Souther New Ethical Principles and Standards Genie Wiley Video Discussion

Watch the video on Genie Wiley. You may also find this interview with researcher Susan Curtiss about her experiences with Genie interesting. What ethical considerations do you think apply to the research conducted on Genie (consider the APA’s ethical principles and standards when answering)? Compare and contrast these ethical considerations to the ones most relevant to the classic examples of ethically dubious psychological research: the Stanford Prison simulation and Milgram’s learning experiments.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document (attached).



The ethical considerations I think apply to research conducted on Genie based on the APA’s ethical principals and standards is all of them. The researchers that provided the treatment for Genie followed all the principals, they attempted to make the child’s situation better without harming Genie. They stared with trust so that Genie can learn, they pursued justice for Genie by making sure that they used their expertise the the best of their knowledge as possible. and respected Genie’s human rights. The standards that stood out in this case such as avoiding harm, cooperating with professionals from the different fields in order to help with the research and treatment. The documentation of their work was done in professional manner and informed consent based on the recordings. Even though the treatment that was provided for Genie didn’t accomplish all the goals they had set out but still had a big improvement.

One of the issues that I thought of was that Genie lived with several of the researchers during the treatment. Presenting the case for a dual relationship because many of the researchers had to care for Genie like she was their own child and they provided shelter in their personal homes and provided her treatment and the research at the same time.

This experiment and Milgram’s learning experiments violated all of the APA principles and Standards due to violating the participants welfare through tacticts that were not disclosed to the participants. The Stanford prison experiment was dishonorable because of the fact that the researchers allowed harsh treatment of the prisoners.


Some of the ethical considerations regarding the research conducted on Genie are quite simple. For the first one, avoiding harm as per Standard 3.04 (American Psychological Association, 2017) was very important for this case because she had already been through so much neglect and abuse, the researchers took special care in making sure further harm did not happen. In association with that standard, Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence also plays an important role since the psychologists should ensure that no more physical or mental health harm was brought upon Genie. There was also a conflict of interest (Standard 3.06) (APA, 2017) going on with Susan Curtiss, and she even stated that it was evident, and that’s why she was eventually prevented from seeing or calling Genie (TLC, 2003). One last ethical concern was based on Curtiss’ first encounters with Genie while she was still a graduate student (Thinking and Language, 2006). In being a student, that raises questions on her competency to conduct that research. Standard 2.01 ensures that researchers are aware of their boundaries of competence while conducting research (APA, 2017). Hopefully, she had been trained appropriately and had the knowledge needed for it.

Compared to Milgram’s experiment, both cases have ethical concerns associated with them. In Milgram’s learning study, deception was regularly used, and participants were made to believe that they were inflicting harm to others, although that wasn’t the case (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 2013). As in Genie’s case, there wasn’t an informed consent obtained, and in Milgram’s case, not all the information was given to the study subjects because that would have potentially negative effects on the results (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 2013).


APA. (2017). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Codes of Conduct. Retrieved from:

Rosnow, R. L., & Rosenthal, R. (2013). Beginning Behavioral Research: A Conceptual Primer. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thinking and Language. (2006). Genie. PSY-510. Retrieved from:

TLC. (2003). “Genie Wiley- TLC Documentary.” [Youtube]. amara. Retrieved from: