Watson and Rayner (1920) Little Albert

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  • Watson and Rayner (1920) Little Albert
    • Procedure
    • Results
    • Conclusions
    • Evaluation
  • LAB single ppt design, 11 mths 3 days, reared in hospital, placid nature
  • ethics considered but decided wouldnt be too upsetting
  • tested for fears first: rats, rabbits, fur, fire = none found startle reflex by hitting metal bar w/ hammer
  • began pairing w/rat and waited one week to continue
    • wary after = some effect, continued until sight of stimulus = fear response
  • intended to extinguish but moved
  • generalisation to dog&rabbit but not wooden blocks he played with
  • when left for 1 mth still feared rat, rabbit, dog + santa mask
  • an emotional response can be conditioned in an 11mth old & generalised to other objects
  • fear response had lasted, did not explore whether it could be extinguished
  • supports Pavlov's CC theory...
  • further applied to wider society and species combined with pavlov
  • good standardised controls (not afraid @ start) gives baseline for OBSERVATION = reliability and accurate
  • only one person (child) findings lack generalisability of relating to every child - Al placid
  • ethical issues: distress, consent, right to withdraw


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