Albert Case Study

Topics: Classical conditioning, Behaviorism, Operant conditioning Pages: 2 (413 words) Published: September 24, 2011
The initial pairing of the banging bar and the rat in terms of learning through classical conditioning the rat was suddenly taken from the basket and presented to Albert. Albert then “began to reach for rat with left hand. Just as his hand touched the animal the bar was struck immediately behind his head.” (Watson & Rayner.1920. para 9) This time Albert did not cry, but he did jump violently and fall forward, burying his face into the mattress. In classical conditioning; unconditioned stimulus is the stimulus that elicits an unconditioned response, Conditioned stimulus is a previously neutral stimulus that comes to elicit the conditioned response, and conditioned response is a response elicited by a previously neutral stimulus that has become associated with the unconditioned stimulus. (Zimbardo, Johnson, & McCann.2009. pg96) Watson and Rayner were able to condition Albert to react to different stimuli such as mask, other animals, and a fur coat; by creating a loud sudden noise with initial contact of any object of stimulus. The concept of generalization led me to believe that because Albert initially was introduced to most objects with the loud sudden sound of a striking bar, he assumed that it would happen every time. The conditioning did not last overtime, because Albert stopped reaching for the animals, and was soon forced to associate with them. One of the experimenters placed the rat on his chest, instead of him reaching for it. Albert’s lack of association caused extinction, because Albert would continuously try to get as far away from objects as he possibly could and fall over trying to get away as well. I did not feel that this experiment could be replicated or conducted today, because I did find it unethical to perform such task on an infant. I am most certain that they gained a large amount of valuable information and data from doing this experiment, but at what cost? It was stated, that the experimenters felt that they “could do him...
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