The Theory Of Classical Conditioning

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In 1920, behaviorist John B. Watson and his graduate student Rosalie Rayner wanted to study classical conditioning in people. Classical conditioning is when two stimuli are paired and produce an effect off of the second stimulus, but eventually produce the same effect with the first stimulus individually. Watson believed they were capable of furthering psychologist Ivan Pavlov’s research on conditioning dogs to conditioning humans. Watson was a professor at John Hopkins University and of course, that was Rayner’s alma mater. Watson wanted to justify that emotions were something learned and not inherently placed in the human mind. According to Alexander Burgemeester, Watson hypothesized that although it was uncommon for a baby to have a phobia of animals, “if one animal succeeds in arousing fear, any moving furry animal thereafter may arouse it” (Burgemeester). Both, Watson and Rayner fed off of scientist Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiment. On the one hand, I do not support the Little Albert experiment because in my opinion, it was unethical and unreliable. The scientists were focused on proving their point and they paid little attention into unconditioning the baby. Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist who is famously known for his classical conditioning experiment on dogs, better known as Pavlov’s Dogs. Pavlov originated classical conditioning unintentionally (McLeod). His experiment consisted of a dog, its saliva glands, dog food, and a bell. Pavlov noticed that dogs had natural reflexes and wanted to point out that they did not need to be taught certain things (McLeod). The dog 's’ saliva glands were the main implements while conducting this experiment. His goal was to see whether or not the dog would pro... ... middle of paper ... ...han positive factors. Moreover, Little Albert received no assistance to be unconditioned. There is no way the International Review Board would pass this experiment today, even back then if the members were aware of the barbarous complications. There are numerous factors the review boards must examine. There cannot be any deception, the experimenters must reveal all truths and facts that may come along the experiment before the human subject gives a consent. After the human subject has given their consent they must be informed that they have the ability to withdraw from the experiment at any time. The pioneers must constantly be aware of everything that is going on so they can assure the human subject that they are protecting him/her from any physical and mental harm. The main aspect of the experiment must be ethical and follow the board’s guidelines all around.

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