Essay and Answer Writing → Research and Studies

‘Little Albert’ experiment

The ‘Little Albert’ experiment conducted in 1920 demonstrated that punishments can instill a deep fear in children.
The ‘Little Albert’ experiment was conducted by John B Watson and his partner Rosalie Rayner at Johns Hopkins University on a nine- month- old infant ‘Albert’. Initially, when a small rat was placed before Albert, he showed no fear.
When Albert was 11 months old, Watson gradually began to create fear in him. Whenever the little child touched the rat, a hammer was struck on a steel bar. The sudden loud noise would cause Albert to cry and burst into tears.
Soon after, the child developed fear of the rat itself. Instead of loving and trying to touch the rat, Albert would be scared and start crying as soon as he saw it. Watson gradually created similar conditioned reflexes with other common animals and objects until Albert feared them all. 
‘Little Albert’ experiment

Source: “Mastering Essay & Answer Writing for UPSC Civil Services IAS/ IPS & State PSC Main Exam” by Dr Awdhesh Singh, available at

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