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Doctor Watson's Phobia Factory

Article #326 • Written by Alan Bellows

In the early decades of the twentieth century the discipline of psychology was still in its infancy, but beginning to make significant headway. Pioneering researchers were enthusiastically unraveling the human mind, and some were willing to go to alarming lengths to satisfy their curiosity.

One such trailblazer was a behaviorist named John B. Watson. In 1919, his curiosity was aroused after observing a child who showed an irrational fear of dogs. Watson supposed that a shiny new human would not possess an inborn fear of domesticated animals, but if "one animal succeeds in arousing fear, any moving furry animal thereafter may arouse it." In order to satiate his scientific appetite, he undertook a series of experiments at Johns Hopkins University to determine whether an infant could indeed be conditioned to fear cute-and-cuddly animals by associating them with scary stimuli. A couple decades earlier Pavlov's notorious dogs had been conditioned to salivate at the sound of a bell; Watson hoped to expand upon the concept.

In 1920 Watson secured access to a "healthy, stolid, and unemotional" nine-month-old infant named Albert B., the son of a wet nurse who worked in the hospital. He was assisted by Rosalie Rayner, a graduate student at the university. The researchers' first order of business was to establish a psychological baseline. They tried exposing the infant to a white rat, a rabbit, a dog, and a monkey, and Albert reached for each animal with cheerful curiosity. The researchers brought him items such as masks and clumps of cotton, and he manipulated the objects with interest. They placed a long steel rod behind Albert's head and struck the metal sharply with a claw hammer, and he flinched with evident distress. The infant's baseline reactions to these stimuli were duly noted, and two months later the peculiar series of "joint stimulation" experiments was underway. Excerpts from Dr. Watson's notes outline its progression:

Age: 11 months, 3 days

Age: 11 months, 10 days

Watson also wondered whether Albert would transfer these acquired fears to other animals or objects. After a five-day furlough, additional experimentation ensued:

Age: 11 months, 15 days

Age: 11 months, 20 days

Albert's profound negative response to the rabbit was taken as evidence that the conditioned fear had indeed transferred to other animals, just as Watson had predicted. Albert also showed anxiety in the presence of a dog, and was vexed by a wad of cotton. However when the researchers gave Albert his wooden toy blocks, he immediately started playing and gurgling contentedly.

Watson next sought to determine whether these acquired fears had any substantial staying power. The researchers granted the infant a one month reprieve, after which they once again confronted Albert with his fuzzy phobias:

Age: 12 months, 21 days

John B. Watson
John B. Watson

Without a doubt, the thirty day hiatus was insufficient to expunge the artificially-induced fear. One last scientific question remained: could these conditioned emotional responses be removed through laboratory methods? Watson had originally intended to end his experiment by "re-conditioning" the infant to neutralize the fear response, but he ultimately opted to drop that portion of the experiment due to a lack of time. When he published the results of his study, however, he suggested that the best re-conditioning method would have been to replace the traumatizing metallic CLANG! with a positive stimulus such as A) physical stimulation of "first the lips, then the nipples and as a final resort the sex organs"; B) candy or food; or C) constructive activities.

The psychological community received Watson's results with rapt fascination. Several months later, in spite of his new-found popularity, the officials at Johns Hopkins asked Watson to resign from the university. But the request had nothing to do with the questionable ethics of his baby-scaring experiments; he was dismissed due to unauthorized "experimentation" with a lovely young graduate student. Watson's wife discovered evidence that he and his assistant Rosalie Rayner had participated in unabashed physical stimulation of one another's sex organs, and consequently Watson lost his career and his marriage amidst a flurry of publicity.

By modern standards, Watson's infant-phobia experiment was grossly unethical for numerous obvious reasons. The research was undertaken during the rough-and-tumble adolescence of psychology, a time when the subjects' well-being was seldom considered equal to the scientific rewards. Moreover, the experiment itself was rife with procedural flaws which rendered the results ambiguous at best. For instance, the researchers only tested with one subject and one negative stimuli, and the tests tended to be improvised and slapdash. Although Watson himself conceded that the experiment was imperfect, he considered the results to be valuable to science. "These experiments would seem to show conclusively that directly conditioned emotional responses as well as those conditioned by transfer persist, although with a certain loss in the intensity of the reaction, for a longer period than one month," he wrote in his infamous paper. "Our view is that they persist and modify personality throughout life."

Today, the "Little Albert" experiment is the stuff of psychological legend. It has been thoroughly cited, scrutinized, expanded, and embellished since its publication in 1920. But as is true with many fundamentally flawed studies, the scientific community ultimately categorized the experiment as intriguing-yet-uninterpretable. Though Watson spent the rest of his career begging to differ, no firm conclusions can be drawn from his hard-earned data--except perhaps that one should avoid employing experimental psychologists as babysitters.

As for Albert, he and his mother slipped into obscurity immediately following the study, and were never publicly identified. No one knows what ultimately became of the tormented infant, nor whether his repulsion of cute-and-cuddly creatures haunted him into adulthood.

Update: In 2009, psychologist Hall P. Beck and two colleagues claimed to have the discovered the true identity of Little Albert. If they are correct, this story turns the corner from Sad Street onto Seriously Depressing Avenue.

Article written by Alan Bellows, published on 18 September 2008. Alan is the founder/designer/head writer/managing editor of Damn Interesting.

Article design and artwork by Alan Bellows.
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118 Comments
orningi
Posted 18 September 2008 at 09:53 am

FIRST!!!!


braver13
Posted 18 September 2008 at 09:55 am

aah! i had to make an account so im SECOND...
love this site!


Redneck Beauty
Posted 18 September 2008 at 09:55 am

SECOND! DAMN INTERESTING...AS ALWAYS!


surfjay
Posted 18 September 2008 at 09:57 am

Where was that long steel rod and hammer when he was putting the moves on Rosalie Rayner?


elphaba
Posted 18 September 2008 at 10:41 am

FIFTH! AWESOME!

What a cruel man he must have been to do that to a child! and what mother would submit to it!!!????


sachse
Posted 18 September 2008 at 11:01 am

sure am glad that loud bong didn't go off when I realized I was looking at a brand new article...welome back Alan ..we missed you...and Damn Interesting ...lets have a piece of pie


Paul_in_SF
Posted 18 September 2008 at 11:20 am

Yay! Fresh meat!

Welcome back, DI.


Dexcelcious
Posted 18 September 2008 at 11:39 am

Seventh?
Watson does sound pretty cruel...

All in the interests of psychology eh?


c0uchtime
Posted 18 September 2008 at 11:47 am

The stuff of legends, indeed. One wonders, given all that is known about this case and the surrounds, why "Little Albert" has never been found or come forward, etc. The National Enquirer would make somebody rich....which makes the entire enterprise suspect. Maybe it happened, maybe not.


GeorgeAR
Posted 18 September 2008 at 12:23 pm

surfjay said: "Where was that long steel rod and hammer when he was putting the moves on Rosalie Rayner?"

There is too obvious an answer for this.... So I'll let it go..

D.I. Mr. Bellows. Welcome back to the future.
I'll quote Col. Flag from M*A*S*H* - "I've trained myself not to laugh. I watched hours of Three Stooges, when I wanted to laugh, I stuck myself with a cattle prod."
Hawkeye Pierce - "That'll do it."


masticate
Posted 18 September 2008 at 12:26 pm

Once again, DI!


invisibelle
Posted 18 September 2008 at 01:05 pm

I have to wonder what the chances were that the kid was his own son.


kris
Posted 18 September 2008 at 01:16 pm

invisibelle said: "I have to wonder what the chances were that the kid was his own son."

The mother was a wet nurse. Even if that is an obsolete job now fully within the private sphere it doesn't follow that she was the mistress of the mad psychologist.


kniesten
Posted 18 September 2008 at 01:32 pm

Sure this works on a baby, but don't a lot of animals show the same mental capacity, if not more, than a 9 month old? He would have a much more difficult time repeating this 'experiment' on a human with a more developed brain. Basically what I'm trying to say is this doesn't really apply to humans as a whole because we can voluntarily control our behavior. Not to mention the obvious problems with the experiment Alan outlined above.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but:
Posted 18 September 2008 at 02:13 pm

No this applys to humans because our fears are still learned. The only fear we are actually born with is the fear of falling, every other one is developed. Of course the negative stimuli would have to be more specific as we got older and more developed. (Getting mauled by a dog is much more likely to produce a fear of them in an adult then hearing an unpleasant sound when touching one.)

I just discovered this website a few weeks ago and have been reading all the old articles, and I have found them fascinating reads! Thank you for keeping me entertained at work!


BenKinsey
Posted 18 September 2008 at 02:25 pm

"he suggested that the best re-conditioning method would have been to replace the traumatizing metallic CLANG! with a positive stimulus such as A) physical stimulation of "first the lips, then the nipples and as a final resort the sex organs"; B) candy or food; or C) constructive activities."

That Watson was nasty as hell. He proposed playing with Little Albert's junk. Wow that's outlandish. He could have just refrained from punishing the kid in the future while surrounding him with similar animals. At least the kid was so young that he hopefully won't remember any of that shit.


kniesten
Posted 18 September 2008 at 02:27 pm

I disagree, but still see your point. I'm saying an adult with a developed brain can overcome any fear if they want to via therapy or simply will power whereas a child or animal is generally unable to overcome these emotions. Unless of course their nipples or sexual organs are stimulated haha. So I think someone with a fully developed brain can rationalize an irrational fear. Like your example, being attacked by a dog, what are the odds of being attacked again? I can overcome it by petting dogs or something and don't need to be 'deprogrammed' like this baby should have been.


boonnm8
Posted 18 September 2008 at 02:55 pm

It just seems to me that the ability to think that new born babies are not people is older than I thought.
Maybe Watson was the father of the por-death crowd. Evan a scientist should show compassion to human beings.


Jonny
Posted 18 September 2008 at 03:09 pm

WOAH! A NEW ARTICLE!

WOAH!


HiEv
Posted 18 September 2008 at 03:33 pm

Well, as a person who was bitten by a dog at around 11 or 12 years old and ended up with 36 stitches on the outside of his face and a few more stitches on the inside of his face, I can tell you that it's not that easy to get over an irrational fear. The bite was an accident, not intentional, but there is no amount of therapy that can take away the memory of putting your hand up to your face and feeling the inside of it. I then had to go to school looking like some stitched-together Frankenstein's monster for about a month while that healed. The scars are barely visible now, but my self-image is still damaged and I still get very nervous around dogs. I can generally get along with dogs if I have to, but I don't like them, and when I'm around them there's always a part of me that screams "Get it away!!!"

So, you can't just overcome it "by petting dogs or something" because you won't want to do that, and even if you do do it occasionally, it's not like the fear or the memories ever completely go away.

I've seen the newsreel footage of Dr. Watson's experiments on "Little Albert" before, and at the time I thought it was just cruel. Reading the detailed reports above made me incredibly uncomfortable. I'm always amazed how people can compartmentalize things in their head so they see what they're doing as "an experiment", for example, instead of what they're really doing: harming another human being. Anyone intentionally making babies cry (when it doesn't benefit the babies) is normally seen as a complete bastard, you can't and shouldn't try to justify that. I really can't wrap my head around praising his experiments, which is what they did back in the "good old days" (just more evidence that they weren't as "good" as advertised,) especially when the experiment was so poorly designed that it was basically worthless. This behavior isn't found just in science, there are people who are cruel to others on the Internet and tell themselves it's "OK" because it's "just words", or "they aren't my kind of people", or whatever, but it's not.

The point is, everyone needs to have empathy for the people they're dealing with all the time. You aren't removing the negative aspect of what you're doing just by using different words to describe it or by simply ignoring the negative aspect of your actions or the humanity of the people you're dealing with. I'm glad we now live in an age where experiments like that are recognized as highly unethical and are not allowed. I'd be even happier though, if people would more often empathize with others in their everyday lives.


soulkitchen
Posted 18 September 2008 at 03:51 pm

What? A new article? It can't be, it's a mirage. Well I guess it is real. Phew! I was about to fill out a missing person report on you guys.


Radiatidon
Posted 18 September 2008 at 04:23 pm

Gee HiEv, I can relate to your experience. A family pet attacked me at 12 years of age. A Yellow Lab that popped my footballs with one snap of his jaws. We were roughhousing in the backyard, and I think I scratched a ringworm on his side. He tore my nose open from between my eyes exposing the sinus – just missing taking my eyes, ripped the skin from my skull above the right ear, and lacerated the back of my skull. It took over 200 stitches to put it all back. Happened during a family gathering at my Grandparents home. My poor Grandmother filled her tub with bloodied towels trying to clean my essence off the walls of the kitchen. Dad took the dog to the vet and put him down.

As you pointed out, kids are cruel with Frankenstein jokes on the playground. I did not suffer any emotional problems with dogs (sorry that you have, but be proud of your ability to tolerate them) but the attack on the self-image was a harder affair to overcome.

The damage that can be afflicted to a person’s psyche I can attest to. As I posted before, I was captured, detained, and brutally tortured for nothing more than the amusement of my captors. Though the shrinks worked on my mind, it finally took my walking the abyss before I overcame the worst of my daemons. It is not easy, to overcome fear. There is no pill that can cure it. Medicine may curb it, but that same medicine decreases your ability to think, to live.

There is nothing worst than coming home and fearing not only strangers, but also your very family. Cowering every time someone moves a hand while speaking. Walking with your back against walls scared that someone will grab you from behind. Suffering bowel and bladder problems due to fear of public toilets. Even having panic attacks when entering a store to purchasing food or otherwise.

No one can really understand. Life becomes so less appealing when those small, simple boo moments you experience at a horror movie or carnival haunted house now occupy each and every second of your day.

Nothing is worse than a hyper sense of awareness due to fear and not love of life. Finally to the point of seeking the oblivion of death than the continue fear of pain.

Even writing this has awakened sleeping daemons. My right hand is trembling to the point that it is becoming hard to type this. So for now…

The Don


matthew1701
Posted 18 September 2008 at 05:22 pm

i love it, this guy doesnt get fired for traumatizing an infant, perhaps for life, yet he diddles his assistant and bam he's gone! lovely set of priorities that uni had back then, wtg johns hopkins!


Dropbear
Posted 18 September 2008 at 06:10 pm

My sympathies, Don and HiEv. It is interesting about the fear... I horse ride and with riding comes falling. If I fall off at a jump and it is a bit hairy (people get killed falling at solid jumps) it is never a case of "do it right once" and the fear will go. I've found sometimes it may take up to a month before I don't have to consciously control the fear. I realize this is in no way comparable to your experiences, but the fear is sufficient to leave me shaking and sweating on occasion.

On a completely different vein, Huzzah for a new article!


temp
Posted 18 September 2008 at 06:48 pm

This is a temp account, I've been a long time reader of this site but never bothered to register. However, I have to say at this point that I'm having trouble believing all of Radiatidon's claims. I've seen him on dozens of articles and each time he has some life-altering experience directly related to the article. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but unless you've existed since the dawn of time or are multiple people, I can't bring myself to believe that one person could have done so much. I mean, you should have your own wikipedia article by now at least with all you've been through...

If indeed through some amazing circumstances you do happen to have 20 lifetimes worth of experiences then I apologize for my rudeness, however I hope most people can understand my skepticism. I have a lot of trouble believing the unbelievable.

All that being said, if you're for real, then perhaps you should start your own religion, Jesus has nothing on you.


marc
Posted 18 September 2008 at 07:29 pm

I will guarantee that adults can be conditioned by sound. I was at Da Nang for a year, and we had incoming rockets during the dry season almost every night. When the base detected incoming, the sounded the alert siren and everyone was ordered to ground. Some nights the rockets weren't detected until a couple hit. I guarantee that I could hit the ground from my bunk bed without waking up. Siren or BOOM. Same sound reaction...get low fast.

For years after I got back, when a there was a siren or a loud noise ( close lightning hit) happened while I was sleeping, I would wake up on the floor by the bed. I finally outlived the reaction but it took a while.


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 18 September 2008 at 09:32 pm

That was one wierd duck...I ask myself was his motovation truly for the advancement of Science or was this a rationalised experiment to cover some dark passions brewing in the lab between his ears. (Perhaps he could use a bit of probing by some professionals.) Are all of these probing experiements really necessary to conduct a "normal productive" life? Sometimes the inner workings need/should not be examined and from person to person will a common result not prove elusive? Therefore are not the research results sumittted in generalizations or in a form that borders on the eye for the obvious. No kidding we think and compare our present with our past experiences and weigh the good and bad accordingly, from an early age...PHD in duhhh


Ahuva
Posted 19 September 2008 at 03:43 am

First, I'm really glad DI is back with new articles. I missed you. I also gather this means that the Damn Interesting book has advanced on to a new stage. That is good news too.
Secondly, I would like to respond to Temp's comment that Radiatidon seems to have too many life altering experiences for it to be believable.
I also noticed that it seemed like too many. But, after thinking about it a bit, I decided that it didn't matter. Radiatidon posts anecdotes that show his deep sensitivity to the hardships and joys of the human condition. He always is interesting, always presents things that are new for me and I always enjoy reading him. Whether the experiences he posts about are real (which I would prefer not to be just because I wouldn't wish him to go through things so horrific) or have been designed by his imagination doesn't matter to me. I have found only truth in his posts.


Rockadilly
Posted 19 September 2008 at 07:00 am

temp said: "This is a temp account, I've been a long time reader of this site but never bothered to register. However, I have to say at this point that I'm having trouble believing all of Radiatidon's claims."

Oh this is just rich. We have on this forum a person that has traveled somewhat and yet we have some banana benders knocking him down. Sure he relates his experiences in some posts, and usually sounds very knowledgeable. Sure some of it sounds fantastic, but how did he achieve that knowledge to write about it? Yet how many people in history have just as rich life experiences that we hear or read about yet don’t question them?

I enjoy his comments, and don’t give a bloody damn if it is mental or physical. If you research into his thoughts, he seems very in touch with the human condition. To me his writings of past experiences relate as to how he achieves this. For one to suffer as he states, that to me supports how he feels towards others and to life in general.

Here in Australia we had a larger than normal adventurer. Went by the name of Steve. Bloke got a stinger in the chest that did him in. I bet if he had wrote about his life experiences on this forum you would attack his as you do Donnie. Except most of Steve’s adventures were before a camera, but does that make his adventures more real than Donnie’s? If you thought yes, then show me a Hobbit, or better, have that Star Wars guy beam me aboard his Enterprise ship. The guy with the pasty skin, Data I think. Not really into those spacey movies but would love taking a gander of the planets first hand.


Dropbear
Posted 19 September 2008 at 07:16 am

Dude.... Enterprise is Star Trek... not Star Wars.
However your point remains valid.


Stevarooni
Posted 19 September 2008 at 08:05 am

This guy's story -is- very interesting, as a footnote in the development of ethical behavior by psychologists. Trashy methodology, trashy personal ethics...Dr. Watson had it all! :P


atonyt
Posted 19 September 2008 at 09:15 am

I can relate to Don and HiEV comments. I was bitten by a dog around 9 years old. My experience was nothing like either of yours, but I can say if a dog seems to have a vicous streak or barks constantly, it makes me very nervous. I get ready to fight or flight. My in-laws have a dog that barks constantly and growls when my 18 month old son gets too close for her comfort. I swear if that dog bites my child, in-laws or not, I will kill that dog.


Numzy
Posted 19 September 2008 at 10:43 am

Oddly enough ive never been bitten by a dog but im scared to death of them. Everytime theres one around and doesnt look particularly vicious i can stand near it or pet it a little but my reflexes are in overdrive and every fibre in my body is telling me to run. I really dont understand it because otherwise i am an animal person and i adore snakes. I have no memory of any unpleasant incidents with dogs either from which this irrational fear could have stemmed.
Correct me im wrong people but dont all fears stem from somewhere??
Oh and brilliant article!


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 19 September 2008 at 11:59 am

I love dogs! A barking dog in someones yard is doing its job, yeah dog! Now if Iam out of its territory or have been welcomed in the home and the sucker (please substitute the s for an f if it draws blood) bites me, I will eat the fur ball alive over a blazing fire and wear its skin like Conan. Dogs got domesticated long ago and if they and or their masters cannot remember their place, I have no problem reminding them. I have been bitten a couple of times and I guarantee the dogs feel real sorry for having made such a poor choice. Furthermore, I agree, if a dog takes a piece out of a kid, it is on in that dogs life, whether it be mine or anothers.
Now one thing that gets me is a small dog attacking everything and biting everyone and the owner just laughs and goes how cute is that?? I say not cute at all... that dog is behaving poorly and in its own mind it is doing the same action that a Pitbull, Sheppard, Dobermann has a bad rep. for doing, only not so well... Little dogs who bite should be scolded and taught that is out of bounds just as big dogs are taught to hold their strength in reserve... much like people I suppose.


mjunk
Posted 19 September 2008 at 12:14 pm

Welcome back and DI!! You were missed.


sachse
Posted 19 September 2008 at 12:30 pm

hey I'm with temp...next thing you know Don's gonna be braggin he doinked Sarah Palin when she was a teenager, all the while fightin Polar Bears.."yea, dats da ticket!"..LOL...just kidding Don..I love your posts too..keep'em coming...man-o-man its good to read y'all again...its been awhile.


friggengreat
Posted 19 September 2008 at 02:19 pm

In order for his baseline to be more plausible, he should have included animals that were not cute and fuzzy. Or possibly done the experiment backwards. If something is pleasant to the touch and doesn't exhibit overtly hostile demeanor, of course a 'clean slate kid' is going to develop a positive bias that can then be manipulated. But if you try batches of animals with scales, rough skin, more than 4 legs, bad smells, etc.. snakes, centipedes, spiders, caterpillars, beetles, or better breeds of domesticated animals including hairless species (imagine giving your grandfather a foot massage, yeah, the dead one) to keep a parallel; then you have experimental gold. How many of you have an irrational fear of spiders of snakes, and have never had a bad experience with either? Now of course I don't think you should use the titillating toddler method as a form of positive reinforcement, but I do plan on using this method on some consenting adult ladies as soon as the opportunity presents itself. In the name of (psych!) science of course.


Pamster
Posted 19 September 2008 at 02:23 pm

c0uchtime said: "One wonders, given all that is known about this case and the surrounds, why "Little Albert" has never been found or come forward, etc. The National Enquirer would make somebody rich…."

I remember learning about this experiment in high school and having a very uncomfortable feeling when I thought about a 70 year old man out there somewhere who was very frightened by little fuzzy animals. That's just a cruel thing to do to a man.


boonnm8
Posted 19 September 2008 at 03:15 pm

atonyt said: "I can relate to Don and HiEV comments. I was bitten by a dog around 9 years old. My experience was nothing like either of yours, but I can say if a dog seems to have a vicous streak or barks constantly, it makes me very nervous. I get ready to fight or flight. My in-laws have a dog that barks constantly and growls when my 18 month old son gets too close for her comfort. I swear if that dog bites my child, in-laws or not, I will kill that dog."

I agree with you emphatically, there was a german shepard that jumped and knocked down my son. Thankfully there were no damage. But when i told he dog's owner that i would kill the dog should he do it again, he informed me that i would need to go through him first. I was kind enough to inform him that the dog would still be dead.


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 19 September 2008 at 05:14 pm

boonm8! OOOOoooooOOOo! That was a good one!
When someone tells me I'll kill that dog! (meaning my well mannered pooch that is minding his own business) I simply say make sure to dig two holes first, if you feel like being buried... That shuts all but the stupidest up:) Like I said, if my dog took on a kid and really injured the child, that parent probally wouldnt have to threaten me or my dog but try to separate me from my dogs buttocks and throat. As much as I love my dog, it has been made clear who runs what and biting the two leggers or little four leggers that look like two leggers is off limits.
However, I have noticed that a good # of minorities seem to be very scared of dogs, to the point of holding a small drama fest at each encounter... Not a stereotype, a personal fact based on my own life experiences. They need not fear the dog in a crucial situation :) or better yet, it is not the dog they need fear.


oldmancoyote
Posted 19 September 2008 at 08:48 pm

damn glad to see a new article. I've been doing too many drive bys here lately. gotta agre with marc, adults can definitely be conditioned. After the marine corp transferred me to 1st CivDiv, Couch Co., TV platoon I had a passing truck backfire. My reaction was to take cover and reach for my weapon. Iknew there was no danger but that is a jarheads conditioned response to anything that sounds like small arms fire.

If some of you have a hard time believing The Don please read up on some other folks with interesting lives. Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII. Chesty Puller, recipient of 5 Navy Crosses. Chuck Yeager, first man to break the sound barrier, first man to shoot down a jet aircraft etc.,etc. Some people lead interesting lives. Some wish to hell they didn't.


Dr. Bivoc
Posted 19 September 2008 at 10:31 pm

Allen, great to have you back. I think I would have rather had a statement every week giving us a status report on the book than re-runs, but I am patient.

As I remember, Dr. Watson went off to found the psychologically based advertisement industry after being disgraced by his adultery. Shows you why you do not like the advertising industry.

As for the Don and his experiences, some men are adrenaline junkies and will keep seeking out adventures until they get too old or kill themselves. Don, may you live a long life.

Fear is not always irrational. Having been attached, I rightly fear the kind of person that attacked me. What we do with our fear is what may be irrational. My personality tends to attack the thing I fear instead of fleeing it. Just like fleeing, this is not always a helpful response. My current boss elicits my greatest fear. I know he is harmless and not someone to attack, but some time I have to freeze up to not just attack him verbally.


Ahuva
Posted 20 September 2008 at 12:54 am

Hey, Numzy, maybe you are really Little Albert, all grown up.


elphaba
Posted 20 September 2008 at 06:19 am

HiEv said: "Well, as a person who was bitten by a dog at around 11 or 12 years old and ended up with 36 stitches on the outside of his face and a few more stitches on the inside of his face, I can tell you that it's not that easy to get over an irrational fear.
So, you can't just overcome it "by petting dogs or something" because you won't want to do that, and even if you do do it occasionally, it's not like the fear or the memories ever completely go away.
(Sorry, I screwed up the quote thing)

I was bitting by a rottweiler when I was eleven. The pressure of his teeth broke the growth plate in my right ring finger, all the way down in the back of my hand. I was in a cast for a month, and to this day, am still missing a knuckle, and have a gap in the bone. I'm terrified of strange dogs, and have also developed a dog allergy. Psychosomatic??


Numzy
Posted 20 September 2008 at 12:10 pm

Ahuva said: "Hey, Numzy, maybe you are really Little Albert, all grown up."

Only problem is, im a girl. Heh.


Blueskyy
Posted 20 September 2008 at 03:13 pm

Numzy, hello. Re your innate fear of dogs. A friend had such a fear all her life. Then she had hypnosis to help with quitting smoking and, while under, inadvertently had a past life regression. She had a lucid memory of being a small girl living on the prairie a hundred years ago. She recalled being chased by a pack of wild dogs. They caught her and killed her. A passing farmer loaded her body on his wagon and took her home to her horrified parents.

My friend awakened with an aversion to smoking cigarettes and no fear of dogs. She promptly adopted a boxer for her son. Twenty years later she has had three dogs and adores her current schnauzer, Mimi.

Oddly enough, she has no interest in seeking other past life regressions, accidentally or otherwise. I'd be sceptical about this if I did'nt know this woman to be about as sensible and solid as they come.

Perhaps you, too, have a repressed memory or a past life experience.

P.S. She hasn't smoked since.


smiles are free
Posted 21 September 2008 at 05:14 am

I'm guessing this was pre-ethics then. Somehow I don't see anyone getting the OK from the Psy. Ethics Commity with a pitch that starts with , 'So basically I'm gonna hit this kid when i show him a fluffy animal...'

But damn interesting all the same.


temp2
Posted 21 September 2008 at 07:26 pm

I'm back with a new temp account (I should probably get around to making a real one if this is going to continue...) and I have some things to address:

I didn't mean radiatidon any disrespect if he's honestly telling the truth, and I made that clear... those of you telling me "well some people live wonderful lives!" are wasting your breath, I'm well aware that some people DO have wacky adventures. My only point was that all of radiatidon's adventures don't really seem to fit together, there is a very low probability that all of his life experiences are real. Do a simple google search for "radiatidon inurl:damninteresting" and read some of the comments that pop up, can one guy really be responsible for all that stuff...? Maybe, but how likely is it? and is it wrong of me to ask for some reassurance and evidence. Is it possible that Jesus walked on water and cured blindness? Maybe... but not likely, if I questioned Jesus I'd get nothing but support from this crowd, when I question radiatidon suddenly I'm being a closed-minded jerk? I'm sorry, am I doubting Radiatidon's Holy Word? wake up people.

To those that say it doesn't matter whether they are true stories or not, I can agree with that for the most part. But what if you're new to this site and don't know Radiatidon's questionable history of claims, you might go on to take everything he says at his word, don't believe me?

http://www.gadgetspage.com/cars/the-fly-wheel-may-power-our-next-green-car.html

Those people really believe that Radiatidon risked his life to help build a more efficient car. That's just intentionally misleading people; that's wrong. If Radiatidon put a disclaimer on his posts, I'd enjoy them for the entertainment value, but spreading false information purely so he can make himself feel better when people give him respect is just sad.

So, Radiatidon, either you're telling the truth and are a man worthy of great respect, or you're just trying to cut the middle-man and get straight to the respect. Before I give you my kudos, I want some reassurance that you're for real. If that makes me a big fat jerk in the eyes of the DI crowd, then I'm afraid I've lost a lot of respect for the community here; I figured you for wise people who think critically, not those who base beliefs on some guy's word.


ChrisW75
Posted 21 September 2008 at 09:20 pm

I await The Don's response to Mr Temps queries with expectation. The Don's stories are extraordinary, however this does not mean that they are false. I think sometimes that some people just seem to attract "interesting times". This also does not mean that they are true. On the internet, people are rarely what they appear. In this case, I hope that they are. I can be philosophical about these things, as I'm sure, can Radiatidon.

In the meantime - Does anyone think that some application of Dr Watsons Hammer and Rod to people who compulsively post "FIRST!" in the comments might yield some useful results?


underneath it all
Posted 22 September 2008 at 03:49 am

thank you for a freshly-baked article. it smells so good. :) DI

i've been an avid reader of DI for quite some time already. it interests me when people share their knowledge and views about the article. but for this certain issue (which is fresh), i wasn't expecting that someone would comment about another "commenter" (if i should say)...

i have nothing against don but somehow temp has a point.

if a pie has 8 big slices, we only got a piece of it and the rest belongs to him.

there's no doubt that don is one proficient and wise man. if everything he said was purely factual, then I would like to apologize for acting a lil "Watson" :)


Radiatidon
Posted 22 September 2008 at 07:45 am

First and foremost I wish to point out that the following statement was not made in, nor meant in anger. I spent the weekend mending fences and working some stubborn colts. So I am a wee bit tired.

Hum, my shares have caused a debacle of positive and negative comments. So my life history seems fictitious to some yet fantastic to others. My experiences relate to the paths my life has taken. I grew up in a small town and had summer jobs working farms and ranches. My family either raised or hunted the food for our table. Because of my many scrapes with extreme dismemberment or death, my grandmother said it would be a miracle if I lived to be a teenager.

During college I worked part-time with a military contractor. Though mostly a gopher, I still got to experience some lab work. One was research into gyroscope support and stabilizer systems. After college I went to work for a different military contractor. Some of it was R&D while others was system support. I was involved with the cruise missile program, HAMOTS, various Regan Starwars programs, NASA’s shuttle, et al.

Many of the missions I was involved in required a TDY (Temporary Duty) in some other portion of the world. Of course during these TDY assignments I would explore my new surroundings. The TDY could last just a matter of hours to months at a time. For instance I “baby sit” a package to Hawaii, saw its delivery to USNO, make sure “baby” was snug and happy, then boarded a return flight. All-in-all the job lasted a total of 17 hours, with 6 hours to Hawaii, 3 hours there, 2 hours in the airport waiting for my return flight, 6 hours back to base. My flight, meals, and housing were all paid for. Only my casual clothing and entertainment was out-of-pocket.

Other times I was involved in setting up a “site” of operations. Usually that involved working under hot-and-hazardous conditions. So we received special instructions and training in case we would require swift extraction.

Because of the unique terrain I worked in, most of my travel was by air. Many cases the area was hazardous and the aircraft experienced problems.

During one TDY assignment we were granted a four-day reprieve. A group of us decided to play tourist and explore the wilds. We happenstance across an outside bazaar 8 hours from base when, I was capture and detained painfully. Due to the political atmosphere and that I was not a VIP, the search for me was minimal.

So I have left footprints in sands across the globe. Wandered jungles, deserts, icy tundra, and swam in waters from different climes. Had close calls with animals both domestic and wild. My body bears testament with a history of physical scars. My mind shares just as many if not more, of mental.

Now if you wish to continue believing my meanderings in cyberspace is a crock of animal byproducts, so be it. Just think of my writings as a comic book or repertoire of fantastic works. Devised for your entertainment and inflation of my ego.

I am neither a god nor an action hero. Nor am I some adrenalin junkie seeking the next great thrill. I suffer phobias, as do many others. I detest spiders and have problems with heights, though riding in aircraft does not affect me. I refuse to let my fears rule me and will let a spider run across my arm or climb a tower to prove mastery over that fear.

Personally I write what I have experienced and share what meager knowledge I have acquired. Anything else claimed as truth is nothing more than mental masturbation in my opinion. A rather droll waste of time and effort.

The Don


LuckyLilLeprechaun
Posted 22 September 2008 at 09:04 am

LOL smiles are free, the doc hit a metal bar and made a sound that scared the kid, he didn't actually hit the kid, but that would have been much more effective, right?


Numzy
Posted 22 September 2008 at 10:31 am

Blueskyy, hi. Wow, that sounds incredible! Odd how ive always considered myself to be very open minded about all sorts of stuff and supressed past life experiences never crossed my mind. I should look into this more...


openside
Posted 22 September 2008 at 04:34 pm

Alan,
Radiatidon sounds like a topic for an article in himself.

Temp (1 and 2) I can see your point of view too, and good on you for asking. I consider myself neutral in the debate, and in my unsolicited opinion I don't think there's any reason for you to get defensive. You asked a question, some people gave their opinion, and Radiatidon showed the decency of responding.

All in all an interesting read, comments included.


portsmouth101
Posted 22 September 2008 at 05:29 pm

I do have to completely agree with the article [and anyone who has mentioned this before]. I believe tragic experiences affect the human conscience highly. My father was bitten by a dog at the age of 60, while jogging around the neighborhood. Now, 5 years later my dad always carries a cane while jogging and warns me about "stupid dogs". Though he loves dogs, he never can keep his guard down around them because of this accident. I believe the human mind has an ability to remember "events" that had previously hurt (physically or emotionally) themself. This is probably one of the reasons we are surviving.

For instance, if I scratch my arms and legs traveling in a bunch of pricker bushes, I will be afraid of the bushes. This will enable me to protect myself (or avoid, if I cannot protect myself) from the pricker bush in future times.

Just two cents coming from a teenager.

-Will.


kiwi-guy
Posted 22 September 2008 at 06:43 pm

temp2 said: ...there is a very low probability that all of his life experiences are real. Do a simple google search for "radiatidon inurl:damninteresting" and read some of the comments that pop up...

That reminds me of the time I was walking across the Sahara Desert. I was the only survivor of a mid-air collision of three 747 Jumbos. I fabricated a makeshift parachute from floating sick-bags that I managed to grab and sew together while falling in free-space.

After using various cacti to make splints for my broken limbs, I used the position of the sun to head 13.54 degrees off north for the 600 mile trek to Cairo. Many dangers were met along the way, but probably the most perilous was the 7 foot spider that bit my head right off.

As luck would have it, there was a team of flying doctors traveling from London to Sydney for their Annual Flying Doctor Conference. I used my reading glasses as a mirror to reflect the sun into the planes path. It took them 17 hours to reattach my head and they told me I was lucky it was a clean bite!

I have many more stories to tell, but I'll leave them for a later date.


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 22 September 2008 at 10:11 pm

Kiwi-guy,
You weren't the only survivor...
Cairo is beautiful in the spring after a morning jog in the dessert and an afternoon swim. I never knew why you insisted on that northerly route when only four miles to the East was an, until then, undiscovered tributary of Nile. My honed scence of smell for water carried me right to its banks after a 17 minute jog, so you could say I followed my nose... The river yeilded its reeds and by 10:30 AM Cairo time, I was off in my reed skiff, making for Cairo with only the Hippos, Crocs and three remaining Cataracts in my path. The Temple at Luxor and Karnac stood strong in the noonday sun as I beheld the ancient majesty of those places. Shortly after losing my volleyball, I dozed off. I awoke to the throaty outboard engine along side my reed refuge. I cleared my shut eyes of the Tetsee flies and gazed at the tan brown bodies of the womens watering skiing team of Egypt. They refreshed me and had me up and running in only two pulls. They say I was a quick learner at water skiing. The rest of the day included a picinic at Memphis with a sunsetting along the Pyriamids we docked along my motel dock. It was a splendid day and it was good to lay my head on that Egyptian cotton, on my sheets. I remembered thinking, its Tuesday, boy this week is going slow. :) It was then when I heard a rustling from the balcony, but I digress, moving on... (two cliches i hate the most!!! Stupid sayings) So We know stories...

Fourth grade, in Montana, no one belived I had been to the Phillipines...
No one believed I was at the same dock the Edmund Fitsgerald had been...
No one believed I could beat the whole class at chess, then go outside and win at marbles, baseball then football (with team mates of course). After that day, no one believed I hadn't been to the P.I., so they got their marbles back...
I have had a brilliant life at times, sometimes planned, sometimes rather unexpected. Some people nod, some call bovine feculence (you would be correct in calling BS to the first story....), some want to hear more while some actually match or best my story. To those who have the courage or fuzzies to, congratulations. Now to do that w/ out lying usually takes a good life indeed and or a vivid memory. When talking with old friends, I find I remember more about some of their really close calls then they do...perhaps some dont remember their extraordinary events and have a hard time recalling?...? or dont feel it is necessary to share.
Personally, I cant abide a liar nor a Texan with a story, that is usually the same thing with only six more drinks. :) You got to admit that was a good one... you can use it if you need to, I wont mind...
No, with Radiations stories, it seems the victim card it played pretty heavy, doesnt mean it isnt true. I also feel that 95% of us are LIKE (heavy on the like as not to inflame another long road to nowhere...) cattle that stay in our pen and are only let out for one or two weeks a year.
It is not the cattle part to focus on but the one to two weeks... yeah ha, lots of fun on vacation, then back to the grind right?? What if your parents were like that too?? What have some people really seen or done?? Dont get me wrong, I have had many quiet months/years, then all of a sudden, life is a roller coaster again. How about surviving a drive by?? Not really something I planned, but I can recall how that changes a day, how about hearing the boom of our lastest lost Shuttle over Texas? The lives of some people are like that almost everyday, some who have a hard time with accepting that, just arent exposed to that sort of life.
If Radiation is a blow hard, I find it difficult to see the tangible motovation... do you really have a vested interest one way or another?? I think he is telling his version of the truth, a few embellishments or omitions here and there; perhaps, but they do seem to keep a thread or topic going. Of course Radiation puts out some good comments, dont be fooled though, the Don is bright, but in his delivery, he is smart enough to study first. I have no doubt all of what he says is not off the top of his head, he does do research before he posts, no fault in being accurate and that is pretty cool someone would read up and then post some thought or finding, I see few others with as much drive here...myself included. So, all you decenters, do you not believe Radiation is a valuable contribution to our forum? or would you rather manifest more doubt to your own credability while trying to present an obvious point to a forum of what I believe to be an above average loosely knit group, perfectly capable of forming their own opinions on this seemingly unprovable subject? Dont you have a media conspiracy to unravel or a financial system mismanagement group to head up? As usual, it is reactionaries and speculators, they come armed to the teeth with zip for proof. So, the best you could probally do is just read past Radiation and and keep your teeth together; as most in attendance of the forums you attend expect you to do...


openside
Posted 22 September 2008 at 10:33 pm

Two Cents from Girth said: "Kiwi-guy,

You weren't the only survivor…

...blah blah blah...

as most in attendance of the forums you attend expect you to do…"

You realise his handle isn't "Radiation" right?


gur8
Posted 23 September 2008 at 04:11 am

Hi'all,
(first time posting) I've just spent the better part of a week reading thru just about every article on this awesome site, from cargo-cults to Swift's death-prank (Bickerstaff) to India's faux dead to Mincemeat to the lake that went down the drain (and of course BMP*).. Question is, how can one turn this into a book and not include some of the comments, eh?

Don, (Radiatidon), big, BIG, hug to you, thank you and all you other commentributors and hat's off too, this site wouldn't be half as cool without you all chipping in and in some instances, almost, if not, out-damn-interesting said articles. That said, Alan Bellows and staff, you guys rock!!!

So for whatever it's worth, here's an external (DI) article, written by Bill Whittle, one of my favorite writers out there, it's the story of 'forty-second Boyd' aka Pope John and the Supersonic Monastery, a must read, trust me, you're all in for a treat... other articles are no less engaging/informative but this one's kinda special.

http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000172.html

cheers, -g

*Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon


Bolens
Posted 23 September 2008 at 06:11 am

Alan, thanks to you and your team for such a splendid site. Welcome back, and I hope the book goes to number 1. And thank you Radiatidon for sharing tidbits from your past. Sadly these days, perching in front of a monitor passes for a life... so when confronted with someone who has actually lived in the world theatre, the life of that person seems surreal. Thank you for your service, sir. I tip my slice of pie in your general direction.


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 23 September 2008 at 06:58 am

openside, again my poor spelling is legendary... thanks for pointing that out :)


Ard Ri
Posted 23 September 2008 at 07:04 am

**********"first the lips, then the nipples and as a final resort the sex organs"*************
This sick mother fuc@ker should have been fired based on this "re-conditioning method" alone!!!


kniesten
Posted 23 September 2008 at 10:26 am

Well, let me be the first to dissent to the seemingly popular opinion that (I think) obviously fabricated stories should be commended and continued. Don't get me wrong, I love a science fiction or fiction book, but because I know it is fiction from reading the category. If you don't care if the stuff your reading is true or not, that's your prerogative. I however tend to skip over Radiatidons posts. If I wanted to waste my time reading a huge chunk of textual BS I would pick up the enquirer, or some such tabloid. Anyway, all the best on your fictional endeavors Radiatidon, you seem to have acquired a cult following on DI.


kiwi-guy
Posted 23 September 2008 at 03:47 pm

Two Cents from Girth said:
...I never knew why you insisted on that northerly route when only four miles to the East was an, until then, undiscovered tributary of Nile.

Because going by my path I saw the opportunity to take out 17 Al Qaeda camps. (Of course, none of this would have been possibly if I did not have my faithful trained army of scorpions and venomous snakes.)


ChrisW75
Posted 23 September 2008 at 04:43 pm

Glad to read the Don's measured careful response, seems to tie in pretty much every story he's recounted here.
Good on ya Don!
Personally, I like to see exchanges like this where no one resorts to name calling and abuse, so very rare here on the interwebs.
I think the Don should write a book about his life.


kiwi-guy
Posted 23 September 2008 at 05:15 pm

ChrisW75 said: "Personally, I like to see exchanges like this where no one resorts to name calling and abuse, so very rare here on the interwebs."

Did you ever read read http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=309#comments , comments 10, 11, 12? DAMN FUNNY!

(I was just having a bit of fun above - no offense intended. I'll go away now until maybe another article.)

...and Damn great to see you back, Alan!!


Lisette
Posted 23 September 2008 at 11:17 pm

Wow! A new article!! That Watson was a SICKO. Poor Little Albert. I hope he wasn't permanently scared!
Looks like some posters have far too much time on their hands! Posting about posters! :p


J.K.
Posted 24 September 2008 at 08:46 am

You know I've read a lot of the writings of 'The Don' and I find it offensive some 'temp' or anyone would come in here and knock him as some fantasy writer. I mean yes there's always that small chance someone has some insanely well played out sense of writing combined with imagination but enough around his experiences shows otherwise. I saw that one post on here that says he would be a fantastic story in it of itself for 'damn interesting' and I'd have to agree. Perhaps Alan needs to talk with him, or perhaps The Don could pop one out there himself that can be done as totally public and verifiable information as it would be an amazing read. Honestly I don't just read the stuff here, I tend to scroll for The Don's writings afterwards too kind of like a second story within the story.


Usman Ahmad
Posted 24 September 2008 at 09:17 am

Awesomely interesting indeed! but what became of the Doctor? I couldn't guess...maybe it's a little obscure!


GeorgeAR
Posted 24 September 2008 at 12:01 pm

Jonny said: "WOAH! A NEW ARTICLE!

WOAH!"

Hey Jonny,
I caught the reference, and laughed. That's one of my favorite commercials! "I really underestimated the creepiness."


kniesten
Posted 24 September 2008 at 03:33 pm

J.K. said: "I mean yes there's always that small chance someone has some insanely well played out sense of writing"

Insanely well played out sense of writing J.K? I don't think you've been reading The Don's comments for long, they often lack basic grammar, don't make any chronological sense, or, overall, are confusing to follow.

J.K. said: "but enough around his experiences shows otherwise."

What do you know about his experiences that shows that they are not either blown out of proportion or completely fabricated?


kniesten
Posted 24 September 2008 at 03:36 pm

kniesten said: "What do you know about his experiences that shows that they are not either blown out of proportion or completely fabricated?"

Sorry I didn't mean for that come off as a rude question, but after reading it I realized that it could definitely look that way. I'm asking out of genuine curiosity, because I've never found anything that could link his writings to reality.


