Before conditioning Albert was pre-tested by placing each item in front of him, including the white rat. This was done to see if Albert initially had a fear of the white rat. 2. When Albert attempted to touch the white rat, he was exposed to a loud frightening noise cause by a hammer striking a steel bar. By doing this, it created a fear response to touch the white rat.
Watson and Rayner were radical behaviourists who believed that all behaviour was learned exclusively through interaction with the environment, and furthermore that the environment could shape, through classical and operant conditioning, any individual into becoming anything. In 1920 they had the opportunity to experiment on an infant called Little Albert, and were able to show how an abnormal phobia could be learned by simple association. Little Albert was described as a happy and inquisitive child who was scared of very little. He was even happy to play with a pet white rat, however one thing that he was scared of was sudden loud noises. Watson & Rayner (1920) allowed Little Albert to play with the white rat and then at the same time made a loud metallic bang.
After that whenever he came in contact with these objects he would cry, therefore Watson ad Rayner had created a conditioned response. They also found that Little Albert had a negative response towards to Santa Claus’ beard because it represented something white and fluffy. Another theory that Pavlov stated, was that he had discovered that dogs were actually capable of learning through repeated association. Whilst completing a different experiment altogether than had no psychological link he was feeding dogs studying their digestion until he noticed that the dogs were responding to the sight of the research assistants' white lab coats, which the animals had come to associate with the presentation of food. He then investigated how these conditioned responses were actually
Initial pairing of the rat and banging bar was quite simple. The rat was presented alone at first and each time Albert tried to reach for it or touched it the bar was banged behind him. A sound of banging bar was unconditioned stimulus. The objective was to see if the pairing was maintained for a while, could Albert be conditioned to be afraid of the presence of the white rat (conditioned fear response). After a couple of tests Albert started to show signs of fear and began crying when the rat was presented to him without any sound.
As food atomatically leads to the response of salivation he called this conditioned response. Watson and Raynor 1920 Watson and Raynor wanted to demonstrate that emotiond could be classically conditioned in the same way any response it conditioned.They demonstrated on little albert. Albert is a 11 month old boy , Watson tested his responses to various stimulus objects including blocks,cotton, furry material and a white rat. Watson and Raynor associated the white rat with the noise of a metal gong, when Albert went to and feel the rat they would hit the gong behind him. This made Albert cry.
He had managed to associate (conditioned) the stimulus of the bell to the dog salivating. Watson and Rayner did a very unethical study on an 11 month old baby (Little Albert); they classical conditioned him to fear fluffy animals. They did this through showing the child a rat paired with a sudden loud noise, this noise caused fear which is the unconditioned response. This then caused and association between rats and fear. This study was unethical as it involved psychological harm and the psychologists didn’t decondition the mother who then removed Little Albert from the study.
B. Watson and R. Rayner studied the classical conditioning of emotional responses. Albert or Little Albert was allowed to play with a white rat and he seemed like he was having a lot of fun while playing with that white rat. Later during the study, whenever Little Albert touched the white rat the scientist made a scary noise that scared Albert. Little Albert learned to associate the big scary noise with the white rat. After doing that a couple of times whenever he would touch the rat, Little Albert is becomes afraid of the rat and gets upset whenever the rat is close to him.
Positive reinforcement is where we receive a reward for our behaviour, negative reinforcement is where we manage to avoid something unpleasant happening. An example of operant conditioning was Skinner (1948) who conducted a study on rats. Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his Skinner box. The box contained a lever in the side and as the rat moved about the box it would accidentally knock the lever. Immediately it did so a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever.
In the experiment Watson took a young baby who did not have any fears, and placed him with animals that people commonly have phobias of. At first Albert responded positively to each of the stimulus, particularly to a white rat, which he reached out to and stroked. Watson then paired the rat with a loud noise which Albert disliked and cried at. After this Albert tried to get away from the rat and was weary around it. This was a learned response to the rat and this is believed to be the cause of phobias.
He’s approach put an emphasis on physiology in addition to the role of stimuli and this made him a stimulus-response psychologist (O'Donohue, Ferguson 2001). For example in the experimental study of "Little Albert", Watson conditioned the little boy to fear rats. At first Albert was not afraid of the rat and the other animals, but Watson made a loud noise by hitting a steal bar with a hammer every time Albert touched the rats. Watson was able to show that emotional responses could be conditioned, or learned. B. F. Skinner is a true radical behaviorist who referred to his philosophy of science as radical behaviorism.
