The chilling moment a baby boy known as ‘Little Albert’ is conditioned to fear Santa Clause and furry animals was captured on video.
…though it’s too bad the irresponsible parents weren’t taught a little fear of their own.
Part of a controversial 1919 brain-conditioning experiment by John Watson of John Hopkins University Hospital, the baby became a human guinea pig in a “perverse experiment” intended to “show that an emotionally stable nine-month-old infant could be trained to have a phobia of something he wasn’t scared of before,” the Daily Mail reported.
Even more remarkable than that, the psychologist did not UNTEACH Little Albert the fears he instilled in him, meaning the poor kid may have grown up hating Santa.
More on the experiment from the Daily Mail:
In the footage, Watson begins by presenting Little Albert with objects that he is not afraid of.
These include a rabbit, a dog, a monkey, a Santa Claus mask and a white rat. The little baby is particularly taken with the rat.
But when Watson presents Little Albert with the white rat for the second time, a loud iron rod is struck when the infant attempts to touch the animal.
In the clip, the child initially falls forward startled but does not cry yet.
However when Little Albert tries to touch the rat for the third time, the loud iron rod is struck again and the infant begins to cry.
The now traumatized baby is then shown other objects, to include a rabbit, a dog and a Santa Claus mask.
Having been successfully conditioned to fear the objects, Little Albert cries at the sight of all of them.
Watson did not reverse the psychological trauma he inflicted on Albert, the British tabloid said, adding that what happened to the baby long term is “one of psychology’s greatest mysteries.”
That said, it’s almost a given he grew up to be a liberal.
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