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 25 September 2008 at 07:19 am

Again kniesten...
Perspective: This is an internet chat forum... it can be as real as reality TV, do you believe that is real? Yes, I agree there are abuses to these kinds of places... what is neat about this, is that there is little to gain or lose by this social arena, the gains are in information, not relationships. Lets see kniesten, you bring doubt, speculation, suspision to this forum... what have you brought in a positive light? Where is your proof, where do you stand when the burden you leavy on "Don" is levied on you? You dont have any proof... now understandably, neither does Don. It is like requiring a blind person to pick out drape colors based on texture alone. It is wierd, but it can be done. I think most readers view this not on the level you are presenting, and if you had proof, I'd be swayed to agree; but by what Don brings to the forum. Most times, he doesnt bring doubt, suspision, friction... Kniesten, you are working very hard to discredit someone, why??? and how would that Inquisition really benefit you? You describe poor grammar, actually poor spelling and grammar is my department... at least choose dicrediting things that will stick. Also include into your assesment how much material is usually written...it seems to take about twenty of your posts to match Don or my inputs, typical of most with a negativist attitude. I am sure you can spell and structure just fine in two sentences but after a page or so, after work, the brain and fingers get a little frazzled. Again, thanks for the fifth grade grammar seminar, we left that place long ago... if the best you can come up with is that there are spelling errors, tense violations and a dangler here and there, try reading for the actual content...I am not defending the Don, himself , but people who speak their peace and positively contribute. Again, we are smart enough to discern or filter what we CHOOSE to. Would you like to have what you CHOOSE to say, besides the grumblings and accusations, be picked apart? Oh, when was the last time you really contributed or opened up in the slightest??? Real easy to stand behind the curtain and critique isnt it, a little hint, your no wizard and we arent looking for a way home, most of us are already here. You mistake the nature of some of the posts, they are not attempts at validation or approval, they are simply versions of the way it is or gentle conveyence of info without the hype and fluff. The forum is not Starbucks where snobs try to belittle all that is not them, it is most of the time a place where different ideas are gathered to find similarities, not necessarily discrediting differences. If you want that, simply sit in your room and hash it out with that authority you call yourself, that should be fun huh...?
"You dont have to convince friends and enemies will never believe you...an introduction into politics, loose relationships and other long roads to nowhere." Again, I wont mind if you use it...:)

Apart from the latest drama... Sounds like the book is ready for release! Prepare the minions, alert the intellectuals, a new toy is hitting the shelves!! soon, I hope... Are we going to be able to comment on the book somewhere on the site? Perhaps story by story? Should be a good showing, anyone know where the book will be sold?


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 25 September 2008 at 07:30 am

kiwi guy
Scorpion King and Snake Lord? Wow... so the reattachment of the head was just so the doctors could get a bit of practice, nice of you? Didnt tell them it would automatically graft with those powers of regeneration? You must keep those powers a secret!
You did hear how the numbers of aggressive Nile crocs plummeted that spring? Need a pair of boots, a wallet perhaps?
The Tut exibit is coming to Dallas in Oct. until May. Might go check out the golden toys of the boys King.


kniesten
Posted 25 September 2008 at 08:28 am

So... let me get this straight, you're critiquing me from behind the curtain for critiquing people from behind the curtain? Aren't you working hard to discredit me? Whyyy!??!? Maybe I should express the irony in a one page mega-paragraph. Sooo you're using length as an excuse for bad structure? I don't think a teacher would accept that and just give you the A anyway because your length was so astonishing and just ignore the redundancies and typos because it was just SO long and impressive! Could I write a one page mega-paragraph on my own embellished life? You bet. Do I and most other people here appreciate brevity? Yes. I'm curious how talking about ones own life with almost nothing to do with the topic is called 'contributing?'

I wholly disagree with your claim that The Don's posts lack 'fluff.' Besides, don't you find it strange that someone would open their lives so completely to strangers on the internet? Opening a fake life seems easier to me personally, but some people have a story for everything, and it usually happened to them. You're telling me you don't know anyone like that in real life? I do, the stories are either BS or they happened to someone else. Damn are they impressive though! Sorry let me do a little puff piece on the Don like everyone else really quick...

Listen all you naysayers, the Don is ten times the man and the contributor that you are. Sure you could have your little three sentence opinions, observations, and other interesting comments, but the Don brings these to a whole new level. He can spread a three sentence interesting comment into three pages, just by looking at his keyboard sternly. He has been around the block eight-hundred times and you have only been around four. That is why he has a story for every single DI article. No it's not fantastical, if you're a fan of the Don you know that he has actually had all these experiences. What you think he should probably be over one-hundred years old then? He is.


atonyt
Posted 25 September 2008 at 08:52 am

Guys, seriously, this is just a posting website to discuss interesting topics and add whatever knowledge you may have to the subject or what intrigues you. Do I care if the Dons stories are real? No... it doesn't have any impact on me one way or another. I do enjoy reading them, so I am happy with that.

And I have to say, it is very easy to share life stories here versus somewhere else. I can tell everybody here just about anything.... Like the time I was on my way to school, had to go to the bathroom really bad, and I didn't make it. So I turned around and went back home (long journey again..made even longer by the mess).

This is one of the most embarassing moments of my life, but do I care that I write about it here, no, because no one has a clue to who I am.


markishmark
Posted 25 September 2008 at 09:32 am

My gripe:
No matter where you go online today to comment on an article, why is it you find idiots having conversations in an area meant for comments? I don't get it! Who gives a damn who is "First!" or "Last!" for that matter? comment on the article, you morons!
My comment:
This poor little bastard probably grew up to be an animal torturer, and then a serial killer. I did get quite a chuckle out of the read, however.


Ronald
Posted 25 September 2008 at 09:36 am

Wow Kniesten I like your brutally honest response, well done.


Ripada
Posted 25 September 2008 at 12:18 pm

As with most places, if you do not like a posters comments - skip them, no need to trash talk anyone.


Radiatidon
Posted 25 September 2008 at 12:44 pm

Kniesten, is your life so bland that you have to attack someone you never met? My timeline is impossible and my experiences too lengthy for one person? Here is a quick sketch of some of my travels.

I talked about maintaining equipment in dangerous locations. Riding helicopters along cliff sides and being tossed out. While working at Hill’s Air Force Base in Layton UT, I worked on various projects including the HAMOTS (High Accuracy, Multiple Objects Tracking System). HAMOTS is like a bunch of little radar dishes situated around the Dugway testing range. Since these things need line of sight with each other, the positioning is very critical. This includes locations deep in the salt desert (requiring custom floating systems to keep the units above any potential flood) to areas along the sides and tops of mountains.

I mentioned riding in various aircraft. While at Kwajalein there was the Caribou and the Bell UH-1H. I talked about landing gear problems on a Caribou. Here is a link of one that crashed due to landing gear malfunction. I was working there still, though was not on this particular aircraft that day.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19840118-0 - The listing is incorrect by stating it happened on Kwaj. The aircraft was actually landing on Meck when the landing gear failed.

Different aircraft, same base.
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001212X20132&key=1

I talked about working on various NASA and military projects. HOE (Homing Overlay Experiment) was one. It was during this project that a Bell UH-1H Helicopter I was on nearly crashed due to a fool opening the side door without the pilot’s permission because he was hot. The bird was returning from Roi-namur to Kwajalein.

I also talked about a Soviet Spy ship in Kwajalein waters that we called “Brand X”. This was a Primorye class ship. Her name was the Zabaikayle – CCB 464. If you have a copy of Jane’s Fighting Ships, the complete information is there.

I was pulled from a systems analysis at the Naval Air Station in Keflavik, Iceland for an assignment at Ramstein Air Base in Germany where I witnessed the collision of the jets back in 1988. More of a nightmare than a memory due to the confusion and smoke, trying to get help for burned victims. The whole mess was poorly handled and there was a lot of finger pointing as to whom was to blame.

Then was sent for a TDY at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey for a systems upgrade in preparation for the TF 4-7 ADA group from Germany in support of Desert Shield.