A neutral stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus, resulting in a new stimulus response. Watson & Raynor (1920) conditioned Little Albert to associate the sight of a white rat, or anything similar, with a fear response. In other words, Albert had been conditioned to be frightened of something he had previously found non-threatening, and even attractive. In conditioning terms, the loud noise Albert heard was the UCS (unconditioned stimulus), his fear response of crying was the UCR (unconditioned response), the white rat was the CS (conditioned stimulus) and his fear of the white rat was the CR (conditioned response). Little Albert used systematic desensitisation to cure this fear response to phobic stimulus with a more appropriate response.
Then using conditional stimulus he decided to combine the two, presenting the dog with a food whilst ringing the bell. Using this conditioning stimulus the dog now associated these two things with each other. After conditioning he repeated this action several times the dog began to salivate with just the sound of the bell (conditioned response) as he had came to learn that the food would follow after. A psychologist called Watson also decided to carry out a similar study only using a child this time, this is known as the “Little Albert Experiment.” Watson wanted to create a phobia and for baby Albert to associate fear with the white rat. Before conditioning Albert played with the rat (NS) and didn’t experience any fear or anxiety.
In one study, he presented an 11-month old infant with a white rat, tamed. He then crashed the hammer against a steel bar above the infant’s head. After he repeated this act several times, the infant was conditioned and therefore showed a strong fear of the rat and also generalized the fear to other furry animals, like rabbits (Parrott III, 2003). In other prospects, Ivan Pavlov and his conditioned response technique, as well as, B.F. Skinner and his operant conditioning through use of pigeons, held important emphasis on the behavioristic thinking and movement. Albert Bandura ultimately placed the majority of the influence through his social modeling approach, which included behavior rehearsal therapy.
B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) made this theory a popular one with the different studies he conducted using rats. The “Skinner box” was created by Skinner with Plexiglas and was laid out in a grid floor that he could electrify and had a lever that would activate a feeding mechanism, when pressed would deliver food to animals inside the box (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2009). In this case rats were inside the box could press the lever to release food and feat all day long as they kept pushing the button. The food eventually was taken away and as the rats pushed the lever, would grow frustrated when the reinforcement of food was not present (Hergenhahn &Olson, 2009). Skinner demonstrated with this experiment how quick learning occurs and how modifying behaviors effects the learning process.
Phobias and Addictions Michele Bucceri PSY/300 General Psychology May 30, 2011 Karin Detweiler Phobias and Addictions Phobias can be developed through classical conditioning since classical conditioning is a learned behavior. Like the experiment that Watson and Rayner (1920) did to “Little Albert” with the white rats. “Little Albert” liked the white rats and even played them until Watson and Rayner banged on a steel bar behind his head whenever he reached for one of those white rats, teaching him fear which is a taught phobia. After a while all “Little Albert” needed to do is see a white rat, he started to get scared and started to cry. Studies since Watson and Rayner’s time have proposed classical conditioning as an explanation for the same human phobias (Ost, 1991; Wolpe, 1958).
“John B. Watson and his assistant Rosalie Rayner provided the first empirical evidence that fears can be acquired through classical conditioning.” (Escoba, 2008, pp 1-300). The experiment was with an 11-month old child named Albert. Albert was allowed to play with a white rat (conditioned stimuli). While he was playing with the rat, a loud noise (unconditioned stimuli) took place in the background. Albert was frightened and cried when the loud noise took place in the background (unconditioned response).
In other words, linking two stimuli produces a new learned response in the person or animal. The Little Albert experiment shows how classical conditioning led to a rat phobia in a small child. The experiment began when the child was only nine months old. Behaviorist John B. Watson and graduate student Rosalie Raynor (1920) believed they could instill a fear of rats in the child by teaching the child to associate the rat with a loud clanging noise which startled the child. The child would then associate the startling noise with the rat, and cry whenever presented with the rat expecting the loud scary noise.
Reinforcers. :Responses from the environment that increase the probability of the behavior being repeated ,the reinforces can be positive or negative.3.Punishers: Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his skinner box, the box contained a lever in the side and as the rat moved round the box it would accidently knock the lever as soon as it hit the lever a food
B.F Skinner (1904 - 1990) demonstrated this theory in a very popular study he conducted with rats. Skinner created a “Skinner box” that was made of Plexiglas and had “a grid floor that can be electrified and a lever that, when pressed, activates a feeder mechanism that delivers food pellets to the animal inside” (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2009, p. 8). The animals, in this case rats, would press the feeder to release the food. They would sit there and press it continuously, in a plentiful feast. Eventually, the food was taken away and the rats would grow frustrated when continuing to press the feeder without the reinforcement of food (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2009).
Some important concepts in operant conditioning are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment. Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his Skinner box. The box contained a lever and as the rat moved about the box it would accidentally knock the lever and a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever. The consequence of receiving food if they pressed the lever ensured that they would repeat the action again and again. Positive reinforcement strengthens a behaviour by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding.