Analysis: Secret Of The Wild Child

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According to Dr. Schreier, syntax is the structure of a language, underlying rules of order/function for how words can be combined to form phrases and sentences [Schreier slides]. Semantics is the understanding of words and word combinations. In Genie’s case, she was able to acquire semantics, but not the syntax of English. By listening to the sentences she produced and watching her reactions after receiving simple words from others, we know that she grasped the meaning of many individual words, and could even put them in combinations to convey a simple message. However, arranging the words in a grammatically correct order was something Genie could not achieve. This means she lacked the understanding syntax of English. For example, as Susan …show more content…

In the video Secret of the Wild Child, Susan Curtiss said that they did everything possible not to exploit the case, so that Genie could be protected from being deprived of privacy, and impacted physiologically or mentally [transcript]. This statement was made after Susan learned the outcome of Genie’s case. She was trying to justify that it was not their research that led Genie to a miserable ending. She established this idea that they knew excessive experiment would be harmful to Genie and tried to prevent her from being exploited. However, many researchers did a large amount of experiments on Genie, to a degree that she had become a public attraction. It is obvious that the researchers did not pay much attention to the negative effects brought by the over exposure of Genie. Therefore, Susan’s words were hindsight biased. Another example is how David Rigler stressed the reason they took Genie was because they were very desperate to find Genie a new appropriate home [transcript]. Nevertheless, if we take into account the amount of people that were interested in Genie’s case, it is hard to believe that no one more suitable than Rigler, who is a psychiatrist that is not supposed to get involved as a foster parent, was available to pick up Genie. Moreover, during Genie’s entire four years of stay at Rigler’s, they never intended to send her away for a better foster home. This illustrates that his primary purpose of taking Genie was not to give her an appropriate place. As a result, David Rigler was influenced by hindsight bias when explaining his

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