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John Watson

John WatsonAKA John Broadus Watson

Born: 9-Jan-1878
Birthplace: Greenville, SC
Died: 25-Sep-1958
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Infection
Remains: Buried, Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport, CT

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Psychologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Behaviorism

Early 20th-century psychologist John Watson developed behaviorism as a psychological theory. A leading expert on child-rearing in his time, Watson called for minimal physical contact between parents and children, including no hugging and no lap-sitting. In wildly unethical "Little Albert" experiments circa 1920, Watson used loud noises to condition an infant child to fear rats. He also argued that organizations like the Boy Scouts and YMCA lead to homosexuality, and girls in particular were susceptible because they held hands, kissed, and slept together in the same bed at pajama parties.

His brother-in-law was US Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, and his granddaughter is character actress Mariette Hartley.

Father: Pickens Watson
Mother: Emma Kesiah Watson
Wife: Mary Amelia Ickes (sister of Harold Ickes, m. 1904, div. 1920, two children)
Daughter: Mary (b. Jun-1905)
Son: John
Wife: Rosalie Rayner (his student, b. 1898, d. 1935, two children)
Son: James
Son: William

    University: MA, Furman University (1899)
    University: PhD Psychology, University of Chicago (1903)
    Professor: Psychology, Johns Hopkins University (1908-20)

    American Psychological Association President, 1915

Author of books:
Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology (1914)
Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist (1919)
Behaviorism (1924)
Psychological Care of Infant and Child (1928)
The Ways of Behaviorism (1928)

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