Martin Theodore Orne

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Martin Theodore Orne, M.D., Ph.D. (October 16, 1927, Vienna, Austria – February 11, 2000, Paoli, Pennsylvania)[1][2] was a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Orne is best known for his pioneering research into demand characteristics illustrating the weakness of informing participants that they are taking part in a psychology experiment and yet expecting them to act normally. As well as his involvement with the poet Anne Sexton, and the trials of Patty Hearst, and Kenneth Bianchi. He was also well known as a researcher in the field of hypnosis.

1996 Portrait by John Boyd Martin

Education and early life[edit]

Orne was born on October 16, 1927 to Dr. Frank Orne, a surgeon and Martha Brunner, a psychiatrist in Vienna, Austria.[2] His family moved from Austria to escape the Nazi Anschluss[3] and relocated to New York in 1938. He studied at the Bronx High School of Science. He later moved to Boston and studied at Harvard University.[2] Orne enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and returned to Harvard afterward. He graduated cum laude in 1948. While at Harvard, he studied under the psychologists Henry Murray and Robert White.[3] Orne received his M.D. degree from Tufts University Medical School in 1955, with a residency in psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center. In 1958, he received his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University.

Orne founded and directed the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.[1] He was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania for 32 years. In 1996, he became a Professor Emeritus.[1] At the time of his death, Orne was an Adjunct Professor Emeritus in Psychology and Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.[3]

Work[edit]

Orne devoted much of his career to the investigation of memory distortion[4] and hypnosis.[2] His first published paper focused on issues and myths of hypnosis and age regression in adults.[2] In the 1950s, he published the study "The Social Psychology of the Psychological Experiment" which proved that in most experiments, participants tell experimenters what they want to hear in hopes of pleasing the experimenters.[5]

Orne became the therapist to the poet Anne Sexton when she was 28. He recorded their sessions and would have Sexton transcribe them as a way to reflect. He also encouraged Sexton to write poetry. Sexton committed suicide in 1974 and the tapes were later passed to Diane Wood Middlebrook, a Sexton biographer.[6] His decision to release the tapes was controversial and met with backlash; he was accused of "dishonoring his profession"[2][4] although Sexton gave him permission prior to her death[1] and was given consent by Sexton's daughter, Linda Gray Sexton, her literary executor.[2][4]

Orne was the editor in chief for the journal International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis from 1961 to 1992.[3]

Orne testified as a defense witness during the Patty Hearst trial in 1976; His testimony made the claim that Hearst feared for her life and followed the Symbionese Liberation Army's orders.[2] He later argued that she be pardoned.[4]

In 1979, Orne served as a witness in the Bianchi trial.[5] Orne proved that Bianchi lied about having multiple personalities to avoid being prosecuted.[5] Orne tested Bianchi by introducing him to his lawyer who wasn't present. Bianchi interacted with the imaginary lawyer. Orne then brought in his real lawyer which flustered Bianchi and claimed that the imaginary lawyer vanished. Bianchi pleaded guilty in October 1979.[4]

Orne's work had been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States in over 30 cases. Guidelines were adopted restricting the use of hypnosis as valid testimony in criminal cases.[1][4]

Personal life and death[edit]

Orne was married to psychologist, Emily Carota Orne, whom he collaborated with throughout his career.[1] He had two children, Tracey and Franklin.[2] Orne died of cancer on February 11, 2000 in Paoli, Pennsylvania; he was 72.[2]

Awards[edit]

Orne received lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law as well as two honorary doctorates.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Center for Inquiry acquired over 250 boxes of material from Orne's wife. The collection was made available to the public in 2015. The collection contains much of Orne's books and scholarly articles. It shelved in the CFI's special collections.[7] The "good subject/participant effect" is sometimes referred to as the "Orne effect".[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • Orne, Martin T. (1962). "On the social psychology of the psychological experiment: With particular reference to demand characteristics and their implications". American Psychologist, 17 (11): 776–783. doi:10.1037/h0043424. 
  • Orne, Martin T. (1969). "Demand Characteristics and the Concept of Quasi-Controls". In Rosenthal, Robert; Rosnow, Ralph L. Artifacts in Behavioral Research. New York: Academic Press. ISBN 9780195385540. 
  • Orne, Martin T. (1975). "Hypnosis". In Thompson, Richard F; Lindzey, Gardner; Hall, Calvin S. Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers. pp. 150–154. ISBN 9780879010362. 
  • Orne, Martin T. (1980). "On the construct of hypnosis: How its definition affects research and its clinical application". In Dennerstein, Lorraine; Burrows, Graham D. Handbook of hypnosis and psychosomatic medicine. Amsterdam ; New York: Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press. pp. 29–51. ISBN 9780444801487. 
  • Orne, Martin T. (1985). Hypnotically refreshed testimony : enhanced memory or tampering with evidence?. Washington, D.C. :: U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dinges, David (May 2000). "In Memory of Dr. Orne". The Pennsylvania Gazette (100) (University of Pennsylvania). Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nagourney, Eric (17 February 2000). "Martin Orne, 72, Psychiatrist And Expert on Hypnosis, Dies". New York Times (Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.). New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Kihlstrom, John F. (September 2001). "Obituaries: Martin T. Orne (1927-2000)". American Psychologist 56 (9): 754–755. doi:10.1037//0003-0066X.56.9.754. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Woo, Elaine (February 18, 2000). "Dr. Martin Orne; Hypnosis Expert Detected Hillside Strangler Ruse". Los Angeles Times (Davan Maharaj). Tribune Publishing. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Panaritis, Maria (February 14, 2000). "Martin T. Orne, 72, Psychiatrist At Penn". Philly.com. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  6. ^ Graham, Ruth (March 25, 2012). "What Anne Sexton told her psychiatrist". Boston Globe (John W. Henry). Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  7. ^ Binga, Timothy. "CFI Libraries Announce the Martin T. Orne Collection". Center for Inquiry. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Roeckelein, Jon E. (2006). Elsevier's Dictionary of Psychological Theories (1st ed.). Amsterdam ; Boston: Elsevier. p. 206. ISBN 9781849722834. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 

External links[edit]