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1.Evaluate psychological theories within the context of the zeitgeist

2.Recognise the legacy left by early social scientific contributors

3.Chart the rise of psychology as a science

4.Demonstrate sensitivity to contextual and interpersonal factors that impact on psychological research

5.Understand the importance of ethical constraints

6.Demonstrate the ability to work constructively using critical feedback.

Early Social Scientific Contributors to Psychology as a Science

John B. Watson was born in South Carolina on January 9, 1878 and his father was a drunkard who left the household when he was 13 an adolescent and.his mother was a very spiritual lady, He played a significant role in the field of psychological behaviorism. He was an American Psychologist. Watson began his studies at the Furman University in South Carolina and when he was 21 years old, he graduated with a master’s degree. Watson outlined himself as a weak learner due to some of the predicaments that he was going through at his home. Watson began getting into distress with the law and fights, leading to his arrest on two different occasions. (Watson, & Rayner, 1920).Nevertheless, his attitudes and views of life changed once he joined Furman University. After graduating, he acquired his Ph.D. in psychology after studying ideology at the University of Chicago

John B. Watson used to be a hardworking psychologist who played a vital role in expanding research about behavior. He will be remembered for showing us that a child may be controlled to fear a past equitable stimulus and The Little Albert investigation. Watson started tutoring ideology at Johns Hopkins University in 1908. He gave an influential study at Columbia University named "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It," that mostly contained the psychic place in 1913.Following Watson's research, psychology must be the key of observing behavior. (Brysbaert & Rastle, 2013

Watson’s objective was to see if emotional results like fear, could be conditioned. His goal was also to know if anxiety would be moved using other similar objects. Its academic goal was to predict and control behavior. His goal was also to show that our reactions stems from our insensate procedure was not correct which was Freudian’s concept (Murphy, 2013). The research, with all its systematical weakness together with severe violation of virtuous execution which was successful in no small range in compelling a considerable part of the ideological society that reaction impression could be controlled through easy catalyst-result methods.

This process included a hare, a monk, a mask without and with hair, a dog, cotton wool, and blazing newspaper. Watson began his experiment by placing the animals and objects in front of the child, who at first did not have the emotion of fear of them until being familiar with the disturbing sounds. At John Hopkins, the procedure was administered at where little Albert was placed on a cushion in a room. Watson firstly started the study, by making Albert familiar with the objects and animals.  They made a better decision later to go on focusing on what was in review, questionable virtuous positioning since there was reluctance on the part of the experts to make fear results on a child. However, to start with the conditioning, a loud, frightening sound abaft Albert was hit with a steel bar any moment he reached to touch the rat and any other familiar objects that had same features as the white rat. (Jarius & Wildemann, 2015)

The Rise of Behaviourism and John B. Watson's Role

This procedure was done three times, and the following week, similar action was done. After a sum of several combinations of the rat and noise has bestowed to him soundless. Albert reciprocated with acute fear to the rat. He started to cry, turned away, rolled over and began to get away very quickly and the experts had to run to get hold of him. Anxiety result had been controlled to a purpose that had not been dreaded only one week prior. Watson and Rayner proved that classical conditioning also works on people by being able to package a previously unafraid infant into becoming afraid. (Diependaele, Lemhöfer & Brysbaert,2013)

Due to several ventures with loud noises in the back of the child’s head, Little Albert became terrified beginning to cry which led him to develop emotions. According to Pavlov’s inspections, John Watson’s suggested that the procedure of classical conditioning was capable to research all aspects of the individual psychology. Pavlov started his research on ancient conditioning which was first brought to the notice of American scholars in a research by Yerkes and Morgulis(1909) after being inspired by the Russian Physiologist I.M.Schenow who asserted that mental existence could be comprehended regarding physiological reflexes.(Brysbaert and Rastle,2013)

The investigators wanted to confirm if this acquired anxiety would go to other objects that are indicated to as generalization. If Albert reacted with fear to other same purposes, then the acquired response is attributed to have generalized. He was tested the following juncture again and was also afraid of the mouse. Then to check for generalization, an item which is the same as the rat a white hare was given to Albert when it was placed in channel with him, he hid his face in the cushion then got up and began to crawl away weeping as he went away.(Baltes, Reese & Nesselroade, 2014.)   Albert did not fear the rabbit before conditioning and had not been controlled to fear the hare selectively. In the day of experimenting, Little Albert was granted over off with a white furry coat, a dog, cotton, and Watson's gray hair head.

