Little Albert Study Analysis

Little Albert Study Analysis

Kaplan University

PS124 – Unit 3 Assignment

Little Albert Study Analysis

John B. Watson used the study with baby Albert to demonstrate classical conditioning, which was first discovered by Ivan Pavlov (Johncheezy, 2010). Learning associations or events that occur together is known as conditioning. Classical conditioning includes two stimuli or events that stimulate a response (Myers, 2014). Watson presented Albert with various things of interest. Albert was not afraid and seemingly enjoyed the stimuli. He then began the conditioning by striking a bar and making a loud noise every time Albert showed interest. On the second round, Albert became distraught at the loud noise and became fearful of the object once interested in. Watson was successful at conditioning fear into Albert as he no longer wanted to see any of the objects presented or those with similar characteristics to the white rat which initiated the fearful response. This is known as generalization. Once moved into a different setting, Albert did not seem as fearful of the objects, until they were once again paired with a loud noise. To determine whether he could get Albert to remain fearful for a long period of time, he did not test again for one month. The results were the same, proving that Watson indeed had conditioned fear into baby Albert. This concluded that it was very likely that phobias were conditioned responses (Johncheezy, 2010). Opposite of habituation, which is the weakened response to stimuli through repeated exposure, as learned in chapter 4, Albert obtained a fear response, which did not weaken over time. This was likely due to the young age of the child who has not yet reached a period of cognitive maturity and understanding (Myers, 2014). In other words, Albert had no recognition of what was taking place.

  1. Identify the study (video) you selected.
    • Little Albert
  2. Describe what this study demonstrated about human behavior and mental processes using the results of the study along with information you have learned in units 1-3.