Presentation on theme: "By: Anahi Bendeck IB Psychology. John Broadus Watson was born near Greenville, South Carolina on January 9,1878. He was the son of Emma and Pickens."— Presentation transcript:
John Broadus Watson was born near Greenville, South Carolina on January 9,1878. He was the son of Emma and Pickens Watson. In the year 1891, John and the rest of his family was left behind by his father, complicating everything. Given the circumstances that his family was very poor, everything then became different for them. Since his father left his family, Watson held a long-life resentment towards him. As a child, John Broadus spent most of his childhood in the relative isolation and poverty of rural South Carolina.
At the early age of 16, Watson attended the Furman University, located in Greenvillage. Five years later, at the age of 21, he graduated with a basic introduction to psychology and a M.A. degree. Right after that, he spent a year as the principal of a private school, until he was later admitted into the University of Chicago, where he moved in the year 1900. Watson enrolled into the University where he studied philosophy with John Dewey, on the recommendation of Gordon Moore, a Furman Professor. When Watson arrived in Chicago, he found himself in a unique inte- llectual environment. His professor John Dewey, had arrived from the University of Michigan in the year 1894. Dewey, along with George Herbert Mead, Addison W. Moore, and James Rowland Angell, was forging a different approach to psychological theory and research.
As Watson graduation from the University of Chicago in the year 1903, he presented his thesis on the relationship between brain myelinization and learning ability in rats at different ages. Its title was "Animal Education: An Experimental Study on the Psychical Development of the White Rat, Correlated with the Growth of its Nervous System”. In his proposal, Watson proved that the degree of myelinization was not related much to the learning ability. After his graduation, Watson resided in the University of Chicago for several years, researching on the connection between sensory input and learning and bird behavior.
John Watson married Mary Ickes in 1903, they had two children which they named Polly and John. In the year 1920, Ickes filed for divorce since Watson had an affair with his research assistant Rosaline Rayner. After their divorce was finally legal, John immediately married Rosaline and had two children: Billy and Jimmy. His marriage with his research assistance was the reason for his expulsion from John Hopkins. His wife Rosaline died in the year 1936, of either pneumonia or dysentery, and that caused him to start drinking in an inconsiderate way, causing his family to break up.
-For behaviorists, psychology is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical, and most important, goal is the prediction and the control of the human’s behavior. The behavior of man, with all of its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of the behaviorist's total scheme of investigation. Watson, as a behaviorist, promoted a series of ideas that influenced further psychologists. Two of his most important works are “Little Albert” and his “Twelve Infant’s” quote. These two ideas Watson presented were basic to the foundation of behaviorism, which then became a fundamental pillar of what today defines psychology.
As Watson concluded his research at Chicago, he published the article "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It" — sometimes called "The Behaviorist Manifesto". This article was said to be the start of Watson and his behaviorism idea, and it clearly states his position regarding behaviorism. In his article, Watson outlined the most important features of the new philosophy of psychology he had developed: “behaviorism”.
In this article, Watson states his clear position regarding his idea, thus, he stated it in the first paragraph of the article:
In response to introspection, Watson and other premature behaviorists believed that controlled laboratory studies were the most effective and detailed way to study learning. With this advance, the manipulation of the learners environment became easier. This progress stands in contrast to techniques that placed the emphasis for learning in the mind of the called “learner”. Watson’s article, presented in 1913, is often given credit for the founding of behaviorism, and after its publication it had a insignificant impact. His second text, “Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist” is probably more responsible for introducing behaviorist values to a generation of future scholars of learning. In this way, Watson prepared psychologists and educators for the highly influential work of Skinner and other radical behaviorists in following decades.
A second critical factor in changing attitudes toward behaviorism was the appearance, in 1919, of Watson's “Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist”. Watson’s 1919 text was the first one to extend behaviorist analysis into the human psychological functions. In his first chapters, he introduces students to the vision of what psychology really is and how it is considered an independent natural science. Watson lays the basic foundation of psychology by outlining the major behavior categories in which he tries to argue for a clear difference between how a person will act without being synthesized into fearing or believing something.
In his famous text, Watson also includes a description of the anatomical structures and physiological functioning of the central nervous system, the receptors, and finally, the muscles and glands. Watson studies the behavior of people and he discusses about how people’s emotions can be controlled and related to these specific parts in the human body. Watson then presented a reasonably coherent, developmental, stimulus-response treatment of phenomena ranging from the basic emotional and reactions learned during a child’s infancy and the way a child can think and perceive information. This can be also related with the personality and the way adults think, the way they make their everyday decisions. His second textbook became very popular and was in the need of reprinting, since many people wanted it as a guide to learning about Watson’s “behaviorism”.