 Little Albert acted to all the things with anxiety. One of the public examinations of generalization that created this experimentation as unknown as it is known happened when Watson bestowed Albert with a Santa Claus veil, and the result was anxiety. The experiment filled Albert with dread although when people are around it is less intense. (Digdon, Powell & Smithson, 2014) The last test that Watson and Raynor needed to do was to check if Albert’s latest acquired reactions would continue severally but Albert was supported and in the near future he was supposed to leave the hospital. However, all experiments were stopped for 31 days. He was once given the Santa Claus mask, the white hairy coat, rat, hair and the puppy. After a month, Albert was still afraid of all these things which means he had developed emotions. According to Pavlov’s discovery, John Watson suggested that the procedure of classical conditioning was capable of expounding all facets of the personal psychology.

The Little Albert Experiment and Classical Conditioning

This experiment shows that classical conditioning can also occur in human beings, and phobias can be learned. It also gave an example of generalization. It also showed that humans develop emotions when they are faced with different kinds of scenarios for instance when they fear when they see a lion. This experiment was considered unethical because Little Albert was  not decontrolled  to remove his anxiety and permitted to get out of the testing settings . Watson and Raynor endured in their article that such reaction conditioning can continue in an individual’s lifetime. (Lissek & Grillon, 2015)  If they could be right on this, it is complicated, from a virtuous view to explain, avowing a person to develop into adulthood fearful of all these anxieties. Several analysts have not agreed with Watson's assumption that these controlled fears would continue frequently. Others say that Albert was not guided as efficiently as authors maintain.

  Watson was majorly impacted by Ivan Pavlov who paid attention to the animals’ system of digestion particularly dogs in 1904. He was a psychologist and a Russian who is mainly known for his attainment in classical conditioning experiment. He observed salivation in dogs when an unconditional motive was used to make a conditioned reaction. It was later developed by John B. Watson and his affirmation with the Little Albert Test. However, both agreed that humans respond to stimuli in the same way. (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2013)

The Little Albert test is still very well known in psychology and has inspired other experts in the past, which has always had a massive effect in the psychological field.His article remains to be studied in exploration in a big span of areas like psychotherapy and parenting. This research prolonged this finding to how these emotions occur in children and what many reactions refer at young maturities. This study's use of Watson's research provides us a degree of comfortibility in that his undoubtedly testing techniques including Little Albert can, in the main inquiry, advocate for perception and high sensitivity into the feelings and wants of children. A comprehension of children’ facial reaction can be of great assistance in adults’ struggles to interface with and protection for babies. (Griggs, 2014) The authors confirmed that their objective in their investigation was to give medics with data to assist them and the guardians they communicate and be able to know the strong signs of the young children and infants in their guidance. Behaviorism is still relevant today.

Generalization and the Ethics of Watson's Experiment

The little Albert experiment is useful to understand how to acquire phobia. Watson’s research has shown that one reaction, anxiety, in its mild pattern, can make significant less positive effect referred as neurosis. Many psychological researchers suggest that repulsions are controlled just like Little Albert’s anxiety of hairy animals. Watson's investigation has been integrated into many current researches about causation and medication of phobias. One article researched on neuroses from nature- nurture panorama and got some good results. His viewpoint is entirely rooted in the surroundings or nurture side of the debate, and many individuals would view phobias as acquired. (Schultz& Schultz, 2015)

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian Psychologist who was known for his discovery of classical conditioning. During his investigation on the system of digestion of dogs, Pavlov observed that the animals slobbered naturally when they are given food. (Pavlov, 1897/1902)    However he also said that animals began to slobber whenever they saw the white lab coat of a testing expert. It was through this discovery that by relating the presentation of meals with the lab assistant, a controlled result happened. (Thoma, Pilecki, & McKay, 2015).    While examining the digestion process of dogs, the observation was that his subjects would slabber before the food is delivered, ultimately realizing that, after several coalitions, a dog can slobber to the existence of a boost rather than meals, and he described this result a conditional impulsive.

