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Baby Albert’s Conditioning
Unconditioned stimulus (ucs): agent that leads to a response without training
Unconditioned response (ucr): automatic response to a ucs
Neutral stimulus (ns): agent that initially has no effect
Conditioned stimulus (cs): a former ns that comes to elicit a given response
after pairing with a ucs
Conditioned response (cr): a learned response to a cs
Generalized stimulus (gs): production of a similar response to similar stimuli
Extinction: gradual disappearance of a conditioned response because the cs is
repeatedly presented without the ucs
Once you have read “Whatever Happened to Baby Albert,” use the above
definitions to answer the questions that follow.
1. Identify the UCS, UCR, NS, CS, CR, GS in Watson’s experiment.
2. How did this experiment go a step beyond Pavlov’s original classical conditioning
of his dog’s?
3. How would you have “deconditioned” (extinquished) Albert’s fear of white fury
4. Do you think that Albert’s life experience would have extinguished his fear
5. Take a guess at what career Watson took after being fired from his university.
6. Do you think that Watson’s experiment with Baby Albert was justified by what he
discovered about how people learn?