Little Albert Experiment
The Little Albert experiment conducted by John B. Watson and Rosalie Raynor that demonstrated the generalization of learning experiences in children. This study was among the first studies that showed that fear responses could be learned and generalized to similar objects. In this experiment (that would now be considered unethical) Little Albert was presented and allowed to play with a toy white rat. While he was handling the white rat one of the researchers would create a loud, fearful noise that would startle Little Albert and cause him to have a fear response. After multiple pairings with the rat and the scary noise eventually Little Albert would start crying when he saw the white rat without hearing the scary noise. This paired association and fear response was one of the first truly groundbreaking studies for behaviorists. Through more trials the fear reaction to the white rat was transferred to other fuzzy white objects including stuffed rabbits and santa claus masks.