fajar013: February 2012 Archives

Behaviorism and Baby Albert

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Experiments are very important to move forward in the world of Psychology, and many have been conducted. One famous psychological experiment is "Baby Albert," which involved a baby named Albert, as you may have guessed. This experiment was constructed and conducted by J.B. Watson and one of his graduate students in the 1920s on a young, nine month old child. Their research involved engraining the fear of white rabbits and white rats into poor little Baby Albert. They used the means of loud noises whenever Albert made contact with the white creatures, and through this conditioning fear was instilled in the toddler. He would cry whenever a white object was in close proximity to him. At the end of the investigation, Watson broke off all contact with the child, and made no move to ensure the safety of the child or the repercussions of the experiment; the question of how Baby Albert lived the rest of life shrouded in mystery. Unfortunately, news of his passing at the young age of six was revealed. He died by hydrocephalus, a condition where there is an excess of fluid accumulated in the brain. Despite the bad ending for the little boy's story, J. B. Watson's success flourished, with the establishment of the school of behaviorism being his greatest feat. This branch of psychology is still practiced and studied today.

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