In 1939, speech pathologist Wendell Johnson and a graduate student conducted an experiment on a group of orphans near the University of Iowa. Their theory: "Stuttering begins in the ear of the listener, not in the mouth of the child." To test the hypothesis, the researchers conducted a psychological experiment on children starved for attention. Those who stuttered improved with positive speech therapy, but the children who had no trouble speaking were given negative therapy and became chronic stutterers for life. The research was never published and was known at the University as "The Monster Study" for the harm it did to the parentless children.
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