The “Finding Little Albert” activity is based on the American Psychology article entitled “Finding Little Albert: A Journey to John B. Watson’s Infant Laboratory” where Beck, Levinson, and Irons (2009) detailed their seven year effort to discover the identity of “Little Albert.” The site presents an interactive simulation to problem-solve the question of “Who is Little Albert?” Guided inquiry and fact finding aid the reader in exploring possibilities about the real identity of Little Albert.The simulation author is Michael Britt (ThePsychFiles Podcast).
Type of Material:
The learning material is a simulation.
• The site provides a very good overview of the article “Finding Little Albert: A Journey to John B. Watson’s Infant Laboratory.” Given that there are many misconceptions about Little Albert, even in Introductory Psychology textbooks, this is an excellent site for anyone interested in the evidence. Additionally, the site provides exposure to historical research. This simulation would best be assigned as an individual homework assignment or out of class activity. As a follow-up activity, students might discuss the simulation in class (e.g., premises and fallacies inherent in the Little Albert story).
• This website may prove useful for providing educational materials to be used in introductory level psychology, classes on learning theory and behaviorism, classes focusing on fact finding/research, and perhaps classes teaching theories of psychology.
Two reviewers successfully accessed and viewed the simulation using Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
In addition to learning how historical research is conducted, students will follow the evidence and be able to draw their own conclusions about who Little Albert really was.
Target Student Population:
• This learning material would be useful for students at all levels (high school, undergraduate and graduate level coursework).
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prerequisites are required, but a general introduction to psychology (and behaviorism in particular) could be helpful.
• The information presented walks students through the American Psychologist article. It is very clear and accurately follows the article.
• The content of the simulation includes a tremendous breadth of information relating to the specific topic of Little Albert and his potential identity. It references relevant and engaging supporting evidence throughout the viewer’s journey.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The website very effectively and logically takes the user through the evidence presented in the article. The relationship between one premise and the next is clearly linked, and the simulation even provides the reader with the ability to “guess” and interact with the activity through the use of “hints” about what the right answer may be. The simulation also shows the user one way to collect and use historical evidenc
• While the simulation does conclude with additional readings, it does not include alternative conclusions. This would support the user in understanding the limitations of historical research.
• The simulation is designed to place focus on one specific topic in the area of behaviorism. However, the homepage emphasis could be broadened and made even more applicable by linking to other sites supporting behaviorism, John B. Watson, or even general psychology and learning theory.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• Overall the site is simple to navigate, easy to understand and linear in nature. It achieves the purpose of guiding the user through one specific simulation activity.
• The site is easy to scroll through. Pages where the user needs to make a decision include hints. Users can work through the simulation at their own pace, and they can come back to the site and begin again at any page.
• Links to (commercial) external sites on the homepage present a distraction.
• The simulation presents references at the end of the process, but it would be advantageous to have access to these from the homepage as well.
Other Issues and Comments:
Any students exposed to Introduction to Psychology should have heard of Little Albert. This site provides students with much more detail regarding Little Albert’s possible past than any introductory textbook.
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