John B. Watson 's Article Summary Essay

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Article Summary One of the most famous American Psychologists, John B. Watson, conducted numerous experiments that helped establish a clearer understanding of how the human brain associates response to certain situations. In one of his more famous experiments, Watson tested the conditioned emotional response of a small child. This child, Albert, was eleven months old and was one of “the most developed youngsters ever brought to the hospital” (Watson, 1). It was noted that he never presented fear in any situation, and rarely ever cried. For this reason, Albert was a strong subject for testing throughout the conditioned response experiment. Ultimately, Watson hoped to answer the research question: “Are reactions and behaviors of humans a result of conditioning, or are they naturally implemented in humans from birth?”. However, before Watson began the experiment, he hypothesized that all behaviors are a result of conditioning. Similar to previous observations made, Watson’s goal was to implement stimuli, triggering an emotional response while a certain object was in the child’s possession. If Watson’s hypothesis was correct, a fear reaction would be triggered when the same object was shown to Albert. To begin the experiment, Watson introduced a rat to Albert and recorded the child’s behavior. Albert demonstrated no fear of the rat at all, and proceeded to reach for the animal. Just as Albert’s hand touched the animal, Watson struck a metal bar behind the child’s head. This
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