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The Little Albert Case Study

Since human beings started walking on the earth, they lived the consequences of their actions, actions that are decided before put into command by their brain. Apparently, the brain, which is just a three-pound organ located inside the skull, determines our behavior, without the help of any other organs or our conscious thinking. For many decades, psychologists tried to explain the relationship between the way one acts and how the brain learns. Was conscious thinking the part of the process of deciding the actions taken? Or was it just an incumbency to our brain? To answer these questions, Ivan Pavlov conducted a study on dogs in 1897. Firstly, he brought food to his dogs and his dogs salivated as a reflex. Afterwards, he rang a…show more content…
He picked a nine-month-old infant named Albert, to be the key learner in his experiment, which would be later called “The Little Albert Experiment” and be judged for ethical reasons. Initially, Watson showed Albert various stimuli –including but not limited to a white rat, a rabbit and a monkey- and tested his reactions, which were nothing but curiosity and happiness. For the second stage, he paired every stimulus he showed Albert with a loud hammer noise. Little Albert cried in response to the noise and paired the stimulus shown to him with the unpleasant noise in his unconscious mind. He created a conditioned response to the conditioned stimulus, the rat. Months after this experiment, Little Albert came back for the second round and the expected results emerged: he cried when he saw the rat in the absence of the hammer noise. He even cried when he saw things that resembled a rat, which confirms the theory of generalization, along with the theory of classical conditioning. The Little Albert Experiment shows us that the brain works with the information submitted to it and leaves no room to conscious…show more content…
The aim of the box was to teach the rat in the box to press the lever by giving him food when he did. After spending some time inside the box, the rat realized that pressing the lever would bring him food, the reinforcement Skinner used. This experiment revealed another type of learning called operant conditioning, in which behavior is acquired because of the desired (or despised) consequences of the action. Operant conditioning is another confirmation that our brain determines our actions rather than our conscious control because the learning happens only because the results are somewhat pushing one to do the
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