John B. Watson

Father of Behaviorism

Born January 9, 1878-Died September 25, 1958 (aged 80)

John Broadus Watson was an American psychologist who discovered the school of psychological behavior. John was raised by a very religious mother by the name of Emma Watson who was against activities such as drinking, smoking, and dancing. He also had an alcoholic father who left him to live with two indian when he was 13 years old. He was also very poor and lived on a farm which his mother later sold to escape poverty.

Early Life

John had a very poor academic performance in school and was arrested twice (once for fighting blacks and another time for discharging firearms within city limits). Despite these Watson used his mother's connections to gain acceptance to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. John wasn't a very social guy, he was very poor, other students called him lazy, insubordinate, and very quiet. He entered college at age 16 and came out with a master's degree at age 21. He put a significant amount of effort in college passing with very high grades which opposed to other students who simlpy failed. He held few jobs on campus in order to pay for the college expenses. After graduating, he spent a year "Batesburg Institute", where he was a principal, janitor, and handyman for the entire school. Watson also earned his Ph. D from the University of Chicago in 1903. Watson set the stage for behaviorism, which soon rose to dominate psychology. While behaviorism began to lose its hold after 1950, many of the concepts and principles are still widely used today. Conditioning and behavior modification are still widely used in therapy and behavioral training to help clients change problematic behaviors and develop new skills. John also got into advertising for a short period of time until retirement in 1945.