the white people are more open minded and accepting. He also talks about dropping his kids off at school, which is made up of mainly white students and he drills his kids with questions when they get home like “did anything happen, did they say anything to you,” and they look at him like he is crazy but this shows that he grew up in a point in time when racism happened to him or people he knew every day.

I relate Rocks interview with the hardships that women and minorities faced when trying to get an education. White men thought that women and minorities shouldn’t get an education because women were too emotional and African-Americans would get crazy ideas about freedom into their heads. They also thought both groups didn’t have the capacity to learn. I think one of the best examples of a white man being open to change was when G. Stanley Hall would let minorities, in this case Francis Sumner, do studies with him. Sumner was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. After that, Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark also got masters degrees and did an important study with dolls that showed the adverse effects segregation had on the self-esteem of black children. So Sumner, Kenneth Clark, and Mamie Phipps Clark were probably not the first African-Americans who were able to get a higher education, but Hall was one of the first people to be open minded enough to give minorities a chance at getting masters degrees.

I also relate this to the women who were trying to get an education and ended up doing great things too. Mary Calkins did important research under Munsterberg’s direction and at that point in time, it was almost unheard of that a woman could study at a collegiate level even though she wasn’t technically in some of the classes. This proves Rock’s point even more because women and minorities have always had the capability to be smart but it is just the fact that there needed to be more open mindedness before they were able to get access to good education. I still think we have a long way to go though. The fact that women still work for lower wages than men do for the same amount and type of work blows my mind. How is that acceptable in this day and age with how politically correct everything has to be? Why is that not an automatic change, clearly women have proved themselves. Do I think things will ever be perfect? No, there is always room for improvement but with the racism and sexism issues still at the forefront of main stream media and current everyday issues, how far have we really come from the days where women and minorities couldn’t get an education? Pretty far, but have we really learned anything from history?

This time around I decided to read the Chris Rock interview. When I first clicked on it, I had no idea what the article was actually going to be about. I didn't expect everything that was discussed. And I especially didn't expect a lot of those thoughtful responses from Chris Rock either.
The interview itself was a bit confusing and all over the place and not just about sexism and racism in America, but also a lot about politics and a career as a comedian. The issues discussed by Chris Rock and the interviewer were actually pretty interesting and more knowledgeable than you would anticipate from a comedian.
Even though the interview was long, there were a few topics that kept me engaged and got me thinking as well. While Chris Rock is a minority himself, the racial controversy wasn’t the only item talked about. A part of the conversation was about politics, and more specifically about presidents and how they should lead the country. For a comedian, Chris Rock sure does seem to know a lot about running a country. and how their actions will influence the rest of their term in office. Instead of right away trying to fix the mess that the last president left over, they should let things keep falling apart because otherwise people will only see you as a leader who was only able to go downhill from the beginning.
But since the main reason for reading the article was to see about minorities and how inequality has not only affected but changed from earlier years. In our book for this class, we learned about how women treated and thought of in psychology. Many of the theories we’ve learned about, especially the Freudian theory, has been very sexist, and put down women. However, further on in the book, we see women become more influential and have more of a voice in the psychology field.
Another interesting discussion about minorities is the racism that has been in our country. Being that Chris Rock is black, there were questions about what he thinks of the issues such as Ferguson. His views on that controversy and saying that he would want to look at the views from the white perspective was an interesting one. Chris also talking about his daughters and how their views have changed from when he was growing up. Overall, the Chris Rock interview was really interesting and I enjoyed his answers because of how thought-provoking they were.

I thought that the video about the “wild child” Genie was fascinating while at the same time extremely tragic. I had never heard this story, but I was completely appalled at the fact that anyone could keep a child in isolation for such a long time. Given the effects I know about solitary confinement, this is probably the worst form of child abuse I have ever encountered. The discovery of Genie who had been kept in isolation for so long intrigued the scientific community, and I think it also raised concerns about
ethics in conducting research on human subjects.

