Presentation on theme: "EARLY LIFE Was born in Chicago, Ill., on April 6th, 1928, as the only son of James D. Watson, a businessman, and Jean Mitchell. His father's ancestors."— Presentation transcript:
EARLY LIFE Was born in Chicago, Ill., on April 6th, 1928, as the only son of James D. Watson, a businessman, and Jean Mitchell. His father's ancestors were originally of English descent and had lived in the Midwest for several generations. His mother's father was a Scottish- born Taylor married to a daughter of Irish immigrants who arrived in the United States about 1840.
Young Watson's entire boyhood was spent in Chicago where he attended for eight years Horace Mann Grammar School and for two years South Shore High School. He then received a tuition scholarship to the University of Chicago, and in the summer of 1943 entered their experimental four-year college.
In 1947, he received a B.Sc. degree in Zoology. During these years his boyhood interest in bird-watching had matured into a serious desire to learn genetics. This became possible when he received a Fellowship for graduate study in Zoology at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he received his Ph.D. degree in Zoology in 1950. At Indiana, he was deeply influenced both by the geneticists H. J. Muller and T. M. Sonneborn, and by S. E. Luria, the Italian-born microbiologist then on the staff of Indiana's Bacteriology Department. Watson's Ph.D. thesis, done under Luria's able guidance, was a study of the effect of hard X-rays on bacteriophage multiplication.H. J. MullerS. E. Luria
CAREER From September 1950 to September 1951 he spent his first postdoctoral year in Copenhagen as a Merck Fellow of the National Research Council. Part of the year was spent with the biochemist Herman Kalckar, the remainder with the microbiologist Ole Maaløe. Again he worked with bacterial viruses, attempting to study the fate of DNA of infecting virus particles. During the spring of 1951, he went with Kalckar to the Zoological Station at Naples.
There at a Symposium, late in May, he met Maurice Wilkins and saw for the first time the X-ray diffraction pattern of crystalline DNA. This greatly stimulated him to change the direction of his research toward the structural chemistry of nucleic acids and proteins. Fortunately this proved possible when Luria, in early August 1951, arranged with John Kendrew for him to work at the Cavendish Laboratory, where he started work in early October 1951.Maurice WilkinsJohn Kendrew
He soon met Crick and discovered their common interest in solving the DNA structure. They thought it should be possible to correctly guess its structure, given both the experimental evidence at King's College plus careful examination of the possible stereochemical configurations of polynucleotide chains. Their first serious effort, in the late fall of 1951, was unsatisfactory. Their second effort based upon more experimental evidence and better appreciation of the nucleic acid literature, resulted, early in March 1953, in the proposal of the complementary double-helical configuration.Crick
Since the fall of 1956, he has been a member of the Harvard Biology Department, first as Assistant Professor, then in 1958 as an Associate Professor, and as Professor since 1961. During this interval, his major research interest has been the role of RNA in protein synthesis.
Watson´s Main Experiment LITTLE ALBERT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt0u cxOrPQE&feature=related
The reason it is such a landmark study is because Watson was able to show that emotional responses could be conditioned, or learned. The implications of this research over the years have been outstanding. Preceding Watson, Freud and James believed in instinctual systems. Freud thought there were two types of instincts, sexual and life- preservation. James, however, claimed there were many more innate instincts. Conversely, Watson stressed the importance of environmental factors on behavior.
Pavlov introduced experiments showing classical conditioning of responses in dog. Pavlov and Watson’s behavioral work lead to B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning experiments ten years later. Watson wanted to take classical conditioning further than Pavlov did. So, he tested a human and conditioned an emotional response. The idea that something like emotional responses could be conditioned was a very new concept to the world. It not only leads to more research in psychology, but had affects in other disciplines as well.
For example, Franz Boas (1883-1942) is known as the “father of anthropology” and introduced the idea to the world that culture was learned, not innate in a specific race of peoples. The “Little Albert” study not only had far reaching implications for the direction of psychology, but for how humans thought of the world and each other. Albert B. was born to a woman who was a wet nurse in the Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children. Although raised in the hospital environment, Albert developed normally and was very stable. When Albert was about eight months old, Watson wanted to determine if a loud sound would cause a fear response in the child. He was placed in a room and an experimenter stood behind him and made a loud noise by striking a hammer on a steel bar.
The first time this was done, Albert startled and raised his hands up. The second time, he began to tremble, and on the third time he was crying and having a fit. Around nine of months of age, Albert was run through some tests. He was introduced abruptly to a white rat, a rabbit, a dog, a monkey, with masks with and without hair, cotton wool, burning newspapers, and other things. At no time did he show any signs of fear or rage. These sessions were recorded on videotape. After these initial tests, Watson posed some questions. He wanted to determine if an emotional response of fear could be conditioned when the loud noise was paired with a white rabbit or rat, for example. Watson wanted to find out if this fear would transfer to other objects and if so, how long would this response last?
Watson then set out to establish a conditioned emotional response in Albert. At the age of 11 months, Albert began the procedure. He was first presented with a white rat. When he reached out to touch it, the bar was struck. The child fell forward, but did not cry. He reached for the animal again, and the noise was made a second time. This time little Albert cried. One week later, he was presented with the rat again. This time he did not reach for it immediately. Instead, the rat was placed closer to him. Then he slowly reached for it, but snatched his hand away before making contact with it. The rat was presented again and Albert cried at the sight of the rat alone. Watson had indeed conditioned a fear response in little Albert. Now he wanted to see if this response would transfer over to other objects. A week after the previous session, Albert was placed in the same room and had blocks to play with. He entered the room, smiled, giggled, and played with the blocks.
This showed he had not developed a fear of the room, blocks, or table. The rat was then presented. He turned away from it and whimpered. Albert was then shown a rabbit. He immediately cried and got as far away as possible from it. Then a dog was brought in. Albert did not cry right away. He was acting cautious, and it was only when the dog came right up to his head that he began to cry and tried to get away from it. After this, a seal fur coat was brought into the room. Albert turned from it and was agitated. When it was brought close to him, he cried. Researchers then presented Albert with some cotton wool in a paper bag. Placed at his feet, Albert kicked it away, avoiding contact with his hands.
Then Watson, himself put his head down to see if Albert with would play with his hair. He did not. But, he did play with two other researchers hair. Then Watson came in with a Santa Claus mask on and Albert showed a very negative reaction to that. After another week passed, Albert was exposed to the rat alone. Although he did try to avoid it, his reaction did not involve crying and was not as violent as before. So researchers put the rat in contact with his hand and struck the hammer against the steel again. This time Albert’s reaction was very strong. Then he was shown the rat alone twice more. He immediately moved away from it. The rabbit was brought in and Albert moved away from it and cried. Then the rabbit and the dog were paired with the loud sound and presented alone. Albert showed a fear response in those situations.
Watson then wanted to test whether the reaction would carry over in a different setting. The previous tests were done in a small dark room. Albert was then brought into a large bright lecture hall. He was then presented with the rat, followed by the rabbit. His fear reactions were only slight. However, the dog was brought in and he whimpered in the dog’s presence. Then the rat was paired with the noise, and then presented alone. His fear reaction was stronger when the noise was paired with the rat. The rabbit and the dog were then brought out again and Albert showed withdrawal reactions to both. Although Watson had shown that the fear response could carry over for a period of a week, he wanted to test it over a longer time. So, Albert was taken home and returned one month later. Albert was first exposed to the Santa Claus mask. He withdrew from it and cried when forced to touch it. Then he cried at the sight of it. The same series of events took place when the researchers brought in the fur coat. Afterwards, the rat was presented, followed by the rabbit.
With both animals, Albert showed the withdrawal reaction and cried when the rabbit was placed on his lap. Albert cried when the dog was brought in. Since Albert’s emotional response seemed to persist over time across environments and generalized to other stimuli, Watson wanted to see if he could essentially “undo” this reaction. Watson proposed several ways in which this might be accomplished. One path to take could have been to habituate Albert to the animals until he the fear response extinguished. Another possible solution could have been to recondition Albert’s responses. This could have been done through pairing the animal with candy or constructive activities. Unfortunately, further studies on “undoing” Albert’s conditioned fear response did not take place because he was never brought back to the hospital after the previously mentioned session. Nonetheless, Watson was able to make significant statements about his findings and influence the world around him. Watson concluded that phobias were most likely conditioned responses.
