Although Johnson's active involvement with stuttering ended in the early 1960s, his influence has persisted in a broad scope over the intervening thirty years and undoubtedly will continue into the next century. The present chapter is concerned with this legacy. There were, of course, events and developments during this era that were not, or were only minimally, influenced by the presence from Iowa; these matters will be addressed in Chapter 9.
As discussed in Chapter 6, the early decades of the century had seen, particularly in the United States, expanding claims regarding the crucial and salient role purportedly played by the environment in determining patterns of human behavior. The widening acceptance of these claims created a climate that was openly receptive to the kind of formulation devised and espoused by Johnson. It was a climate that in some circles would endure for many years.
Within this climate, as summarized in Chapter 7, Johnson's position was structured, given substance, and promulgated largely through Ins own efforts. Although he actively pressed these efforts personally until he died, "evaluation theory" might have faded within a reasonable length of time, as had its conceptual godfather general semantics, had it not been for several dimensions of influential support that Johnson's assertions had accrued. The most substantive source of support was the growing number of individuals within the field who came to accept his teachings to pass them on to others. The original cadre of followers consisted of graduate students who had studied under and been supervised by Johnson at Iowa. These early followers then went out into the field and carried his message abroad, gaining proselytes as the network enlarged.