John B Watson

Topics: Psychology, Behaviorism, John B. Watson Pages: 5 (1836 words) Published: November 18, 2012
This paper explores the life and achievements of John Broadus Watson. He was a famous psychologist known as the Father of Behaviorism. Watson was best known for his views and theories known as behaviorism. Watson is also known for comparative and experimental psychology, and perhaps his most famous experiment, the Little Albert Experiment. On February 24, 1913, he delivered a famous lecture that is believed to be the birth of behaviorism. Watson’s experiments and publications made major impacts on the world of psychology, changing the views and ideas of not only psychologist worldwide, but as well as the people of the world. Many of Watson’s concepts and methods of conditioning and behavioral modification are still used by psychologist today.

Throughout the history of psychology, there have been many influential psychologists. Each of these psychologists left their own individual and unique mark in psychology and the world in general. A psychologist is clinically defined as a person who studies the mind and behavior and specializes in diagnosing and using "talk therapy" in treating emotional disturbances, mental illnesses, and behavioral problems. One of the many influential psychologists in American psychology is John B. Watson, Father of Behaviorism. Watson is best known for his life, behaviorism, career achievements and Little Albert Experiment. John Watson was born January 9, 1878, in South Carolina to Emma and Pickens Watson. His mother, Emma, was a very religious person; however, his father did not share these same general views of life. Pickens was an alcoholic and participated in extra marital affairs. He left in 1891, Watson was 13 years old. Watson was determined to follow in his father’s unruly footsteps, became rebellious and even violent at times. Watson claimed to be a poor and disorderly student; nevertheless he entered Furman University at the age of 16. Five years later he received his masters and continued to further his education. Watson entered the University of Chicago seeking a doctorate in psychology and philosophy. During his studies here, me met and married his first wife Mary Ikes. The two had two children during their marriage, John and Mary. Watson graduated from the University of Chicago in 1903, receiving his PhD in psychology. Five years later Watson was selected to be the professor of comparative and experimental psychology at John Hopkins University. Just as his father, Watson too participated in extra martial affairs. While teaching at John Hopkins, he met Rosalie Rayner. It wasn’t long that John and Mary divorced and Rayner and Watson were wed. Together they had two children, William and James. It was also at John Hopkins University where Watson formed his views, ideas and theories that would later become known as branch of psychology known as behaviorism. Watson specifically outlined his view of behaviorism during his lecture on February 24, 1913, at John Hopkins. This is said to be the day behaviorism was born. This lecture also became known as one of psychology’s most famous lectures. “Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness. The behaviorist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute. The behavior of man, with all of its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of the behaviorist's total scheme of investigation.[p.158]” Rather emphasizing on the internal mental state of a person, Watson put his emphases on the external behavior and reaction to the given situation. Watson believed that evaluating reactions and external behaviors of a person was the only true way to receive...
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