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MARY COVER JONES - Deconditioning Only worked on children...

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MARY COVER JONES & THE BEGINNING OF BEHAVIOR THERAPY. Jones was a friend of Rosalie's from Vasser. Eventually got Rockefeller Foundation support. Worked weekends and evenings with Jones, who did most of the actual work. Central question: (1)How could children be cured of particular fears? Also, (2) Naturalistic observations of how children behaved in a normal day. With the fears: Control conditions: a. Thirty cases of simply removing children from the feared object (like Rabbit) and having no such objects present for two weeks. No effect. It was not enough to do nothing. Fears did not disappear by themselves. b. Talking a child out of its fears. Another rabit case: They read her Beatrix Potter stories; they explained that rabits were nice creatures; got her to make Plasticine rabbites; they managed to get her to say that she liked rabbits and was not frightened of them. But next time she saw rabbit, she jumped up, screamed, and stopped playing. So much for words and positive thinking. c. Social pressure: Boy called "fraidy cat" when showed self afraid of frongs.
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Unformatted text preview: Deconditioning: Only worked on children who were already afraid. Peter: Dog and other animal fears. "Direct-un-conditioning." "We secured permission to give him his mid-afternoon snack. Crackers and milk. Lunch served in room 40 feet long. Just as he began to eat, rabbit displayed in a wire mesh cage. We displayed it far enough away not to disturb eating. Gradually rabbit brought closer and closer. Eventually, rabbit could be paced on table by Peter and finally Peter would eat with one hand and play with the rabbit with the other. Watson noted that they did not know circumstances in which Peter's fears first arose. If they had, might have been able to spot "primary fear" and how this had been "transferred" to other objects. Thought this knowledge would be centrally important. When his son Billy developed a phobia of goldfish, Watson successfully treated it in similar fashion. Unsuccessful with nail-biting....
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