John B. Watson
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John Broadus Watson (1878 — 1958), American psychologist, scholar and behavioural expert, promoted a change in psychology through his lecture "Psychology as the behaviorist views it" given at Columbia University in 1913. The lecture was seen as Watson's behaviorist manifesto. Earlier, when Watson went to the University of Chicago in 1900, he was immersed in a highly intellectual setting where it was said that students were oriented to America’s version of the study of psychology. His years in Chicago included classes with professors such as James Hayden Tufts (1862-1942) and Edward Scribner Ames (1870-1958). He studied philosophy with John Dewey on the recommendation of Furman professor, Gordon Moore, who was a proponent of the view that life and the behaviour of living organisms could be explained entirely by chemistry and physics without recourse to a supposed "vital force". Watson spent his free time was spent in a lab observing the behavior of rats and monkeys, and went on to earn his PhD at the age of twenty-five; his dissertation dealt with the relationship between behaviour in the white rat and the growth of its nervous system. Later his research on child rearing and advertising, not to mention his "Little Albert" experiment, made him famous. In 1919, Watson published what many regard as the most important book of his career, Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist.
At the height of his career, Watson had an affair with one of his graduate students, and was asked by the university to resign. Watson later married the student and the two remained together until her death in 1935. After leaving his academic post, he continued to publish books on Behaviorism (1924) and The psychological care of infant and child (1928). By the 1930s, his interests had shifted to advertising where he ended his scholarly life. He spent his final years as a recluse on a farm in Connecticut. Before his death, Watson burned his unpublished personal papers and letters. He died in 1958 at age 80, shortly after receiving a citation from the American Psychological Association for his contributions to psychology.
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