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Copy of John B. Watson and Behaviorism
Transcript of Copy of John B. Watson and Behaviorism
To understand Watson let's look at behaviorism as a study itself.
Little Albert Experiment
-Conducted in 1920 at Johns Hopkins University
"Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior"
-Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It (1913)
-Suggests that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning.
-Stimulus-Response can explain all behavior regardless of internal mental states (Learning Theories, 2013)
-Other behavioral theorists include Pavlov, Skinner and Bandura
"Encyclopedia Britannica Online." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/637615/John-B-Watson>.
"Behaviorism | Learning Theories." Learning Theories. Bookshelf 2.0, n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2013. <http://www.learning-theories.com/behaviorism.html>.
Green, Christopher D. "Classics in the History of Psychology." Reading. Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. Columbia University, New York City. -- Watson (1913). Web. 30 Sept. 2013. Compiled 1997 <http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Watson/views.htm>
YouTube. Dir. Rosalie Wayner. YouTube. YouTube, 01 June 2010. Web. 2 Oct. 2013. <http://www.youtbe.com/watch?v=9hBfnXACsOI>
"Little Albert Experiment." GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog Little Albert Experiment Comments. N.p., 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 02 Oct. 2013. <http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/little-albert-experiment>.
Britt, Michael. "Episode 114: Finding Little Albert." Rev. of The Little Albert Experiment. Audio blog post. The Psych Files. Wordpress, 5 Jan. 2010. Web. 4 Oct. 2013. <http://www.thepsychfiles.com/2010/01/episode-114-video-finding-little-albert/>.
DeAngelis, T. "'Little Albert' Regains His Identity." Http://www.apa.org. American Psychological Association, 2010. Web. 04 Oct. 2013. <http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/01/little-albert.aspx>.
Watson's Works and Contributions
Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It
-Lecture given in 1913
-Psychological Care of Infant and Child 1928
Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It
This lecture, given in 1913 at Columbia University, launched the modern Behaviorists Theory. In it he concluded that introspection and consciousness were old thoughts and that behaviors could be predicted and controlled, thus launching Behaviorism.
In the lecture he takes issue with Psychology being a natural science claiming that introspection is the only way of ascertaining facts, therefore not open to experimental treatments.
-Born in South Carolina
-Earned a Masters degree at 21 years old
-Received a PhD from the University of Chicago and studied there under John Dewey. (Britanicca, 2013)
-Left the psychology field for an advertising company and is credited with popularizing the "coffee break" for Maxwell House.
(Learning Theories, 2013)
A little about Watson the person...
The Little Albert Experiment
He claims psychology as the behaviorist views it is as objective as chemistry or physics and lacks introspection and that behaviors can be investigated without consciousness. (Green 1997)
In reading the lecture my reaction was similar to reading historical texts such as the Gettysburg address. It was given at a time when psychology seemed to be a young discipline of study. The suggestion of behaviorism being the only method as to which behaviors could be determined seems far fetched now, but certainly it launched a discussion and paved the way for other behaviorist to come.
This famous experiment was done to prove that Watson could condition a human response or behavior. In it he took a baby dubbed "Albert" and exposed him to a number of animals. The white rat being the last one. Once Albert reached for the rat he struck a hammer against a pipe to create a loud scary noise. He then re-introduced the other animals all having the characteristic of fur and he was frightened of them. Much like the famous Pavlov's dog he had conditioned a response but this time in a human. (Britt, 2010)
Watch the video below for a thorough explanation of the "Little Albert" experiment and footage of the experiment itself.
Criticisms and Controversy
-The plan was to decondition little Albert but he was removed before the experiment was complete, therefore it created a fear in a child where one did not previously exist. (GoodTherapy, 2012)
-It was also questioned whether or not Albert's mother had a full understanding of what was going on. (GoodTherapy, 2012)
-In 2012 for a article in American Psychologist Hall P. Beck PhD found little Albert was in fact a boy named Douglas Merritte who had passed away at the age of six from hydrocephalus, a build of of fluid on his brain. Therefore, he was not a "healthy" child as Watson had characterized him as in his study. (DeAngelis, 2010)
Famous quote from his book Behaviorism:
"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years."
-John B Watson
In the debate over nature vs. nurture it is plain to see what side Watson would come out on!
Watson's Life After Academia
After leaving academia in 1920 under the scandal of an affair with his assistant. He went to work for the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson where he continued to write his previously mentioned books in regards to human emotions and the control over them.
He retired to his farm in 1945 and died there in 1958 at the age of 80. (Britannica, 2013)