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Monday, May 11, 2015

Keep up the Devil's work. Why type of sacrifice did you think would never get exposed on a massive level, John B. Watson?

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     The aim of Watson and Rayner was to condition phobias into an emotionally stable child.  They chose "Albert" for this study (at the age of about nine months) from a hospital.
As the preliminary to the experiment, Little Albert was given a battery of baseline emotional tests: the infant was exposed, briefly and for the first time, to a white rabbit, a rat, a dog, a monkey, masks (with and without hair), cotton, wool, burning newspapers, and other stimuli. During the baseline, Little Albert showed no fear toward any of these items. Albert was then placed on a mattress on a table in the middle of a room.
     A white laboratory rat was placed near Albert and he was allowed to play with it. At this point, the child showed no fear of the rat. He began to reach out to the rat as it roamed around him. In later trials, Watson and Rayner made a loud sound behind Albert's back by striking a suspended steel bar with a hammer when the baby touched the rat. Little Albert responded to the noise by crying and showing fear. After several such pairings of the two stimuli, Albert was again presented with only the rat. Now, however, he became very distressed as the rat appeared in the room. He cried, turned away from the rat, and tried to move away. Apparently, the baby boy had associated the white rat (originally a neutral stimulus, now a conditioned stimulus) with the loud noise (an unconditioned stimulus) and was producing the fearful or emotional response of crying (originally the unconditioned response to the noise, now the conditioned response to the rat).
     This experiment led to the following progression of results: First, the introduction of a loud sound (unconditioned stimulus) resulted in fear (unconditioned response)—a natural response.  Secondly, the introduction of a rat (neutral stimulus) paired with the loud sound (unconditioned stimulus) eventually resulted in fear (unconditioned response).  Finally, the successive introductions of only a rat (conditioned stimulus) resulted in fear (conditioned response). Therefore, learning was demonstrated.
     The experiment did not have a control subject.

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