John Broadus Watson Pablo

Pablo Kawas
IB Psychology
Personal Data
 Born: 9-January-1878
Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina
Died: 25-September-1958
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Infection
 Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Psychologist
Personal Data
 Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Behaviorism
 Mother: Emma Watson
Father: Pickens Watson
Wife: Mary Ickes (Divorced 1920).
Wife: Rosalie Rayner (His student).
Early Life
 Watson was born and raised in Greenville, South
Carolina. He entered college at the age of 16 and left it
at the age of 21 already with a masters degree. He
worked for a year as a principal for grade school and
the went to the University of Chicago to study
12 Infants
 “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 beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants,
tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his
12 Infants
 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]
12 Infants
 The past quote states Watson’s ideas of behaviorism
very clearly. He thought he could make any enfant,
regardless his abilities, where he came from or
anything else, and turn him into what ever he wanted
to. The quote is often presented without the last
sentence, in which he states that he is going “beyond
his facts”.
Animal Behavior
 For several years, Watson researched the physical
development of the white rat, correlated with its
nervous system. In his work he described the
relationship between the brain and the learning
system of rats in different ages.
 In 1913 Watson published works providing information
of his thoughts on psychology and behavior. The
article was called “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views
It”. In the article he mentioned a new philosophy in
psychology, behaviorism.
 Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely
objective experimental branch of natural science. Its
theoretical goal is the prediction and control of
behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its
methods, nor is the scientific value of its data
dependent upon the readiness with which they lend
themselves to interpretation in terms of
 The behaviorist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme
of animal response, recognizes no dividing line
between man and brute. The behavior of man, with all
of its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of
the behaviorist's total scheme of investigation.
What you just read is the first paragraph of Watson
article, “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It”. In it
we can clearly notice the main concept, that is that
behavior can be controlled or manipulating through
proper conditioning.
Little Albert
 Many consider this experiment, carried out by Watson
and his assistant Rosalie Rayner in 1920 to be very
controversial. The goal of the experiment was to show
how principles of, at the time recently
discovered, classical conditioning could be applied to
condition fear of a white rat into "Little Albert", an 11month-old boy.
Little Albert
 The experiment consisted of presenting a small white
rat, among other animals, to 11 month old Albert. At
first he showed no response, but after several times of
presenting the rat with a loud noise, Little Albert cried
at the sight of the rat. The fear had been conditioned.
Little Albert
 The “Little Albert” experiment was and is strongly
criticized now a days. The reason for the harsh
criticism is it un-ethical nature. An 11 month old baby
was put into psychological suffering without its
consent, but this part is irrelevant because of the fact
that your striking fear into an infant.
Rosalie Rayner
 Rosalie Rayner was Watson’s assistant for many years.
She was her student at John Hopkins University, from
which he was asked to leave for holding an affair with
her. This caused Watson to divorce his wife, and
during the divorce process, many newspapers
published information about his romance with
 After his long life as a psychologist Watson roamed in
the land of advertising. Thanks to contacts provided by
a old colleague, Watson began working for the US
advertising agency J. Walter Thompson.
 Watson started as a modest apprentice in the area of
advertising, but due to the obvious relationship
between advertising and psychology he was promoted
to vice-president in less than 2 years. He was making
much more money than he did in the past with his
academic salary.
After Life
 Watson retired from writing for the public in 1936 and
retired from advertising when he was about 65 years
old. He lived his last years in a farm with a female
companion. It was rumored that he was an alcoholic,
but left it on recommendations of a physician. Watson
burned many of his letters and works, limiting
historians and psychologists the information about
After Life
 Watson died in 1958 at the age of 80, shortly after
receiving a citation from the American Psychological
Association for his contributions to psychology. An
interesting fact is that he is credited with the concept
of “coffee breaks” after a campaign for Maxwell House
Video on Little Albert
Works Cited

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