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Can researchers cause and cure
If Watson and Raynor had been given the opportunity, do
you think they could have cued Little Albert’s phobia?
How would they have done
Aim of Jones
To investigate whether a phobia in a little boy could be
discontinued and whether this would generalise to
Peter 2 years and 10 months old.
They watched him play with beads in his cot whilst the
experimenter showed him a white Rat.
Peter Screamed. He was moved away leaving his
When the Rat touched the beads Peter protested, BUT
not when another child touched them.
Peter reactions observed.
His fear of the Rat generalised to other objects.
Object(s) Peter’s Reaction
Playroom and cot Chose toys, got into the cot
White ball, rolled in Picked it up and held it
Fur coat over cot Cried until it was removed
Cotton Balls Whimpered, Cried,
Hat with feathers Cried
Blue woolly jumper Looked, turned away, no
White cloth rabbit No Fear
Wooden Doll No Fear
Peter was also show a Rabbit,
he was more afraid of this than the rat
So this was used in the deconditioning
Peter had daily sessions with the rabbit and 3 other
(The children did not fear the rabbit, why is this
Note down the reactions listed a to q on page 146.
Peters behaviour improved and worsened.
For example on session 33 Peter was scratched by the
rabbit so this was a setback.
Look at the side of the graph, it relates to the reactions
from a to q. 6 people were asked to put that list iin order
of improvement, this list was then called the Tolerance
Sometimes Peter was observed twice a day sometimes
not so often 2 months between 7 and 8( At this point a big
dogged jumped at peter scaring both him and his carer.
Session 8 onwards Classical conditioning used to help
Food was given to Peter that he liked when presented
with the Rabbit.
The other children acted as Role Models
Session 9 the Rabbit made Peter cry. A child ran over and
said ‘oh rabbit’ and helped Peter move closer.
Session 21 Peter cried so another child held it. Peter then
wanted the Rabbit and then held it briefly.
At first when asked about the sessions, Peter would not
mention the Rabbit but would later say “I like that
He lost his fear of Cotton, the coat and Feathers.
Reaction Rats and fur improved.
He also accepted new animals
Both Classical Conditioning and Social Learning helped
The deconditioning also helped with generalsied fears
and cope with new animals.
Detailed observations over a long period. Showing
progress and changes clearly.
Other people asked to rank tolerance, so avioded bias.
Used different ways to help Peter. These have sinse
been built on.
The gaps between the sessions were variable. So
progress could be to do with time rather than
Used Classical Conditioning and SLT as well as other
people to help Peter, so hard to say which method was