Week 3 Project: Essay—Little Albert and Classical Conditioning
There have been several classic experiments to study and describe classical conditioning; one of the more famous is the Little Albert experiment. Over the years, the experiment has lost some of its validity due to numerous interpretations by several introductory psychology textbooks. It is, therefore, beneficial to go back to the original (or primary) source and read what the authors of the experiment themselves had to say.
Copy and paste the following line in the South University Online Library Quick Search line: “conditioned emotional reactions” (in quotation marks).
The original article by Watson and Rayner was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 1920. There is a reprint of the original article which can be found in the South University Online Library. Here is the reference for the article reprint: Watson, J. B., & Rayner, R. (2000). Conditioned Emotional Reactions. American Psychologist, 55(3), 313-317. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037//0003-066x.55.3.313
Read the article and answer the following questions:
- In the study, what are unconditioned stimulus (US), conditioned stimulus (CS), and conditioned response (CR)?
- Explain the concept of generalization in regards to Watson and Rayner’s ability to condition Albert to react to different stimuli such as masks, other animals, and a fur coat?
- Using examples from the study, explain the concept of extinction.
Make sure you cite the article (see above for reference) you read as well as the textbook (used to explain classical conditioning).