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You Give Me 12 Healthy Infants...


John Broadus Watson, 1930 J. B. Watson accepted the proclamation of John Locke which presented the mind as a blank slate upon which experience writes its message ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: You Give Me 12 Healthy Infants...

"You Give Me 12 Healthy Infants..."
John Broadus Watson, 1930
J. B. Watson accepted the proclamation of John
Locke which presented the mind as a blank slate
upon which experience writes its message
(LeFrancois,2000). In what many have said was
his most widely quoted and longest
sentence,Watson stated Give me a dozen healthy
infants well-formed, and my own specified world
to bring them up in and Ill guarantee to take
any one at random and train him to become any
type of specialist I might selectdoctor,
lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and yes, even
beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents,
penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and
race of his ancestors (Watson, 1930, p. 104, as
cited in LeFrancois, 2000).
John B. Watson
Father of Behaviorism
Other titles roles
Rat caretaker
Department Head
Editor of Psychological Review
President American Psychological Association
Husband, Ex-husband, and husband again
Advertising Executive
Vice President J. Walter Thompson Company
Writer, Author
Gold Medal Recipient from APA for outstanding
contributions to Psychology
(LeFrancois, 2000)
Watsons Life Accomplishments
  • Born in South Carolina in 1878, his father left
    when John was 13. He was an unruly child and a
    poor student, but he had ambition. He was
    admitted to Furman University when he was only
  • While at Furman, he worked as an assistant in the
    chemistry department. Even though considered
    unsociable, he joined the Kappa Alpha fraternity.
    Ben Geer, a professor at Furman, said that
    Watson was a non-conformist in college and in
    later life and explored theories and ideas for
    their sensationalism . Watson graduated in 1899
    and received his Masters after 5 years.
  • Going to University of Chicago in 1900 to pursue
    a doctorate in Psychology and Philosophy, he
    arrived in Chicago with 50 and nothing else. He
    was the youngest person to receive a PhD at the
    age of 25.
  • In 1904, Watson married Mary Amelia Ickes, one of
    his students at Chicago. They had two children,
    Mary (Polly) and John.
  • In 1908, Watson joined the faculty at John
    Hopkins University, where he became the Director
    of Psychology and editor of the Psychological
  • In 1913, Watson published Psychology as the
    Behaviorist Views It, in which he reviewed
    failings of introspective study, and offered a
    different definition of psychology, calling it
    the science of behavior. Watson also proposed
    the conditioned reflex as an objective
    methodology that could be used to investigate
    sensory problems that were previously thought to
    be accessible only through introspection.
  • In 1916, Watson worked with the Baltimore and
    Ohio Railroad and served as a consultant for a
    life insurance firm. He was also elected
    president of the American Psychological

Watsons Life Accomplishments Cont.
  • From 1917-1919, Watson served as a Major in World
    War I, among a group of scientists and engineers
    on the National Research Council (which was
    designed to coordinate research in all branches
    of science). Watson designed a number of tests
    for future pilots, studying their reaction to the
    deprivation of oxygen at high altitudes and
    gathering data for the development of tests for
    flight officers. Watson was seen as a key
    figure to mobilize psychology for the purposes of
    war and was given a 6,600 grant by the US
    Interdepartmental Social Hygiene Board regarding
    venereal diseases among servicemen.
  • In 1920, (back at John Hopkins University) after
    embarking on his famous and controversial study
    of Little Albert, Watson (42) had an affair with
    his student/assistant, Rosaline Rayner, (21)
    which resulted in his divorce from first wife,
    Mary. Forced to resign from John Hopkins, Watson
    married Rayner immediately and had two more
    children, William and James.
  • In 1921, Watson went to work for J. Walter
    Thompson Company, an advertising company, making
    four times what he made as a professor
    (LeFrancois, 2000) , and in 1924, was promoted to
    vice president of the company. Watson continued
    to write psychology articles for Harpers,
    McCalls, Liberty, Colliers and Cosmopolitan
    (LeFrancois, 2000).
  • In 1935, Rosaline died at the age of 35 and
    according to Watsons son, Jim, never
    completely recovered from Rosalines death.
    After she died, Watson lot his panache. He sold
    his Westport estate in the early 1950s and moved
    to a small farm in Woodbury, Connecticut, where
    he spent his last years.
  • In 1945, Watson retired. He never returned to
    academic life (LeFrancois, 2000), but wrote a
    book on infant and child care with his wife,
    Rosaline, entitled Psychological Care of Infant
    and Child. All of his books and articles were
    criticized by his former colleagues (LeFrancois,
  • In 1958, Watson died in New York City on
    September 25 at the age of 80. Just before he
    died, the American Psychological Association
    honored him with a gold medal for his outstanding
    contributions to psychology (LeFrancois, 2000).