In order for Watson to state his position in a clearer way, Watson wrote this with the idea of letting people know that there is something about the environment that will influence hoe infants grow up and develop. Nevertheless, Watson was still struggling in the nature versus nuture argument. “ Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years. [Behaviorism (1930), p. 82] ”
The “Little Albert” experiment conducted by John B. Watson was an experiment that showed empirical evidence of what is called classical conditioning. Watson used this experiment in particular to find evidence classical conditioning in humans. As this study helped in the study of classical conditioning, it was also said to be an example of stimulus generalization. The purpose of the experiment was to help Watson support his idea that emotional responses could be conditioned, or learned. The experimenter came to believe that the fear was innate or it was due to an unconditioned response. Watson also believed that he could condition a child to fear another stimulus which would normally not be feared by a child; all following the principles of classical conditioning. The experiment was conducted at Johns Hopkins University in 1920 by Watson and his assistant Rosalie Rayner.
Albert was chosen from a hospital for this experiment at the age of almost nine months. He was the son of a nurse of the Phipps Clinic at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, where Watson and Rayner were conducting the experiment. Before Watson could start the experiment he had Alberto undergo several emotional tests. Albert was exposed, briefly and for the first time, to a white rat, a rabbit, a dog, a monkey, masks with and without hair, cotton wool, burning newspapers, etc. After this exposure, Albert showed no fear to any of these objects.
Little Albert was not being conditioned until approximately two months later, by the time Albert was 11 months old. It all began by placing Little Albert on a mattress on a table that was set in the middle of the room. Then, a white laboratory rat was placed near him and Albert was given the chance to play with it, letting Watson know that Albert had no fear towards the rat. In the next trials, Watson and his assistant made a loud sound behind the infant by striking a steel bar with a hammer. This was done when the baby touched the rat. Surprisingly, in these occasions, Little Albert showed fear as he heard the noise, causing him to cry. After the pairing of the sound and the rat, Albert was then conditioned to fear the rat. As the rat was presented later, Albert felt fear towards it. He cried, and tried to avoid the rat, moving from where he was. It was then proven, that Albert had asso- ciated the white rat with the loud noise, which then caused Albert to cry and fear the rat.
The “Little Albert” experiment led to the following series of results: 1. Introduction of a loud sound (unconditioned stimulus) resulted in fear (unconditioned response), a natural response. 2. Introduction of a rat (neutral stimulus) paired with the loud sound (unconditioned stimulus) resulted in fear (unconditioned response). 3. Successive introductions of a rat (conditioned stimulus) resulted in fear (conditioned response). This is when learning occurs.
What was challenging about this experiment was that Little Albert seemed to generalize his response so that when Watson sent a (non-white) rabbit into the room seventeen days after the original experiment, Albert also became distressed. He showed similar reactions when presented with a furry dog, a seal-skin coat, and even when Watson appeared in front of him wearing a Santa Claus mask with white cotton balls as his beard, although Albert did not fear everything with hair.
1915 – Served as the President of the American Psychological Association(APA) 1919 – Published Psychology From the Standpoint of a Behaviorist 1925 – Published Behaviorism 1928 – Published Psychological Care of Infant and Child 1957 – Received the APA’s award for contributions to psychology
By 1956 he had been nearly forgotten by psychology -his student Lashley had demolished associationism on theoretical grounds, Skinner was gaining in popularity regardless, and Chomsky was writing "Syntactic Structures". To the majority of the people today, John Watson can be considered a legend to the natural science of Psychology. In the year 1957, Watson was invited to New York City by the American Psychological Association to receive a special award. This award was being presented to him for his immense contributions to psychology. Watson went but he sent his son to receive it since he though he would break down in public. It read: “To Dr. John B. Watson, whose work has been one of the vital determinants of the form and substance of modern psychology. He initiated a revolution in psychological thought, and his writings have been the point of departure for continuing lines of fruitful research."
John B. Watson died on September 29, 1958, at the age of 80. Watson died in New York City, NY. The end of a wonderful, exploring era of psychology had come to its end. Watson was thee leader and the influence in many psychologists we study now a day, and he was also the founder of what today is called “behaviorism”. Thereby, John B. Watson was called “The Father of Behaviorism”.