John B. Watson And Rosalie Rayner – Little Albert

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John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner – Little Albert Experiment The aim of the experiment was to investigate whether fear can be acquired through classical conditioning on human beings. Before conditioning, pre-testing was done to see if Albert was capable of producing a fear response. The checked if he was afraid of different materials, such as: a white rat, a rabbit, a dog, a monkey, masks with and without hair, cotton wool, burning newspapers, etc but he demonstrated no fear. They found that little Albert showed fear when exposed to loud noises. They started conditioning by showing Albert a white rat. Every time Albert went to touch the rat they struck a steel bar and hammer behind him to produce a a loud noise, which would elicit a fear response in Albert. After conditioning when Albert was presented with the white rat. alone he would produce a fear response to the rat. The in-dependant variable in the experiment is the white fluffy things used, for example, White rat. The dependant variable is the fear response to the white fluffy things. An extraneous variable the experiment being in a lab, although what Watson and Rayne did was then perform the experiment in in different locations including alberts home and the same results were found. The experiment showed that little albert seemed to generalise his response to fluffy objecs as when he was shown a non-white rabbit, santa clause mask, seal skinned coat etc, he showed similar reactions although before he did not fear anything with fur. The loud noise was an unconditioned stimulus to Albert which he showed an unconditioned fear response before the conditioning started. Watson and Rayner introduced a natural stimulus (the rat) and paired that with the loud noise which resulted in fear. Successive introductions to the rat which is now a controlled stimulus resulted in fear which then progressed into
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