Bullet information not otherwise designated was
retrieved October 7, 2003 from http//
/backissues/TipApril00/7Diclemente.htm .
Jim Watson, son of J.B. Watson, said this about
his father Dad was a handsome fellow. His
hair turned white when he was a young man. His
voice was very quiet, rather deep, and touched
with a southern accent. Although he talked
quietly, he did not speak in a monotone. He
never raised his voice. If he were angry, which
was not very often, you would never know by the
way he talked. He had an enormous
vocabulary-scholarly but practical. He had a
large number of four-letter swear expletives. I
dont think many people felt he was vulgar when
he used them. He much preferred the quiet
country life, but it was mother who always pushed
him to go to parties, take trips to Europe,
invite company in and all other social
activities. Later on, after we sold the farm in
Westport and he moved up to the country at
Woodbury, Connecticut, he much preferred to use
the outhouse rather than the inside plumbing. He
often said that hed prefer to use kerosene lamps
than electricity and the fireplace than central
heat. He was just tired of complexity in his
life (Brewer, 1991, as cited in Diclemente,
Mariette Hartley, daughter of Watson and his
first wife, Mary Ickes, wrote the book, Breaking
the Silence. She called Watson Big
John. My mothers upbringing was purely
intellectual. The only time my mother was
kissed on the forehead was when she was about
twelve and Big John went to war. Although she
was reading the newspaper by the time she was
two, there was never any touching, not any at
all (Hartley, 1990, as cited in Lecture Notes
on John B. Watson). We couldnt talk about
feelings, we couldnt talk about affection, we
couldnt talk about touching, but we could talk
about sex. Years later, when I was crossing a
congested boulevard in Los Angeles, I took Moms
hand, but she pulled it away, saying, Dont.
People will think were lesbians. Went through
therapy and appears from her biography to be
living a reasonably successful, healthy life. I
was twenty-six before I knew what anger was.
Like Dad, I kept turning it on myself. I did
everything not to get angry, including marrying a
husband who beat me up. There are various kinds
of suicide (Hartley, 1990, as cited in Lecture
Notes on John B. Watson).
By the time Billy was born, Watson had started
to believe that scientific evidence showed that
children should get very little hugging and
kissing. Freud had shown that many infants were
hopelessly fixated on either mother or father.
Rosalie thought there was some danger that their
sons were not enough a part of their lives.
Treated their children as young adults. Watson
above all wanted his children to be independent.
Rosalie was always a little guilty because she
was not the perfect behaviorist wife. Was
still too much on the side of the children.
Could not resist hugging and kissing them
sometimes. By age 3, Jimmy was having recurrent
stomach pains. Rosalie got diahhrea and died.
Big John drank more and harder and died in 1958
of cirrhosis of the liver. Billy, the first son,
became a respected successful psychiatrist in New
York. Became Freudian and turned against his
fathers behaviorism. His first suicide attempt
was stopped by younger brother, Jimmy. Second
attempt in mid-30s was successful. Watsons and
Marys son, Little John, was a rather rootless
person who often sponged on his father. Plagued
throughout life with stomach trouble and
intolerable headaches, he died in his early 50s
of bleeding ulcers. Jimmy also had chronic
stomach problems for years but after intensive
analysis is alive and doing well. John and
Marys daughter, Polly, attempted suicide over
and over and over and over . (Information
retrieved October 7, 2003 from http//

