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Part of the reason why Genie's case fascinated psychologists and linguists so deeply was that it presented a unique opportunity to study a hotly contested debate about language development. Nativists believe that the capacity for language is innate, while empiricists suggest that it is environmental variables that play a key role. Essentially, it boils down to the age-old nature versus nurture debate. Does genetics or environment play a greater role in developing language?
Nativist Noam Chomsky suggested that acquiring language could not be fully explained by learning alone. Instead, he proposed that children are born with a language acquisition device LAD , an innate ability to understand the principles of language. Once exposed to language, the LAD allows children to learn the language at a remarkable pace. Linguist Eric Lenneberg suggests that like many other human behaviors, the ability to acquire language is subject to critical periods.
A critical period is a limited span of time during which an organism is sensitive to external stimuli and capable of acquiring certain skills.
According to Lenneberg, the critical period for language acquisition lasts until around age After the onset of puberty, he argued, the organization of the brain becomes set and no longer able to learn and utilize language in a fully functional manner. Genie's case presented researchers with a unique opportunity. If given an enriched learning environment, could she overcome her deprived childhood and learn language even though she had missed the critical period?
If she could, it would suggest that the critical period hypothesis of language development was wrong. If she could not, it would indicate that Lenneberg's theory was correct. Despite scoring at the level of a 1-year-old upon her initial assessment, Genie quickly began adding new words to her vocabulary. She started by learning single words and eventually began putting two words together much the way young children do.
Curtiss began to feel that Genie would be fully capable of acquiring language. After a year of treatment, she even started putting three words together occasionally. In children going through normal language development, this stage is followed by what is known as a language explosion.
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Children rapidly acquire new words and begin putting them together in novel ways. Unfortunately, this never happened for Genie. Her language abilities remained stuck at this stage and she appeared unable to apply grammatical rules and use language in a meaningful way. At this point, her progress leveled off and her acquisition of new language halted. While Genie was able to learn some language after puberty, her inability to use grammar which Chomsky suggests is what separates human language from animal communication offers evidence for the critical period hypothesis.
Of course, Genie's case is not so simple. She was malnourished and deprived of cognitive stimulation for most of her childhood. Researchers were also never able to fully determine if Genie suffered from pre-existing cognitive deficits. As an infant, a pediatrician had identified her as having some type of mental delay.
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So researchers were left to wonder whether Genie had suffered from cognitive deficits caused by her years of abuse or if she had been born with some degree of mental retardation. Psychiatrist Jay Shurley helped assess Genie after she was first discovered, and he noted that since situations like hers were so rare, she quickly became the center of a battle between the researchers involved in her case. Arguments over the research and the course of her treatment soon erupted. Genie occasionally spent the night at the home of Jean Butler, one of her teachers.
After an outbreak of measles, Genie was quarantined at her teacher's home. Butler soon became protective and began restricting access to Genie. Other members of the team felt that Butler's goal was to become famous from the case, at one point claiming that Butler had called herself the next Anne Sullivan, the teacher famous for helping Helen Keller learn to communicate. Eventually, Genie was removed from Butler's care and went to live in the home of psychologist David Rigler, where she remained for the next four years.
Despite some difficulties, she appeared to do well in the Rigler household.
She enjoyed listening to classical music on the piano and loved to draw, often finding it easier to communicate through drawing than through other methods. NIMH withdrew funding in , due to the lack of scientific findings.
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He was the one instructing them to act this way instead of, maybe, letting the friendship blossom naturally. They bond through "witty" banter, talking about boys, shopping sprees, makeovers, dancing together, laughing together, hugsies and whatnot. And none of it works, like, ever. This is like the stereotype the screenwriter has of female teen friendship and bonding. And the movie was written by a woman. So you'd think that, because of that, this movie might be a little more poignant and insightful with its portrayal of this friendship, but it just fails. Quite miserably too.
Perhaps the only good thing in the movie is Harriet, who plays Poppy's snobbish rival. It's not that her scenes are hilarious, but there's a few funny moments involving her character, like when she dresses up as Keira Knightley's character from Pride and Prejudice and she has her two yes-women dress up as the male character from that movie. That might be the only bit in the movie that made me chuckle. Nick Frost also has a cameo here and he's about as good as he can be for what amounts for a cameo.
Those are the only two things I remotely liked about this movie. There's also a bland romantic angle with Poppy falling for the headmistress' son. I don't know what else you want me to say about this movie. It's perfectly harmless fare meant for the teen Disney crowd. But to say that it's harmless doesn't mean that it's any good, because this is a bad movie. I don't believe I have to mention all the negatives, since I already went over them in about as much detail as I really want to right now and I don't wish to elaborate any more on what I saw.
I've seen worse, to be sure, but there's nothing to see here and you should move along to something better. Like, I don't know, popping that zit that's been pestering you for the past week. Jesse O Super Reviewer. Jun 24, Suprisingly good film considering the 'mild' teen films that we have around today. I'd agree with the name of the film, the main word being 'wild' as it's not afraid to mention things such as sex or alcohol.
Comedic in some scenes and Emma Roberts and Alex Pettyfer have good chemistry. Although predictable, it's not awful and I'd consider this one of my guilty pleasures. Bethany M Super Reviewer. Jan 05, Nothing really wild about this picture but nothing offensive either. Young teenage girls will probably like it if they can identify with the slightly overage cast. The S Super Reviewer. Feb 07, However, the film works somehow, it actually is a likeable film.
Her mother died when she was 11, and now her dad has a girlfriend. Poppy and her friends trash all her dad's girlfriend's stuff in a wild prank.