In terms of scientific discoveries, there is much to be said for the case study. These isolated incidents, such as the isolation of a child for 13 years, can offer unprecedented knowledge to the field of science. In terms of Genie, she proved that although we may be born with an innate ability for intelligence and language, the brain must be nurtured in its early years in order to make use of its capabilities. Unfortunately for Genie, she did not receive the love and care she needed to develop even the most basic of skills let alone something as complex as the English language. I think Darwin would have been incredibly interested in genie as evolution indicates we originate from a more primitive species. Thus, humans as we know them must somehow differ. It is in cultivating our brains that we are able to reason and learn beyond that of a more primitive animal, yet as we see in the case of Genie, when the mind is not engaged at a young age, even humans resort to the more “savage” nature of other species. For example, Genie spit and clawed and made noises much as an animal would. Although Genie’s case served as evidence for the critical period, I was surprised by how much she was still able to learn. Even though she lacked the more complex uses of language, she was able to memorize words and use sign language to indicate what she was thinking, feeling, or in need of. Thus, I think that Genie represents the importance of nurture in the nature-nurture debate. We may be born with certain capacities, but it is the environment we are born into which brings these abilities out of us. Without that environment, humans like Genie fail to fulfill their potential.

The case of Genie or the other child mentioned in this video, Victor, brings up a whole other issue associated with the study of rare cases: ethics. I felt like this video took a rather presentist view of the situation because in hindsight we are aware of the changes that should be made were another child like this to arise. However, I think at the time the scientists were only acting on what they knew. They were trying to give Genie nurturing environment. They were concerned about her ability to connect with others and become a functioning human being while at the same time they recognized the massive amount of knowledge which could be gained from her. Did they go too far? In my opinion, I think they did. I understand the hype surrounding her discovery and the rare opportunities available in gathering research on Genie. However, I think that much could have been gained by simply placing her in a loving home, one which nurtured her (and her mind), and observing what happened. I don’t think the researchers took into account the trauma she had endured before jumping into their research; they were just excited to start their studies. Had they placed Genie in a foster home, however, she would have been treated like an infant and raised accordingly. Thus, the parents would have introduced language and other skills at a steady pace. She would have had a more constant environment and observations still could have been made regarding language acquisition and social skills as anyone can observe a young child as they move through the stages from infancy to adulthood. Instead, I think that the researchers sort of forced many things on Genie in an effort to learn a lot in a short amount of time. The constant testing was unnecessary. They didn’t allow her to just be the child she was. But again, I am looking at this from the present. My hope would be that if the same sort of situation arose today, we would learn from the mistakes made in the past with the cases of Victor and Genie. There is a fine line between capitalizing on research to be gained from rare cases and protecting the right of an individual to as natural a life as possible.

I watched the documentary, "Genie (Secret of the Wild Child)." I had never heard about this story prior to watching this video. It described the discovery of a 13-year-old girl who was being kept in solidarity for the majority of her life. As a result of living in solidarity, Genie was non-verbal, barely able to walk, and described as a wild child. She did not know how to function in society.

Immediately, several people showed an interest in Genie, psychologists, psychiatrists, and those involved in early childhood development. Two of the biggest interests were determining if Genie was capable of learning language and if she was mentally retarded from birth or as a result of being isolated. In order to answer these questions, several psychologists completed several tests on Genie. As a result of the testing, Genie was able to learn to speak, use sign language, improve communication, and show signs of learning growth in general. It could was argued that the testing was overdone and not to the benefit of Genie. In my opinion, the testing was beneficial to Genie to an extent. There seems to be evidence of too much testing and unauthorized testing. There also seems to be evidence of improvement in Genie's life during the period of testing.

Genie's case was often compared to Victor's case. Victor was a wild child discovered about 200 years prior to the discovery of Genie. A documentary was released near the time of the discovery of Genie and scientist used the documentary to compare, learn from, and possibly avoid making similar mistakes. Unfortunately, I feel they did make similar mistakes. They focused on testing for the benefit of science, not on the well-being and success of Genie's life.

In the study of both Victor and Genie, the question of nature vs. nurture is apparent. This is really what they were studying when they tried to determine if Genie was retarded at birth or due to the isolation. Based on a sleep scan, some believed Genie was retarded at birth, nature. Based on Genie's consistent growth each year, some believed Genie was retarded due to the isolation, nurture. My personal opinion is that it is combination. The testing is arguably unreliable and the sleep scan did show abnormality, consistent with retardation. One portion of the documentary mentioned the father's belief that Genie was retarded and that is why he isolated her. Considering this, I believe Genie was probably on the spectrum of mental retardation at birth (nature), but the isolation made the situation worse (nurture).

I think if we look at both cases, we can learn from this history and apply to the future. Obviously, if more cases like these were to arise, we should focus on the well-being of the child, not the potential scientific benefit. These cases can also support the need for strong special education programs in schools. Genie's case proves that mentally disabled children can still learn, communicate, and potentially have successful lives in society with the right direction and nurturing. For these reasons, I found "Genie" very interesting.