David Cohen wrote about the two boys born to
Watson in his second marriage, had two boys,
Billy in 1921 and Jimmy in 1923. At 3 months,
Watson tried to condition his sons bowel
movements. Despondently, Rosaline wrote in
February I thought I had succeeded in
conditioning bowels to move but it was a false
observation. Billy was constipated and had to
have laxatives, but still was made to try every
morning at the same time (Cohen, 1979, as
cited in Lecture Notes on John B. Watson).
  • Watsons Theories of Psychology
  • Considered the Father of Behaviorism due to
    his opposition to the mainstream psychological
    view of the unconscious and psychoanalytic
    thought. To the behaviorist, the outward
    expression of the self is all that can be
    measured and therefore, the only variable worthy
    of exploration.
  • His lecture at Columbia University entitled
    Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It has
    become the manifesto for behavioral psychologists
    such as B.F. Skinner. His (Watsons) opposition
    to psychoanalytic theory split the field of
    psychology into two distinct and almost always
    oppositional schools of thought.

  • (AllPsych

John B. Watson Poem by Rachel Craig
Born in 1878, Unruly and wild was his state.
He was misbehaved as some could see, In a
classroom, hed be labeled ADD.
John was ambitious, prideful and quite keen, He
graduated from a university at age 16.
He pushed forward, way past his fears, And
received his Masters after five years.
By the age of 25, he earned a PhD, From the
University of Chicago, a chore that was no cup of
He married a student, Mary was his first
love, Two children they created, a gift from up
Later in his life, he became editor of
Psychological Review, In 1916, he was elected
president of APA, and his popularity grew.
From 1917-1919, he served as a major in World War
One, Then came his controversial study of Little
Albert, and remorse for this was none.
John had an affair with a student and divorced
his wife, When Rosaline died, he moved to
Connecticut to move on with his life.
He retired in 45 and then he wrote a book, He
died in 58 and we all took a second look.
APA gave him a gold medal for his contributions
to psychology, An intelligent but different man,
a psychologist was he.
John B. Watson teaches us still today, We now
learn from the past and we have grown in a new
Rachel Craig 10/03
References AllPsych On Line. Retrieved October 7,
2003 from http//
tml. Brewer, C. L. (1991). Perspectives on John
B. Watson. In G. A. Kimble, M. Wertheimer, C.
L. White (Eds.) Portraits of pioneers in
psychology. (pp. 170-186). Hillsdale, N.J
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.
Retrieved October 7, 2003 from http//
p/backissues/TipApril00/7Diclemente.htm Buckley,
K.W. (1989). Mechanical Man. John Broadus Watson
and the Beginnings of Behaviorism. New York The
Guilford Press. Retrieved October 7, 2003 from
lemente.html. Cohen, D. (1979). .J. B. Watson
The Founder of Behaviorism. London, Boston
Henley Routledge Kegan Paul. Retrieved
October 7, 2003 from http//
/TipApril00/7Diclemente.htm. Diclemente, D. F.,
Hantula, D. A. (2000). John Broadus Watson, I-O
psychologists. Retrieved October 7, 2003 from
emente.html. Hartley, M., Commire, A. (1990).
Breaking the Silence. New York G.P. Putnams
Sons. Retrieved October 7, 2003 from
Lecture Notes on John B. Watson. (n.d.).
Retrieved October 7, 2003, from
. LeFrancois, G. R. (2000). Theories of Human
Learning What the Old Man Said (4th ed.).
Belmont, CA Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. Watson,
J. B. (1930). Behaviorism (2nd ed.). Chicago
University of Chicago Press.
Slide Show on John B. Watson researched and
prepared by Cheryl Glover Rachel Craig Pam
Warren October 13, 2003