Rosalie Raynor

Rosalie Raynor (1898-1935) was a psychological researcher as well as assistant to (and later wife) of the famed behaviorist psychology John B. Watson of Johns Hopkins University. Educated at Vassar College and Johns Hopkins University she was the author of many papers on child development and familial bonds, both alone and in conjunction with her husband. She is best remembered for her participation in the "Little Albert" experiments that demonstrated the generalization of learning experiences in children. This experiment (that would now be considered unethical) showed that when a child learns fear of one object that that same learning can be transferred to other similar objects. Little Albert was conditioned to fear a toy white rat and later transferred that fear reaction to other fuzzy white objects including rabbits and santa claus masks. This study was among the first empirical studies that showed that fear responses could be learned and generalized to similar objects.

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