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ERIC Number: EJ859792
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-0003-066X
Finding Little Albert: A Journey to John B. Watson's Infant Laboratory
Beck, Hall P.; Levinson, Sharman; Irons, Gary
American Psychologist, v64 n7 p605-614 Oct 2009
In 1920, John Watson and Rosalie Rayner claimed to have conditioned a baby boy, Albert, to fear a laboratory rat. In subsequent tests, they reported that the child's fear generalized to other furry objects. After the last testing session, Albert disappeared, creating one of the greatest mysteries in the history of psychology. This article summarizes the authors' efforts to determine Albert's identity and fate. Examinations of Watson's personal correspondence, scientific production (books, journal articles, film), and public documents (national census data, state birth and death records) suggested that an employee at the Harriet Lane Home was Albert's mother. Contact with the woman's descendents led the authors to the individual they believe to be "Little Albert."
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A