Watson & Raynor (1920) (Little Albert) Evaluation

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AS Level Learning Approach (Watson & Rayner (1920) (Little Albert)) Mind Map on Watson & Raynor (1920) (Little Albert) Evaluation, created by ayahm196 on 05/02/2014.

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Watson & Raynor (1920) (Little Albert) Evaluation
1 GENERALISABILITY
1.1 We are unable to generalise the study as it only used one participant. The sample is too small and unrepresentative of the population. Also, the participant used was a nine-month old baby. The study did not prove that humans of all ages could be classically conditioned, therefore it doesn't apply to everyone.
1.2 Also, the study challenges the criticism of anthropomorphism in the learning approach as it shows that both animals and humans can be classically conditioned, proving that we can, in some cases, generalise from animals to humans.
2 RELIABILITY
2.1 The study was a lab experiment, so there was a very high level of control of all the variables. This makes the study very easy to replicate therefore it is reliable.
3 APPLICATION
3.1 The study can be applied to real life as it explains how phobias are developed through association.
4 VALIDITY
4.1 The study has a high level of validity as there was a high ecological validity. However, we can not assume that phobias are developed through association, as some phobias such as the dark or heights are learned from those around us.
5 ETHICS
5.1 The study is unethical is Watson & Raynor gave an infant a phobia that could affect him deeply or stay with him for life. It breaks the ethical guideline of protection of participants.
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