Watson and Raynor - behaviourist explanation

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  • Watson and Raynor (behaviourist explanation)
    • to see if fear will be transferred to other, similar objects.
    • case study on little Albert, 11 months old
    • Albert had no fear of rats etc. but when he was 8 months he was startled by a steel bar hit by a hammer
    • session 1 - steel bar struck when Albert was shown a white rat in the lab
      • made albert jump and fall forward
    • session 2 - rat alone presented and then with loud noise x3. then just the rat and then with loud noise twice again
      • albert had then gained a fear of white rats but also it had been translated to other objects such as a monkey, rabbit, dog, mask with hair or cotton wool.
    • behaviourist explanation is that phobias are learnt through conditioning
      • classical conditioning could explain phobias e.g this study
        • or operant by being rewarded for the fear etc.


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