John Broades Watson - a figure firmly establishedin the history of psychological teachings. Not so long ago, at the beginning of the 20th century, the scientific world learned about the theory of behaviorism. Then she immediately caused a lot of controversy in the relevant circles, but still continued to develop. Currently, its followers are unlikely to meet, but the influence of behaviorism has spread to virtually all spheres of life, and its techniques continue to be used everywhere.
John Watson (1878-1958) was born in South Carolina,in the small town of Travelers Rest. His father, Paikens Watson, led a rambling lifestyle, which caused constant disagreement and scandals in the house. This led to the fact that 13 years after the birth of his son, his father left the family. As a result, the boy left a deep emotional trauma. His mother, Emma, was very religious in nature, which led to strict methods of raising a child, as well as the almost complete lack of freedom to choose further guidelines. And if at age 22 John Watson had not lost his mother, it is possible that the world would not have heard of such an outstanding psychologist, since she was eager for the son of a priest's career.
After graduating in 1900, a Baptist school atFerman University, he leaves his hometown and travels to Chicago for his next education. John Watson goes to the local department of philosophy, but due to the specifics of teaching, he refuses the scientific leader and looks at psychology. After only 3 years, he defended his doctoral thesis on the topic of animal training, for which he conducted multiple experiments in rats. In addition to the fact that he manages to become the youngest student in the history of an educational institution, who received a degree, he is also the first to devote such a large-scale work to experiments on these rodents. This moment determined the direction of John's future activities and delineated the boundaries of future research.
After two years from the moment of formationDr. John Broades Watson is invited to lead the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Baltimore. He willingly agrees, thereby opening more and more opportunities for immersion in his own research and experiments. This period of his life is connected with the development of the concept, thanks to which the name of the scientist entered the annals of history. He becomes the author and follower of the theory of behaviorism, which he describes in detail in his manifesto entitled "Psychology from the point of view of the behaviorist". He read it publicly on February 24, 1913, on a day that rightly can be considered the birth of this direction. Watson declares to the whole world that psychology is rather an objective science related to the realm of natural science. He criticizes her current position and significance, saying that her study erroneously relies on the inner world of a person, his thoughts and feelings. Then how correctly it would be to focus on external behavior, as well as data that can be confirmed experimentally.
Thanks to the novelty of the theory and its subsequentdevelopment, John Watson is on top of greatness in the scientific community. His salary is doubled, the research laboratory is increasing in size, and there is no hanging from students wishing to attend lectures. In 1915, he was appointed president of the American Psychological Association. These years can be called the flourishing direction of behaviorism. Publications of the famous scientist now and then appear in various publications, and under his editors there are 2 scientific journals. In 1914 his bibliography was supplemented with a very significant work "Behavior: Introduction to Comparative Psychology", in which consciousness as a subject of psychology is completely rejected. His theories also receive practical application, and Watson himself takes possession of the art of managing human behavior.
At the time of teaching at the university, the founderBehaviorism married his student Mary Ickes. Despite the fact that the couple had two children, their marriage could not be called successful. In 1920, another enthusiasm for the scientist young graduate student destroyed not only the marriage, but the entire successful career that he built for so many years. The spouse found evidence of her husband's romantic correspondence and published them in the press, which sparked a tumultuous scandal. From now on, there can be no talk of any teaching activity. The divorce was very loud, but despite this, Rosalia Rayner and John Watson, the photos of which are presented below, immediately married. And as a result of this marriage, which turned out to be more successful than the previous one, two more Watsons appeared, both boys. Rosalia left this world early, 23 years earlier than her husband. John heavily suffered a loss, but still continued to work. However, already a little in the other direction.
In his student years he managed to visit a laboratory assistant,janitor and even a waiter, but in the future it was not much worried about anyone, because he became known to the world as John Watson is a psychologist. The scandal with treachery forced him to look for new directions for implementation, and he chooses the practical sphere of application of the acquired knowledge. To be more specific, he goes headlong into advertising. In those times, this relatively new sphere required detailed research in order to clarify the mechanisms for managing consumer behavior. But it was this control that occupied the central position in the psychology of the industry, that's why John plunges into the advertising career with his head. He begins, like any other, from the bottom, in one of the agencies of New York under Stanley Rizor. Together with other candidates, he goes through all stages of employment, even despite his extensive knowledge and scientific merit. Over time, he relaxes, acquires new skills and completely immerses himself in the psychology of commerce, applying the provisions of his theories in practice. So, he manages to rise to the vice-president of the company and stay on this post for several years.
Working in the advertising industry, John Watsoncontinues to put his scientific theories into books. After his death, future generations of psychologists and theorists still have several works, including "Behaviorism", "Paths of behaviorism" and "Psychological care for a child." Among his most famous followers who worked on the theory further, it is possible to single out Burres Skinner, who together with other colleagues managed to achieve the popularization of behaviorism. However, the concept was repeatedly subjected to severe criticism, mostly due to what more resembled a coercive tool. In subsequent years, her study went into decline, leaving behind only a set of some techniques, and to this day used in trade, politics and other areas.
The last years of life and death
A few years after the death of his wife, the formerthe teacher decides to leave the advertising business and settle on a quiet farm. There and lives his last days John Watson. Biography of his life ends in 1958. A few months earlier, the association, in which he had once been president, included him in his list of honorary members. However, this did not help to forget the resentment that once he was deprived of his favorite work and the right to occupy certain positions, so in the same year that he left this world, he arranged a fire in the yard, giving multiple scientific works to the flame. This becomes the final echo of at least some of Watson's activities, but this act did not touch the reputation, because Watson's contribution to psychology made him one of the most outstanding scientists of the last century.