No Science text books have ever featured The Little Albert experiment.
This experiment was performed on a child named Albert B. He was 9 months old when John B. Watson, the prominent psychologist, chose him for the experiment.
This experiment was started with white colour and a bang of hammer. Watson exposed the boy with white coloured rat, a monkey, a rabbit and masks etc. Initially, he displayed no fear to them. But this time, when white rat was exposed to him, he made a loud noise with the bang of hammer. On hearing this noise, naturally, the boy started crying.
He repeatedly combined the white rat with noise for 7 weeks. After this, whenever the boy was exposed to white colour, he, regardless of noise produced, will start crying. This made the little boy to fear white colour.
He demonstrated this experiment to prove classical conditioning in humans. Yet he proved this. In this experiment different responses to stimuli were as follows;
- Neutral Stimulus: The white rat
- Unconditioned Stimulus: The loud noise
- Unconditioned Response: Fear
- Conditioned Stimulus: The white rat
- Conditioned Response: Fear
Albert proved conditioning in humans, he started crying on seeing every white coloured thing. In today’s psychology this is considered as one of the most notorious experiments.
John Watson was unable to knock the fear out of his head. Albert moved from the city. Albert (according to some) whose real name was Douglas Merritte had a bad ending, he died at the age of six on May 10, 1925 of hydrocephalus .
This experiment will be remembered in the history of psychology. A lot of debate has been done on this experiment and according to my opinion this was an unethical experiment.