John B. Watson

By: Drak, Megan, Kade, Hallie and Jacquelin


Watson came up with the term "Behaviorism" in 1913. Behaviorsim assumes that behavior can be observed and can be linked to other observable events. Watson's theory more had to do with the effects of people's reactions to stimuli. He got a lot of his thoughts from Pavlov's animal studies. Although he rejected the notion of individual differences, he was a chief proponent of "nurture" and believed that all human differences were the result of learning.

Watson's Life

John B. Watson was born on January 9, 1878 and died on September 25, 1958. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina with his parents, Emma and Pickens Watson. Although his mother was very religious, his father, with whom he was closer, was not and did not follow the same rules for living as his mother. John's father left in 1891 because he drank heavily and had extra-marital affairs. John grew up and married Mary Ikes whom he met at the University of Chicago, where he got his Doctorate Degree in 1903. They had two children, Mary and John. Much like his father, he had a number of affairs. He eventually divorced Mary and married one of his grad students, Rosalie Rayner and had two boys together, William and James. He focused much of his study of behaviorism on his children. After Rosalie died, his already bad relationships with his children got even worse and he became reclusive. He died on his farm in Connecticut in 1958.
John Watson - Little Albert