John B Watson

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John B Watson

John Broadus Watson (Greenville, January 9, 1878-New York, September 25, 1958) was an American psychologist, founder of Behaviorism.

He was one of the most important American psychologists of the 20th century, known for having founded the Behavioral Psychology School, which he inaugurated in 1913 with the publication of his article “Psychology as seen by the Behaviorist.”

It is famous the phrase, that he himself admitted like exaggeration, in which he maintains that taking a dozen of any children, and applying techniques of modification of conduct, could obtain any type of person that wished:

Give me a hundred healthy, well-educated children to educate them, andpromise to choose one of them at random and train them to become a specialist of any kind thatcan choose-doctor, lawyer, artist, businessman and even beggar or thief – regardless of their talent, inclinations, tendencies, aptitudes, vocations and race of their ancestors.

He is also known for his controversial experiment with the Little Albert made with Rosalie Rayner, his personal assistant.

John B Watson’s Biography

John Broadus Watson was born in Greenville, South Carolina on January 9, 1878 and died in New York on September 25, 1958.

He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1903. His dissertation “Animal education: an experimental study on the psychical development of the white mouse, correlated with the growth of its nervous system”, is the first modern scientific document on behavior of the white rat. In the paper, Watson describes the relationship between cerebral myelination and learning ability in rats throughout their biological development.

Watson stayed at Johns Hopkins University for several years doing research on the relationship between sensorial inputs and learning and behavior of birds.

In October 1920, Watson was invited to leave his chair at Johns Hopkins University because of rumors about his relationship with his assistant Rosalie Rayner (who would be his collaborator in the famous experiment on the conditioning of the fear with the little Albert), going on to work later as a psychologist for the Thompson company (a fact for which he was widely criticized by his colleagues at the time).

More Facts about John B Watson

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