Mary Cover Jones Essay

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Running Head: MARY COVER JONES Mary Cover Jones was one of the great pioneers of behavioral therapy. Her focus was developmental psychology but she used the behavioral techniques of John B. Watson and incorporated them in to her work. As a student of Watson, she was able to observe first hand the foundations of the behaviorist therapy. Jones was especially interested in Watson’s work with little Albert. In this study he used behavioral techniques to elicit fear in the child. As she watched his research be done, she realized that not only can behavioral techniques elicit fear but also that they could be used to extinguish fear. Through many conditioning techniques she was able to prove this to be true. Much of her work went unnoticed for at least two decades. After that much of the work that she did do was accredited to someone else (Barlow & Durand, 2009, p.23). Although there is little mentioned of her research in psychology history, the work of Mary Cover Jones was groundbreaking in behavioral therapy and developmental psychology. Mary Cover Jones was born in 1896 in Johnstown, PA. She had a wonderful, nurturing upbringing. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was a businessman. He was adamant that all of his children receive every educational opportunity possible (Dewsbury, Benjamin & Werthiemer, 1991, p.190). In 1915 she enrolled as an undergraduate at Vassar College (Almy, Eichorn & Mussen, 2007). While she was there she took every psychology class offered to her except one. In 1919 she graduated from college. Throughout that same year she had been attending weekly seminars led by John B. Watson. He was describing his research with Little Albert. It was at these seminars that she realized her love of psychology and her desire to enroll in a graduate psychology program. In 1919 Jones enrolled in Columbia University and she
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