The findings had a vibrating impact on ideology. Ivan was also able to display that the animals could be controlled to salivate to the sound of the tone as well. He also observed that these impulsive comes from the brain in cerebral cortex. Pavlov got the reasonable applaud of his work plus a 1904 Nobel Prize  engagement to the Russian Academy in Physiology .Pavlov’s observations had a significant effect on other thinkers and contributed importantly to the growth of a school of thought called behaviorism.

Operant conditioning expert who is known for his investigation about behavior and also his radical behaviorism is associated with behaviorism and he is referred to as B.F Skinner. Operant conditioning can be seen as a procedure that tries to exemplify behavior via the use of positive and negative augmentation. Through operant conditioning, a person creates a relationship between a particular action and a result. B.F.Skinner accorded with J.B Watson that psychology on what was quantifiable and visible in the study of human behavior. His genre of behaviorism also showed the vital role played by reinforcement in the acquiring of the new practice. He maintained that positive reinforcement increased the likelihood of re-occurrence of the rewarded behavior while removal resulted the extinction of the effects of learning.

By the 1920s, John Watson had abandoned academic ideology, and other behaviorists were becoming effective, advocating new types of learning other than classical conditioning. (Rieber, 2013).    Perhaps the first essentiality of these was Burrhus Fredric Skinner. It is simply more fruitful to study visible behavior rather than internal mental processes because we have such an entity in mind reinforced by Skinner. The work of skinner was established in view that classical conditioning was far too superficial to be a full   clarification of complicated human behavior.

In conclusion, the better method to comprehend behavior is to focus on the causes of an activity and its results. This view should give sufficient fuel for the current debates in modern psychology and investigations that are currently going on today.


Baltes, P. B., Reese, H. W., & Nesselroade, J. R. (2014). Life-span developmental psychology: Introduction to research methods. Psychology Press.

Brysbaert, M., & Rastle, K. (2013). Historical and conceptual issues in psychology. 2nd ed.Harlow: Pearson Education, p.189.

Diependaele, K., Lemhöfer, K., & Brysbaert, M. (2013). The word frequency effect in first-and second-language word recognition: A lexical entrenchment account. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(5), 843-863.

Digdon, N., Powell, R. A., & Smithson, C. (2014). Watson’s alleged Little Albert scandal: Historical breakthrough or new Watson myth. Revista de Historia de la Psicolog?a, 35, 47-60.

Griggs, R. A. (2014). The continuing saga of Little Albert in introductory psychology textbooks. Teaching of Psychology, 41(4), 309-317.

Hergenhahn, B. R., & Henley, T. (2013). An introduction to the history of psychology. Cengage Learning.

Jarius, S., & Wildemann, B. (2015). And Pavlov still rings a bell: summarising the evidence for the use of a bell in Pavlov's iconic experiments on classical conditioning. Journal of Neurology, 262(9), 2177.

 Lissek, S., & Grillon, C. (2015). Overgeneralization of conditioned fear in the anxiety disorders. Zeitschrift für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology.

McLeod, S. A. (2013). Pavlov's dogs. Retrieved from

Murphy, G. (2013). A historical introduction to modern psychology. Routledge.

Pavlov, I. P. (1897/1902). The work of the digestive glands. London: Griffin.

Rieber, R. W. (2013). Problems of General Psychology. The Essential Vygotsky, 26.

Rolls, G. (2013). Classic case studies in psychology. Routledge.

Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2015). A history of modern psychology. Cengage Learning.

Thoma, N., Pilecki, B., & McKay, D. (2015). Contemporary cognitive behavior therapy: A review of theory, history, and evidence. Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(3), 423-461.

Watson, J. B., & Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of experimental psychology, 3(1), 1-14.

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