In The Laboratory Study of Fear: The Case of Peter, Mary Cover Jones provided a detailed description of a case study dealing with overcoming ones fears. Numerous amounts of experiments were done on young children to see which one produced the biggest response in removing fears. All these experiments are related to the Baby Albert case study however, that study had to be discontinued due to the removal of Albert in the laboratory/hospital. However, Dr. Watson still had unanswered questions from the Baby Albert case. To continue with the attempt in eliminating fear, a new case study had to be brought about.
After observing a handful of young children, two year old Peter was selected for the continuation of Dr. Watson’s experiment. He too had the same fear of the white rat, and other items such as the white rabbit, cotton, furry coats, rugs, etc. However, Peter was also picked for the experiment due to he was easy to observe, he was a norm healthy, active, intriguing, and possessive two year old. In addition, Peter was able to be observed for a period longer than three months. Before starting the experiment, Dr. Watson’s question still remained, “After the child has the fear of a certain stimuli and that fear spreads to other similar looking/feeling stimuli, can you remove the fear of just one of all those similar stimuli and get it to work for all?”
When Watson began his experimenting with young 2 year and 10 month old Peter, it was to his advantage that everything starting in this case of Peter, was where he left off with the case on Baby Albert. One experiment they did was placing Peter in his crib some of his toys he liked. While he became intrigued with his toys, a white rat was let loose in the crib and of course Peter began to cry. However, when the experimenter Barbra came out and put Peter on a chair, she picked up the rat herself to show Peter she had no fear. When she asked him to get out of the chair he was still extremely afraid and said no at...
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