Whatever happened to little Albert?

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Abstract

Examines J. B. Watson and R. Rayner's 1920 conditioning of the infant Albert B. Using published sources, the present article reviews the study's actual procedures and its relationship to Watson's career and work. A history of psychologists' accounts of the Albert study is also presented, focusing on the study's distortion by Watson himself, general textbook authors, behavior therapists, and most recently, a prominent learning theorist. The author proposes possible causes for these distortions and analyzes the Albert study as an example of myth making in the history of psychology. (98 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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