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Classical Conditioning Paper

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Running head: Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning
University of Phoenix, Online
Learning and Cognition PSY/390
May 1, 2011

Classical conditioning is best explained and defined by analyzing its theorists and their experiments. J.B. Watson and Ivan Pavlov were instrumental in classical conditioning with their experiments of human beings and animals which were ground-breaking to the field of Psychology (Haworth, 1992). We will explore classical conditioning by analyzing both theorist’s experiments as well as introduce a scenario in which classical conditioning would be applicable and demonstrate its effectiveness through a chart illustration.
J.B. Watson John Broadus Watson was a psychologist born in Greenville, S.C. in 1878 and died in 1958. He focused his studies and analysis on the observation of human beings. He originated the school of behaviorism which deals with behavior in response to stimuli. He saw psychology as the study of human behavior and the ability to predict and control those behaviors. John B. Watson is very well known for his experiment called “Little Albert” in which he theorized that children have three basic emotional reactions which are fear, rage and love. Through his experiment, he wanted to prove that these three basic emotional reactions could be artificially conditioned in children by operant means. In the Little Albert experiment, Watson took an 11-month old infant and repeatedly presented the infant with a rat in conjunction with a sudden, loud noise to condition the child to be afraid of the rat. Although the infant was not fearful of the rat prior to this experiment, Watson wanted to prove that he could instill a fear of the rat in Little Albert by means of classical conditioning. Watson’s experiment was clearly a success because Little Albert was...

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