Little Albert

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Assignment 3: Essay—Little Albert and Classical Conditioning

There have been several classic experiments to study and describe classical conditioning; one of the more famous is the Little Albert experiment. Over the years, the experiment has lost some of its validity due to numerous interpretations by several introductory psychology textbooks. It is, therefore, beneficial to go back to the original (or primary) source and read what the authors of the experiment themselves had to say.

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.

Submit your essay in a Microsoft Word document to the W2: Assignment 3 Dropbox by Wednesday, September 5, 2012. Cite your sources on a separate page using the APA format.

Name your document SU_PSY1001_W2_A3_LastName_FirstInitial.doc.

Assignment 3 Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Researched the article on the Little Albert experiment and included the following in your essay: Explained the initial pairing of the bar and the rat in terms of learning through classical conditioning, including US, CS, and CR. (10 points) Analyzed how Watson...
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