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John B. Watson

John B. Watson (1878-1958) was an American psychologist and the founder of behaviorism. Born in South Carolina, Watson eventually studied under John Dewey at the University of Chicago, earning a Ph.D. in 1903. In 1908, he began teaching at Johns Hopkins University, a position he held until 1920. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on John B. Watson that follows your specific guidelines.

John B. Watson

Watson's Behaviorist Manifesto

In 1913, Watson published an article that became known as the “Behaviorist Manifesto.” In it, he described his new theories that described behaviorism as an experimental branch of psychology. The goal was to be able to predict behavior. Much of Watson’s work was influenced by the writings and experiments of the scientist Ivan Pavlov, famous for his experiments on dogs.

Behaviorism, as a branch of psychology, focuses on the following:

  1. External behaviors of individuals rather than their internal psychological makeup and motivations
  2. Watson believed that consciousness could not be studied
  3. Watson asserted that psychology should not concern itself with the mind, only behaviors

Watson's Experiment

In 1928, Watson published Psychological Care of Infant and Child, co-written with his wife. In it, he proposed that children be treated like small adults and warned against providing too much love and affection. In an experiment called the “Little Albert” experiment, Watson was able to instill fear of a white rat into a child through conditioning. This experiment has remained one of the most controversial in the history of psychology.

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