Martin Theodore Orne
Martin Theodore Orne, M.D., Ph.D. (October 16, 1927, Vienna, Austria – February 11, 2000, Paoli, Pennsylvania) 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. He is also noted for his involvement with the poet Anne Sexton, and with the trials of Patty Hearst and Kenneth Bianchi. He was also well known as a researcher in the field of hypnosis.
Personal life and education
Orne was born on October 16, 1927 to Dr. Frank Orne, a surgeon and Martha Brunner, a psychiatrist in Vienna, Austria. His family moved from Austria to escape the Nazi Anschluss and relocated to New York City in 1938.
He studied at the Bronx High School of Science. He later moved to Boston and studied at Harvard University. 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. 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 was married to psychologist, Emily Carota Orne, whom he collaborated with throughout his career. He had two children, Tracey and Franklin. Orne died of cancer on February 11, 2000 in Paoli, Pennsylvania; he was 72.
Orne devoted much of his career to the investigation of memory distortion and hypnosis. His first published paper focused on issues and myths of hypnosis and age regression in adults. 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.
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. His decision to release the tapes was controversial and met with backlash; he was accused of "dishonoring his profession" although Sexton gave him permission prior to her death and was given consent by Sexton's daughter, Linda Gray Sexton, her literary executor.
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. He later argued that she be pardoned.
In 1979, Orne served as a witness in the Bianchi trial. Orne proved that Bianchi lied about having multiple personalities to avoid being prosecuted. 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.
Dr Orne received CIA funding through Project MKUltra Subproject 84 in 1958. Subproject documents indicate that he received TOP SECRET clearance from the CIA in 1960. In an interview with John Marks, unidentified CIA personnel explained that Dr Orne was one of a handful of informal consultants the CIA used on a regular basis.
Legacy and awards
Orne founded and directed the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a professor at the university for 32 years becoming a Professor Emeritus in 1996. At the time of his death in 2000, Orne was an Adjunct Professor Emeritus in Psychology and Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.
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.
The "good subject effect" or "participant effect" is sometimes referred to as the "Orne effect".:206
The 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 is shelved in the CFI's special collections.
- 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.
- Dinges, David (May 2000). "In Memory of Dr. Orne". The Pennsylvania Gazette (100). University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Panaritis, Maria (February 14, 2000). "Martin T. Orne, 72, Psychiatrist At Penn". Philly.com. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- 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.
- Ross, Colin A, The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists, 2006, Manitou Communications, ISBN 0976550806
- Marks, John D, The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate": The CIA and Mind Control: The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences, 1991, W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 0393307948
- Roeckelein, Jon E. (2006). Elsevier's Dictionary of Psychological Theories (1st ed.). Amsterdam ; Boston: Elsevier. p. 206. ISBN 9781849722834. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- Binga, Timothy. "CFI Libraries Announce the Martin T. Orne Collection". Center for Inquiry. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 25 May 2016.