Analysis of The Genie’s Case Study

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 533 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

Words: 533|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

The case of the feral child, Genie, allowed for extensive research into human development, language, and intelligence. Genie was an interesting case study. She was observed, interviewed, and tested but her case was such a rare experience. Genie’s story was super unique and was an example of an extreme. So her case didn’t give much intel for the average child.

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When Genie was found, she was about 12 years old but she had the mental age of a baby. When Genie was working with her doctors and having constant lessons and testings, Genie managed to increase her mental age 1 year every year her chronological age increased.

Dr. Chomsky theorized that the principles of language are in our genes, everyone is born with a language acquisition device. Dr. Lindenberg agreed but he noted that there is a deadline for applying the language calling it the critical period. Having a critical period made it harder for Genie to be able to learn language, especially since her chronological age was passed the critical period deadline.

Attachment is key in acquiring language and other learning. A deep and enduring emotional bond connecting one person to another is necessary in forming trust. IN Genie’s case, she had never had true attachment with her parents. When she was found and she was under research, she had been meeting so many new people. Having doctors, and psychologists, and foster parents, it was hard for Genie to have strong attachment with anyone specific. Riglers had stepped in to become her caregivers, counselors, and researchers. This created blurred lines in Genies research because they were creating attachments.

Genie had been making quite a bit of process in her testings. Robert Sternberg created the idea of the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence, creative intelligence, practical intelligence, and analytical intelligence. Throughout her learning experience Genie developed analytical intelligence. She made major progress through her vocabulary, and even was excited to learn more. Genie would apply the vocabulary she had learn to everything around her and was able to use her language skills to describe past events. This showed such progress that she could talk about a time where she didn’t have language.

She even showed progress with her motor cortex. When they had first found Genie, she could not walk. When she stood up she was hunched over in a ball from being stuck in a crib all day. As time went on she learned how to walk and talk. When learning the words jump or march she would practice the action along with it. Her progress was amazing by being able to associate actions with her words.

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Genie made so much progress over the years from when she started. But after a while she had reached the peak of her learning and stopped improving. The National Institute of Mental Health ended funding for Genie’s treatment and she was sent into different care. One day in her care Genie was punished for vomiting. When this happened she regressed back into how she was before and stopped talking. She was so ashamed of vomiting that she kept her mouth shut and would never vomit again.

Works Cited

  1. Curtiss, S. (1977). Genie: A psycholinguistic study of a modern-day “wild child.” Academic Press.
  2. Lenneberg, E. H. (1967). The critical period for language acquisition and its possible bases. In C. C. Gauger (Ed.), Language acquisition and the development of the child (pp. 63-86). Harvard University Press.
  3. Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. William Morrow Paperbacks.
  4. Rutter, M. (1981). Maternal deprivation, 1972-1978: New findings, new concepts, new approaches. Child Development, 52(1), 1-14.
  5. Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence. Cambridge University Press.
  6. Thompson, R. A. (2000). The legacy of early attachments. Child Development, 71(1), 145-152.
  7. van der Horst, F. C. P., & van der Veer, R. (2008). Long-term effects of early-childhood deprivation on adult attachment: A longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 796-806.
  8. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Harvard University Press.
  9. Waters, E., Merrick, S., Treboux, D., Crowell, J., & Albersheim, L. (2000). Attachment security in infancy and early adulthood: A twenty-year longitudinal study. Child Development, 71(3), 684-689.
  10. Wimmer, H., & Perner, J. (1983). Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children's understanding of deception. Cognition, 13(1), 103-128.
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Analysis of the Genie’s Case Study. (2019, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
“Analysis of the Genie’s Case Study.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2019,
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