Watson and Rayner

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Watson and Rayner - Conditioned Emotional Reaction

The aim of the study was to see if a conditioned fear response could be created in a previously normal child by using classical conditioning. 

The sole participant in this study with 9 month old "Little Albert".

The method was a controlled experiment conducted as a case study.

The procedure of this study was firstly to instill a fear response in Albert, this was done by striking a metal bar close to Little Albert, he wad frightened of the noise. This feared sound was paired with the presence of a white rat which Albert had previously played happily with. This process was repeated for 6 weeks.

As a result, within the first week Albert showed fear of the rat, this got worse over 7 sessions to the point whereby the rat would be presented without the sound and a strong response would occur. The fear transferred to other white objects such as white dogs, a white coat, some cotton wool, Watson's hair and a Santa Claus mask. Albert was removed from the experiment before it was discovered if the fear could be removed.

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