Remembering Study of Little Albert

The main thing we learned about the study of Little Albert Watson and Walter Freeman had conduct unethical research, however they discovered many things about human behaviors. Watson and Rayner had successfully conditioned the child to fear rats however Little Albert had a psychopathological disorder. John Watson and Pavlov’s research are able to explain significant of human psychology. It is very interesting for me to see how using animals like rats or dogs, and finding great scientific clues to help theories. For instance researches like based on self-reports aren’t reliable or valid as well as experimental research. It is very difficult to find significant results without using animals when conducting research.

little-albert-watson-rational-psychology-murat-artiranIn fact, it is not surprising for Watson to conduct such research. He once told that “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 beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and the race of his ancestors” (Watson, 1924, p. 104). (Sommers-Flanagan, 2012).

We also shouldn’t forget the genetic factors (flour!) in behaviors. Some research using not flour but animals to discover the information about genetic influences on human. There still might be Little Albert in today. Who knows!

Author: Murat Artiran, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist


– Sommers-Flanagan, J. & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2012). Psychotherapy Theories in Context and Practice. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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