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Little Albert And Classical Conditioning Essay

981 words - 4 pages

Little Albert and Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning may be defined as; a kind of associative learning where two stimuli happen in a combined as well as frequent manner because of which, they ultimately become linked with each other. The outcome of this union is that each stimulus sooner or later generates an identical response. In fact, this technique is applied in behavioral training in which Unconditioned Stimulus (US) is paired with and leads towards the Conditioned Stimulus (CS) until the conditioned stimulus unaccompanied is enough to bring out the response (Abell et al., 1999).
To understand it clearly, there is need to recall the experiment performed by John B. Watson ...view middle of the document...

The most significant point noticed by researchers was that child illustrated identical response even if rat was not
paired with noisy sound.
Watson described that emotional reactions might be transformed via classical conditioning. For instance; here deafening sound was Unconditioned Stimulus (US) and Albert’s response to sound was Unconditioned Response (UR), but when Unconditioned Stimulus (US) was united with rat then rat (a neutral stimulus) turned into Conditioned Stimulus (CS). Further, after being conditioned to fear the white rat, Albert also exhibited fear response (Conditioned Response (CR)) against other hairy objects like; rabbit, dog, fur coat, and Santa Claus mask when their presentation was coupled with loud sound means; fear response triggered into the child became generalized. It is renowned as; “Concept of generalization” (responding against stimuli which are similar/related to the CS after being conditioned to react against a particular stimulus (CS)) (Watson & Rayner, 1920).

Though because of existence of conditioned response even after 31 days, Watson and Rayner reached up to the conclusion that it might be everlasting still according to current research studies, in case of classical conditioning, conditioned response cannot be called permanent since; it may get weak gradually (thus; may take time which was not enough in case of above experiment) once conditioned stimulus is no longer coupled with unconditioned stimulus. Such notion linked with deterioration of conditioned response is renowned as; “Concept of extinction” though, classically conditioned fears have a propensity not to stub out on their own chiefly for the reason that people try to avoid the conditioned stimulus once they have become frightened of it (Brady, 1956).
From above mentioned text it may be understood that Watson and Rayner could successfully explained numerous mysterious concepts relevant with human behavior with the help of their experiment because of which, it is recognized as a mile-stone in the field of psychology, still replication of this experiment is not...

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