John B Watson Writing Assignment

John B Watson Writing Assignment - Page 1 of 8 John B....

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Page 1 of 8 John B. Watson (1878–1958) was the son of a Southern farmer and beat up African Americans in his youth. He taught rats to find their way through a miniature maze that replicated the maze at King Henry VIII’s retreat in the London suburbs. He had an affair with a student, Rosalie Rayner, which led the president of Johns Hopkins University to demand his resignation as chair of the Psychology Department. He helped make the "coffee break" a custom in the United States. Watson also popularized behaviorism and became president of the American Psychological Association in 1915. Watson’s aim was to show how most human behavior and emotional reactions—other than a few inborn reflexes—were the result of conditioning. Perhaps his most renowned experiment was with "Little Albert," who was conditioned by Watson and Rayner to fear a rat. Watson became passionate about Rosalie, who was more than 20 years younger than he. He was fired when their affair was discovered and left the academic world for New York, where he worked as a psychologist for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. He grew wealthy through successful ad campaigns for products such as Camel cigarettes, Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, and Maxwell House Coffee—in which he used the idea of the coffee break. He married Rosalie and the couple had two sons. Rosalie died from dysentery in her 30s and Watson, 58, never married again. He let himself go, dressed carelessly, and put on weight. A year before he died, the APA awarded him a gold medal for his contributions to psychology. Watson’s article with Rayner, "Conditioned Emotional Reactions," is a classic in the history of psychology. Conditioned Emotional Reactions In recent literature various speculations have been entered into concerning the possibility of conditioning various types of emotional response, but direct experimental evidence in support of such a view has been lacking. If the theory advanced by Watson and Morgan 1 to the effect that in infancy the original emotional reaction patterns are few, consisting so far as observed of fear, rage and love, then there must be some simple method by means of which the range of stimuli which can call out these emotions and their compounds is greatly increased. Otherwise, complexity in adult response could not be accounted for. These authors without adequate experimental evidence advanced the view that this range was increased by means of conditioned reflex factors. It was suggested there that the early home life of the child furnishes a laboratory situation for establishing conditioned emotional responses. The pres-ent authors have recently put the whole matter to an experimental test. Experimental work has been done so far on only one child, Albert B. This infant was reared almost from birth in a hospital environment; his mother was a wet nurse in the Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children. Albert’s life was normal: he was healthy from birth and one of the best developed youngsters ever brought to the hospital, weighing twenty-one pounds at nine months of age. He was on the whole stolid and unemotional.
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSY 2012 taught by Professor Jenkins during the Fall '07 term at Seminole CC.

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John B Watson Writing Assignment - Page 1 of 8 John B....

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