Psychologists have closely studied behaviorism over many years. Until the 1960’s, Behaviorism was the most influential school of thought in American psychology. John B. Watson is considered to be the father of Behaviorism, stating that behavior is observable and measurable and therefore, objective and scientific. The Father of Behaviorism
John B. Watson was born on January 9, 1878. At the tender age of 16 he attended Furman University, graduating 5 years later with a master’s degree. He later received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Chicago in 1903. He then went onto teaching at John Hopkins University. Here he performed a series of experiments. One of them including a very famous experiment: “The Little Albert Experiment” (1920). In this experiment he conditioned an eleven-month-old infant to be afraid of a white rat, at first he was not scared of it; but as soon as the infant attempted to caress the animal, a loud noise would be made, making the infant cry. Apparently “Little Albert” associated the white rabbit and the loud noise together thus making him turn away and cry at the sight of the animal and anything that resembled it. Maybe this is why his quote is so famous to this day; “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.” Classical conditioning allowed Mr. Watson to make this statement because of his ability to manipulate the environment around his test subjects causing them to love, fear, or be anything he chooses.
Roots of Behaviorism
The roots of psychological behaviorism all began within the classical associationism of the British Empiricists John Locke (1632-...