Essay on Watson's Classical Conditioning Research

Essay on Watson's Classical Conditioning Research

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What is Watson’s Classical Conditioning? Classical Conditioning was found by Dr. Ivan Pavlov. Watson’s research was influenced by Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning Theory. Watson made a research on children’s emotions using the Classical Conditioning model. According to Watson, love, fear, and anger are the three kinds of emotions inherited by humans (Hall 1988). He believed these emotions could be learned through conditioning. He formed his hypothesis and carried out an experiment. John B. Watson’s classical condition experiment was on a child named Little Albert. This experiment was while a child was playing with a rabbit, smashing two bars to make a loud noise behind the child’s head. After hearing the loud noise the child became terrified of the rabbit (Hall 1988).
What is Skinner’s Operant Conditioning? Skinner was the first to discuss operant conditioning. McLead (2007) explained that an operant condition means that using reinforcements given after a desired response could change behavior. There were three types of responses that can follow the behavior. Neutral operants, reinforces, and punishers were the three types of responses. According to McLead (2007), Skinner invented a box with levers and lights to test his theory. He placed a hungry rat inside where the rat learned to press the levels for different responses. One level would give it a piece of food and the rat would not receive food when the light was off. This box demonstrated the shaping of behaviors through operant conditioning.

The two articles chosen on Watson’s Classical Conditioning were “Priority in the Classical Conditioning of Children and Vicarious Classical Conditioning of Emotional Responses in Nursery School Children”. The study of...

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...opmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 10, 6, 697-705.
Carrera, F. ., & Adams, P. L. (January 01, 1970). An ethical perspective on operant conditioning. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 9, 4, 607-23.
Hall, J. (1988). Classical Conditioning. In Psychology Word. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from
McLead, S. (2007). Skinner-Operant Conditioning. In Simply Psychology. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from
Venn, J. R., & Short, J. G. (1973). Vicarious classical conditioning of emotional responses in nursery school children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28(2), 249-255. doi:10.1037/h0035717
Windholz, G., & Lamal, P. A. (December 01, 1986). Priority in the Classical Conditioning of Children. Teaching of Psychology, 13, 4, 192-195.

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