January 22, 2012
John B. Watson
John Broadus Watson, an American psychologist, was born in Travelers Rest, South Carolina on January 9, 1878. Watson began his post-secondary education at Furman University where he got his master’s degree at age 21, then to the University of Chicago where he studied philosophy. In 1901 Watson got married to Mary Ickes and had two children followed by acquiring his Ph.D. in psychology in 1903. In 1908, he began teaching psychology at John Hopkins University proceeded by his famous lecture at Colombia University titled “Psychology as behaviorist views it”. Watson played an intricate role in the development of psychology by studying psychology with a behaviorist approach. The concept behind this is that an individual’s behavior is the proper why to study and observe. He didn’t follow the norm by observing the mind because his theory is that one cannot study the mind; we cannot see or know what an individual is thinking. Watsons’s role in psychology was based on advancing the study of behaviorism and eradiating the study if the mind. John B. Watson contributed to science psychology by focusing on the science of behavior versus the science of the mind. He disputed the original definition of psychology as being “the science of the mind or conscience”, consequently with the aid of his studies, he denoted psychology as being “a purely objective experimental branch of natural science”, forming today what is known as The Behaviorist Manifesto. Watson’s lectures and studies of different behaviors displayed by multiply individuals, initially animals, later assisted in the foundation of the school of behaviorism in psychology. After his son died in 1954, he took out his frustration by burning all his work and in 1957 he was awarded the gold medal from the American Psychological Association for his contributions to the field of psychology. Watson died in New York City on September 25, 1958.