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In 2009 the journal American Psychology published an article entitled, “Finding Little Albert: A Journey to John B. Watson’s Infant Laboratory”. It was a fascinating article detailing the author’s 5 year effort to identify the real identity of “Little Albert”. The evidence in favor of his conclusion that a boy named Douglas...
In 2009 the journal American Psychology published an article entitled, “Finding Little Albert: A Journey to John B. Watson’s Infant Laboratory”. It was a fascinating article detailing the author’s 5 year effort to identify the real identity of “Little Albert”. The evidence in favor of his conclusion that a boy named Douglas Merritte is “Albert” is very, very convincing. I found the article fascinating reading and a great example of an historical detective at work I decided it would make a great classroom or online activity and I have been working with the author - Hall Beck - for the past 8 months to break down the key steps in his investigation. The result is an activity I hope you’ll find valuable enough to try out with your class.
The “Finding Little Albert” activity presents students with: information, questions, clues and hints solutions to the questions (so they can move along in class or at their own pace) photos of Albert and Douglas for comparison Douglas’ family tree the “trunk in the attic” which contained a picture of Douglas/Albert a map a census report ...as it takes students down the path of identifying Albert’s real identity.
I hope students will enjoy this small taste of what’s involved in one case of fascinating historical research in Psychology.