Classic Studies In Psychology

The study of psychology is thoroughly branched out, each branch that deals with a distinct ideology or part of the brain. However, despite the variations and developments in the field, there are certain studies that still determine the root and underlying theories of each new study. Following are some of the classic studies in psychology that are still being learnt and referred to:

  1. Little Albert
  2. This experiment was conducted by Rosalie Rayner to further the previously introduced understanding of classical conditioning by Ivan Pavlov. She believed that even the emotional responses obtained from people could be classically conditioned. In order to achieve this, they took a nine month old child called Little Albert, and on regular intervals they exposed the toddler to varying stimuli. These included:

    • A monkey
    • Masks
    • Burning newspapers
    • A rabbit and
    • A white rat

    Initially, the child showed no fear to any of the above. However, whenever a loud noise was made when a rat was exposed, Little Albert expressed fear. Eventually every time the rat was exposed, even though the noise was not made, Little Albert demonstrated fear. This is how his fear for a white rat was classically conditioned with the noise.

  3. Harry Harlow’s Children Treatment
  4. A lot of people believed that showing affection towards children played no such vital role in their overall establishments. However, through Harry Harlow’s experiment, this statement turned out to be completely false. This study was introduced by a behaviorist in order to understand how affection impacts the way a child are raised. When a group of children were deprived of warmth during their early years, it was observed in their development that they are emotionally stunted and refrained from fully expressing themselves. Whereas, children who were given the affection were more open and prone towards healthier and happier relationships. They also showed more interest in wanting to establish personal relationships.

  5. Bobo Doll Experiment
  6. It is often believed that the violence in all the video games that children watch has no influence on them whatsoever. However, the bobo doll experiment proves otherwise. Through this it was observed that children when exposed to aggressive and non-aggressive stimuli respectively respond differently. It was observed that those who were readily exposed to violence adhered to violence themselves when solving their own problems. Hence, above are some of the many classical psychological theories that help behaviorists and psychologists establish understandings of their own, today.


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