John B. Watson

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John B. Watson

FUN FACTS!Considered a 'man of strong opinions'.Watson's father was an alcoholic and walked out on his family when Watson was thirteen.His mother was extremely religious and raised him with harsh standards. This caused Watson later in life to resent all types of religion. Watson was not the most spectacular student. He was able to attend Furman University because of connections his mother had. He eventually became the chairman of the Psychology department at John Hopkins University.Worked as an advertising agent in the later part of his life.

A Psychological Study



The 'Little Albert' ExperimentWatson's claim to fame. Noted as one of the most controversial psychological experiments ever conducted, Watson and his assistant used an infant, named Albert, from a hospital as a test subject. Employing classical conditioning, Albert was shown a white rat, towards which, at first, he didn't display any fear. He would reach out to the rat and touch it playfully. After a while, Watson began to make a loud noise by banging a steel bar whenever Albert touched the rat, scaring Albert and making him cry. After doing this a few times, Watson would show Albert the rat without making the sound. Albert had been conditioned to associate the rat with the frightening sound. He would cry and turn away from the rat in fear.

"Give me a dozen healthy infants ... I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist ... regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors."

The Important Stuff...Full Name: John Broadus WatsonBorn: 9 January 1878Died: 25 September 1958Contributions to Psychology:- Known as the 'Father of Behaviorism'.- Founded the school of Behaviorism.- Published the article "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It" in 1913, which outlined the ideas of a new branch of psychology, behaviorism.- Wrote the book 'Psychological Care of Infant and Child' in 1928, which stressed a 'business-like' relationship between parent and child.- Emphasized focusing on behavior and external reactions to study psychology as opposed to the mind and consciousness. Influenced by the works of Ivan Pavlov. - Developed a detailed, objective approach to analyzing behavior. - Proposed that language is a 'manipulative habit' and imitative.- Rejected Edward L. Thorndike's 'Law of Effect', introspection and study of the internal state.

BEHAVIORISM:The belief that responses to environmental stimuli shape behaviors. All behaviors are gained through conditioning.

The Father of Behaviorism


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