In his interview with Frank Rich, Chris Rock talks about topics that range from Obama to Ferguson to racism in the US. When I started this I didn’t expect the topics to be so varied. The interview was all over the place and they never stayed on a topic for very long. However, underlying much of the interview was the idea of racism in the US. At one point Rock said that “progress for blacks” should rather be labeled “progress for whites”, because “progress for blacks” indicate that they deserved what happened to them in the past. I thought that this part really stood out because I had never really thought about it that way. He then talked about how his daughters weren’t better off because they were smarter than previous black children, because there have always been smart blacks. Instead they were better off because they are growing up in a time of nicer white people.

When I was trying to think of a way to tie this article in with the book, I thought of Chapter 6 when the author of our book brought up education of women and minorities in the 19th century. In this time the belief that whites were superior to blacks was so strong that it would affect the way research was carried out, and the interpretation of this research was skewed completely. After the Civil War, education for blacks didn’t improve by much. They still were segregated from the whites and this segregation led to poorer schools for blacks and many of the colleges only taught blacks how to be teachers. Even if they did graduate, there were many less chances for blacks to become employed. This translates back to the article because Chris Rock talks about how black people are underrepresented in the top spots in his industry. He gives an example of a Bill Murray movie where he’s stuck in Japan, and compares that to how he feels everyday.

While reading the interview it seems that everything is painted in a negative light. However Chris Rock does seem to have more hope to the future. He says that racism isn’t going away, however it does seem to lessen as the generations go on. Usually, people who are older than 30 didn’t change their minds when Obama became president. However, kids who are growing up, they change their minds and are open to many more possibilities. We can see this in our history, as generations go on times change. We also know that it takes time to change things, and that race is an issue that we have been working on for quite some time now. It’s not something that we can change in a few years, but it is something that we can work on and create a better world for the next generation.

After reading the Chris Rock interview, it made me think of what I read in the textbook about minorities. For instance, Mamie Phipps Clark was a psychologist who was an African American woman that wanted to receive a doctorate in psychology. Being a woman made her a minority, and the cherry on top that made it even more difficult for her at the time was that she was African American. When she was in graduate school, her faculty advisor was a man that believed in segregation. Mamie was persistent and would not get defeated so she finished her degree. I found it interesting in his interview that he actually would state that his own race is not progressing, but white people are. I think that Mamie shows that there are some who do progress. Another example is Kenneth Clark, his work was essential in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. In the famous “Doll Study,” he studied the responses of more than 200 black children who had a choice of white or brown dolls. His findings showed that children prefer white dolls from as early as three years old. He concluded segregation was psychologically damaging which played a role in the Supreme Court decision in outlawing segregation. Additionally he was the first black president of the American Psychological Association. I would say that he was very progressive! Those are just two of many who progress that were minorities that contributed to psychology. Some others were Francis Sumner, Inez Prosser, Robert Lee Williams, and Albert Beckham. What caught my attention as well in the interview is when Rock stated, “But we had Bush for eight years. They saw what that was. Apparently a lot of people want to go back to that. A lot of people think rich people are smart.” It made me think of eugenics and how Galton would agree with Rock that a lot of rich people are smart, since he is one of those believers. Galton believes that white males who are of the upper class are more intelligent and those who are should repopulate. While reading the interview I also started to think of how a lot of the famous psychologists in Germany had to flee due to racism and discrimination of the Nazis. Some of these famous Jewish psychologists were Joseph Wolpe, Hugo Munsterberg, Kurt Lewin, and John Gottman. In a way, it was a great thing that these men contributed to American psychology and proved that it is practical. For example, Hugo Munsterberg was an industrial psychologist who applied his methods to business. Another example is Kurt Lewin, he was known as a modern pioneer of social, organizational, and applied psychology in America and luckily escaped Hitler in Germany. All these people progressed, and overcame discrimination even though they were a minority. Even the white intelligent males were discriminated against, it does not matter what color a person is. I do think that after each generation there is less and less discrimination, but I do fear it will become a gateway for some insane ideals, like allowing bestiality, polygamy, making gay marriage legal in every single state, etc. I am happy when he said that all his daughters who mainly go to school with white kids like never get treated differently, and I think that most of this country is becoming color-blind. There is hope, but I think it will never change every single person’s beliefs of how to treat minorities better.
Terms- Galton, eugenics, Mamie Phipps Clark, Kenneth Clark, Francis Sumner, Inez Prosser, Robert Lee Williams, and Albert Beckham, Joseph Wolpe, Hugo Munsterberg, Kurt Lewin, John Gottman.

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