Analysis Of Little Emotional Albert By John B. Watson

1130 Words 5 Pages
Although we experience many emotions, such as fear, anger, joy, sadness, etc., throughout the day, have you ever wondered why we feel these emotions? Were we just born with the instinctual ability to feel these emotions, or did we learn to feel certain emotions towards certain things or situations? Amongst the many psychologists that set out to find the cause for emotions, a psychologist named John B. Watson immediately stands out. Not only was he able to discover the mystery behind emotions, but, in doing so, he was also able to literally change the direction that psychology was heading at the time. In the reading, “Little Emotional Albert,” from the book Forty Studies That Changed Psychology: Explorations into the History of Psychology Research …show more content…
Freud believed that our behavior was generated internally and motivated by our unconscious instincts and repressed conflicts from early childhood (Hocks, 2012). However, by the 1920s, psychology started to take a whole new direction, thanks to the work of Watson and Pavlov and their theory on behaviorism. In complete contrast to Freud’s psychoanalytical view of human behavior, both Watson and Pavlov proposed the idea that behavior is “generated outside the person through various environmental or situational stimuli,” rather than inside through biological and instinctual processes (Hocks, 2012). It is because of this that Watson was able to apply this idea to emotional behavior, in which he theorized that humans learn their emotional reactions in the sense that we have been conditioned to respond emotionally to certain stimuli. In order to test his theory out, he further specified by proposing that if we are presented to a certain stimulus that automatically causes us to emotionally respond a certain way, and if this stimulus is repeatedly presented with something else, then we will eventually become conditioned to respond the same way to this new …show more content…
Watson and his study allowed the topic of emotional behavior to be looked at under a whole new light that eventually led to the creation of one of the major schools of thought in psychology: behaviorism. Although there’s no doubt that it is through this specific study that all of this is now possible, the means by which he went about weren’t the greatest. While I do agree that testing a young baby will lead to the likelihood of having less emotions and associations learned, conditioning a baby to learn fears he or she would not have learned otherwise for the sake psychology is quite selfish and cynical. Moreover, the fact that the researchers failed to recondition Albert before officially ending the experiment shows the lack of responsibility and, quite frankly, lack of moral and credibility. However, no real judgements can be made since baby Albert unfortunately died at the age of 6 due to hydrocephalus; therefore, no long term effects of the experimented were ever obtained. While this topic may cause some heated arguments, one must still remember that it was through this very experiment that we are now able to look and psychology the way we do today. Not only have his findings helped the scientific field, it has also animal lovers when it comes to

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