One really important topic covered in chapter two is the idea of conducting research in an ethical way. Research can almost always be considered a good thing because it results in knowledge. However, there are both good and bad methods of research.
Little Albert's story is one example of an experiment with a poor method of research.
The story found at http://psychology.about.com/od/classicpsychologystudies/a/little-albert-experiment.htm says
"The participant in the experiment was a child that Watson and Raynor called "Albert B.", but is known popularly today as Little Albert. Around the age of nine months, Watson and Raynor exposed the child to a series of stimuli including a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey, masks and burning newspapers and observed the boy's reactions. The boy initially showed no fear of any of the objects he was shown.
The next time Albert was exposed the rat, Watson made a loud noise by hitting a metal pipe with a hammer. Naturally, the child began to cry after hearing the loud noise. After repeatedly pairing the white rat with the loud noise, Albert began to cry simply after seeing the rat. "
This experiment took place in the 1920, and would not be considered an ethical experiment today. The main point of the material covered in the book on this topic is that there are ethical guidelines, especially for human research, that must be followed. This may cause researchers the need to spend more money or to completely redesign an experiment if it does not follow these guidelines. However, these guidelines are extremely important because while research and the pursuit of knowledge is good, the well-being and safety of human beings is much higher valued. In the case of Little Albert, he was a child and did not have a choice in the experiment. The research may have been psychologically damaging to the child and overall, it was not a pleasant experience for the baby. So while Watson and Raynor truly had legitimate questions they wanted to find the answers to, they did not go about it in an ethical manner. Keep in mind that any and all experiments conducted today must be run through an ethical filter. It would certainly be a pity for any other unethical studies to be conducted in the future!