He stated that phobias were probably either a fear of the original stimulus or that they had been transferred to other stimuli, as the person grew older. Watson believed, like Freud, that early childhood experiences influenced the adult personality. Watson differed from Freud in that he had behavioral evidence that learned responses in childhood transferred across stimuli and environments, carrying over a period of time, whereas Freud focused more on instincts had no evidence for his theory. Watson’s work still lives on today. The effects of his research can especially be noticed in contemporary behavior therapy. Behavior therapy can be done via counter-conditioning. An associate of Watson’s, Mary Cover Jones found in 1924 that desensitization of a stimulus was very useful.
The effects of his research can especially be noticed in contemporary behavior therapy. Behavior therapy can be done via counter-conditioning. An associate of Watson’s, Mary Cover Jones found in 1924 that desensitization of a stimulus was very useful. She worked with a three-year-old boy who was scared of rabbits. She paired the rabbit with a pleasurable activity and the child’s fear disappeared. It wasn’t until Joseph Wolpe’s work in 1958, however, that the term and technique systematic desensitization became popular in psychology. He also introduced progressive relaxation into therapy of phobias. Today, therapists may also use exposure therapy, flooding, or aversive conditioning in the case of alcoholism, for example. The “Little Albert” study is extremely important in psychology and other disciplines. It has inspired other important researchers of the past and continues to impact the direction of psychological investigation today. The “Little Albert” implications had a profound effect on the world at the time. In fact, Watson’s findings continue to influence psychology, especially therapy, even in modern times.
INTERESTING FACT In 1968, Watson wrote The Double Helix, one of the Modern Library's 100 best non-fiction books. The account is the sometimes painful story of not only the discovery of the structure of DNA, but the personalities, conflicts and controversy surrounding their work. Watson's original title was to have been "Honest Jim," in that the book recounts the discovery of the double helix from his point of view and included many of his private emotional impressions at the time. The book changed the way the public viewed scientists and the way they work. The Double HelixModern Library
POLITICAL ACTIVISM Vietnam War: While a professor at Harvard University, Watson, along with "12 Faculty members of the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" including one other Nobel prize winner, spearheaded a resolution for "the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces' from Vietnam."  Vietnam War  Nuclear proliferation and environmentalism: In 1975, on the "thirtieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima," Watson along with "over 2000 scientists and engineers" spoke out against nuclear proliferation to President Ford in part because of the "lack of a proven method for the ultimate disposal of radioactive waste" and because "The writers of the declaration see the proliferation of nuclear plants as a major threat to American liberties and international safety because they say safeguard procedures are inadequate to prevent terrorist theft of commercial reactor-produced plutonium." Nuclear proliferationenvironmentalism
Other facts… Watson has repeatedly supported genetic screening and genetic engineering in public lectures and interviews, arguing that stupidity is a disease and the "really stupid" bottom 10% of people should be cured.He has also suggested that beauty could be genetically engineered, saying "People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great."genetic screeninggenetic engineering He has been quoted in The Sunday Telegraph as stating: "If you could find the gene which determines sexuality and a woman decides she doesn't want a homosexual child, well, let her."The biologist Richard Dawkins wrote a letter to The Independent claiming that Watson's position was misrepresented by The Sunday Telegraph article, and that Watson would equally consider the possibility of having a heterosexual child to be just as valid as any other reason for abortion, to emphasise that Watson is in favor of allowing choice. The Sunday TelegraphRichard Dawkins On the issue of obesity, Watson has also been quoted as saying: "Whenever you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you're not going to hire them." Watson also had quite a few disagreements with Craig Venter regarding his use of EST fragments while Venter worked at NIH. Venter went on to found Celera genomics and continued his feud with Watson. Watson was even quoted as calling Venter "Hitler."Craig VenterESTNIHCeleraHitler While speaking at a conference in 2000, Watson had suggested a link between skin color and sex drive, hypothesizing that dark-skinned people have stronger libidos. His lecture, complete with slides of bikini-clad women, argued that extracts of melanin — which give skin its color — had been found to boost subjects' sex drive. "That's why you have Latin lovers," he said, according to people who attended the lecture. "You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient." libidosmelanin
PERSONAL LIFE Watson married Elizabeth Lewis in 1968. They have two sons, Rufus Robert Watson (b. 1970) and Duncan James Watson (b. 1972). Watson occasionally makes reference to his son Rufus, who suffers from schizophrenia, encouraging progress in understanding and treatment by determining by what amount mental illness might be explained by genetics.schizophrenia