Share
Explore BrainMass

Watson's Classical Conditioning Experiment

Copy and paste the following line in a Google search:

Watson J. B., & Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 3(1), 1-14.

Read the article and answer the following questions in your essay:

Explain the initial pairing of the banging bar and the rat in terms of learning through classical conditioning. What is unconditioned stimulus (US), conditioned stimulus (CS), and conditioned response (CR)?
How were Watson and Rayner able to condition Albert to react to different stimuli such as masks, other animals, and a fur coat? Explain the concept of generalization.
Why didn't the conditioning last over time? Explain the concept of extinction.
Considering the current standards, can the same experiment be conducted (or replicated) by researchers today? Explain some of the ethical issues related to the experiment.
Make sure you cite the article you read as well as the textbook, if used.

Solution Preview

Thank you for using Brainmass.com.

Read the article and answer the following questions in your essay:

Explain the initial pairing of the banging bar and the rat in terms of learning through classical conditioning. What is unconditioned stimulus (US), conditioned stimulus (CS), and conditioned response (CR)?
How were Watson and Rayner able to condition Albert to react to different stimuli such as masks, other animals, and a fur coat? Explain the concept of generalization.
Why didn't the conditioning last over time? Explain the concept of extinction.
Considering the current standards, can the same experiment be conducted (or replicated) by researchers today? Explain some of the ethical issues related to the experiment.

Definitions: taken from the glossary in Ellis Ormrod (2003)

Classical conditioning: a form of learning whereby a new, involuntary response is acquired as a result of two stimuli being presented at the same time.

Unconditioned stimulus: a stimulus that, without prior learning, elicits a particular response.

Conditioned stimulus: a stimulus that, through classical conditioning, begins to elicit a particular response.

Conditioned response: a response that, through classical conditioning, begins to be ...

Solution Summary

This solution gives a review of J.B. Watson's classical conditioning experiment using the child Albert. Definitions of classical conditioning terminology, methods, results and ethics concerns are discussed. The text contains 643 words, definitions and references.

$2.19