The Case of Little Albert Term Paper by jlatigue

The Case of Little Albert
A review of the "Little Albert" clinical psychology experiment.
# 149516 | 1,774 words | 8 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 21, 2011 in Psychology (Behaviorism) , Psychology (Clinical)

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The paper describes John B. Watson's experiment that utilized the concepts of classical conditioning as the subject, "Little Albert", was conditioned to fear rats, rabbits and a seal pelt, The paper looks at the biological, psychological and social factors that explain Albert's behavior and then examines biological and environmental intervention strategies that could work in this case. The paper considers the lasting effects of this experimentation and concludes that "Little Albert" is a classic example of how learning and conditioning can alter the psychological, biological and social elements associated with human behavior.

Overview: Little Albert
Biological, Psychological and Social Factors
Interventions: Biological & Environmental

From the Paper:

"The Little Albert experiment is one of the most famous experiments that have shaped the progress of Psychology as a study. This experiment was performed by John B. Watson and graduate student Rosalie Rayner in 1920. Watson was inspired by the works of Ivan Pavlov and his experiment proving classical conditioning. Watson furthered Pavlov's theory by proving emotional responses can also be learned in people (Cherry, 2011). Watson created the hypothesis that Albert can be presented a neutral stimulus (the white rat), then will be exposed to an unconditioned stimulus (the loud noise) and will have an unconditioned response (fear). He believed through classical conditioning the rat will become a conditioned stimulus and result in a conditioned response (Cherry, 2011).
"The experiment on Little Albert began when Albert was nine months old. Watson first introduced multiple stimuli to Albert such as a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey, masks, and burning newspaper; then Watson observed Albert's responses to the stimuli (Cherry, 2011). At 11 months the procedure began with exposing Albert to the white rat. Albert reached for the rat and Watson hit a metal pipe with a hammer creating a loud noise (Watson & Rayner, 1920). The sound resulted in Albert crying. Watson repeated this process until Albert cried when the rat was presented to him but no sound accompanied."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cherry, K. (2011).The Little Albert Experiment. Retrieved from
  • Degnan, K. A., Almas, A. N., & Fox, N. A. (2010). Temperament and the environment in the etiology of childhood anxiety. Journal Of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 51(4), 497-517. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02228.x
  • Emotional Reactions and Psychological Experimentation,' American Journal of Psychology, April, 1917, Vol. 28, pp. 163-174.
  • Fritscher, L. (2009). Biological Basis of Phobias. Retrieved from
  • Plante, T. G. (2005). Contemporary clinical psychology (2nd ed.).New York: Wiley.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Case of Little Albert (2011, December 21) Retrieved May 23, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Case of Little Albert" 21 December 2011. Web. 23 May. 2022. <>