Was preparing to return to Ramstein Air Base when received another TDY assignment at Kadena Air Base in Japan. I never made it to Kadena as in mid-flight I was reassigned for a “Hot” systems setup in Kenya. My flight was diverted to India where I cooled my heels for a week while support personnel and materials were gathered for the base setup. This base was to help analyze potential hotspots in Somalia prior to US military aid going in. Spent time seeing things I wish I could forget.

Before all Hell broke out in Somalia a group of us went exploring in Kenya. I did not return with the group. My disappearance was low key as events heated up in Somalia.

My discovery and return to the states was not noteworthy as the incident now unfolding in Somalia. This forum is the first place that I have shared some of what happened at that time. I find it easier to talk to faceless strangers. You think it is easy to reveal a wound like this? Trying talking to someone who was raped.

Well enough of this banter as it has diverted from the topic at hand and wasted enough bandwidth.

The Don.


Toodles
Posted 25 September 2008 at 12:51 pm

Wow, I wasn't expecting to read all of this bickering...Alan, do you see what happens to us when you don't give us new articles? We start feeding on each other!

For what it is worth, I rarely read Don's responses because they are too darn long!

Oh and the article is great...I had heard about it in school. It makes me sick to think about making a babies cry intentionally!


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 25 September 2008 at 02:00 pm

kniesten,
Nice of you to make a lengthy rebuttal on the "Don topic".
As far as grammar goes, the likelyhood of making inadvertant mistakes increases with the number of words a person types... math. True, another variable is the writing skill of the individual; but that varies dramatically as do "writing conditions". (ie. being tired, emotions and being without my best writing friend, Spellcheck...)
I am the last person you'd meet that stands behind a curtain, uses smoke and mirrors or silly sidewinding insinuations, so save your sass, it dont work on me.
I stand (actually sitting right now :)) here and yes, openly critisize you for subscribing to a character assassination attempt bringing nothing but doubt, suspision and speculation. If you have Proof, not puff, then bring it... if not accord a little respect to writers here in not implying that they are liars...do you see any curtains or veiled message with this discourse? If you got the fuzzies call him a liar and be done with it...see "curtain" I illude to. If not please stop snivelling, take a vacation and come back with some cool story for us...
Want the two line translation: Bring the proof or zip it...most of us dont need a bunch of gray inferences, assumptions, insinuations, smears or speculations. Do you have Proof? If not...what are you doing???
As to the fluff bit, you may be right, reading is like art, you like what you like. For some concise leaves too much unsaid, therefore gray area emerges. For some long wind like mine brings on early bedtimes or exploding heads. I guess that writing trait varies greatly to in how you are geared and what your livelyhood is (not taking a shot, just stating some jobs require detailed "legalesee" descriptions and others need info on the fly. People get in habits and routines while writing.) Where I'd say your wrong, is again the inference of Ego in your last paragraph, if you dont like it, dont read it, again your choice. Iam not going to say Don's experiences are fantastic, just rare. I doubt you'd hear these stories/recollections from the service industry, half couldnt find Kwajalein with both hands and a google map, nor do they need to. (had to cut and paste that Island in the Marshals you know the one near Inawaytalk hehehe, just nod when one of them says that is where the Ewoks are from....) good little bit of fighting we did there in WWII, learned alot about Amphibious do's and dont's, especially at Tarawa.
I am still of a mind most have already formed an opinion of the adventures of Don and like our political arena much debate with little or no results is the reward; it seems it is your perogative and right to disagree, but I really dont see how this goes any further without the one word show stopper, Proof...
Thanks for the time, sorry for the inconvience.


Ronald
Posted 25 September 2008 at 08:04 pm

Anyone else notice Superfart leaves the funniest comments ever? Read number 6 on this one,
http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=320#comments , completely idiotic but how can read that and not laugh? He has a couple others out there that are hilarious as well.


ChrisW75
Posted 25 September 2008 at 08:20 pm

[yawn]
Jeez, are you guys still going at it? Damn! I'm going back to bed.
:)


StillAliveAndWell
Posted 25 September 2008 at 09:46 pm

My first post ever at DI! The Don has had some incredible experiences - I have no reason to doubt that he's writing the truth, and I'm a bit dismayed that some of y'all use this forum to express your own skepticism.
We all lead incredible lives - some more than others. When I met my girlfriend a couple of years back, I told her my story and it was pretty danged unbelievable. Smoking dope and drinking beer at 12 years old. Accidentally shot in the chest at 13 and nearly died. Great job in a hot industry at 20. Nearly went to prison at 28 for a drug offense. Hit the skids so hard nobody ever thought I'd make it out. Got my life back together, then found out I had hepatitis-C at 42. Now at 46, Hep-C treatment was a success and I'm not sick anymore. 4-1/2 years sober. Great job in a (not so anymore) hot industry. Raising 2 kids alone, and pretty danged happy at last!
This all sounds pretty incredible, but it's my story. Try writing down your own story sometime, and you may find The Don just had more balls to put his story out there, but yours is still amazing, too.


StillAliveAndWell
Posted 25 September 2008 at 09:49 pm

Oh yeah - great to have the new articles back! DI as usual, Alan.


HiEv
Posted 26 September 2008 at 12:53 pm

Regarding people with varied life experiences:
Think about it this way. Imagine everyone's life is kind of like a hand of poker. A few people get dealt "boring" hands, but most people get something kind of interesting, and a few get very "interesting" hands. So personal experiences will be like a bell curve. Now, the odds may be fairly low that any one particular individual will get a royal straight flush, but if you have enough people playing (reading this website), the odds are pretty good that somebody is going to have that hand. Even when there's only a few people playing, such a hand is not impossible, merely improbable.

So as "improbable" as Radiatidon's life may seem, it doesn't seem inconsistent, therefore the odds are actually pretty good that a few Damn Interesting readers might just happen to have led damn interesting lives. This may seem counterintuitive, but some people have to be statistical outliers in a bell curve.

Personally, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.


HiEv
Posted 26 September 2008 at 01:43 pm

Blueskyy said: "Re your innate fear of dogs. A friend had such a fear all her life. Then she had hypnosis to help with quitting smoking and, while under, inadvertently had a past life regression. She had a lucid memory of being a small girl living on the prairie a hundred years ago."

There is no evidence that "past life regression" actually does what is claimed it does, and there is plenty of evidence that it does not. People under hypnosis are prone to confabulation (making up stories), and people who are readily hypnotised are more likely to be "fantasy prone" to begin with. If you get a person who is easily hypnotized you can get them to "remember" using their superpowers to stop the massive alien invasion that was in the news last year. In other words, these "memories" are not real, they're inventions created by the hypnotist and the patient while the patient is in a highly suggestible state.

People who have claimed to have regressed to their past lives have often been caught making claims about things that happened in those lives that would not have been possible at that time or are otherwise illogical, impossible, and verifiably wrong claims.

For example, the infamous "Bridey Murphy", a supposed past life of Virginia Tighe. It was the basis for the book The Search for Bridey Murphy, written by Morey Bernstein, her hypnotist. (Note that in the book Mrs. Tighe is called "Ruth Simmons" to protect her anonymity.) However, despite that book being a best seller, later research has found no trace of a "Bridey Murphy" or anyone like her in Cork, Ireland at the time Mrs. Tighe named. Also some of the details were flat out wrong, such as metal beds in Ireland prior to their introduction. Worse yet, it turns out that Mrs. Tighe lived across the street from a Mrs. Bridie Murphy Corkell as a child (see here). In short, there were no "past life memories", merely an active imagination helped by hypnosis and prodded by her hypnotist, Morey Bernstein (did I mention his book sold well?). For more see The Skeptic's Dictionary and Wikipedia information on this story (though the Straight Dope link I gave above has the best information).

Now, there may be some therapeutic value in past life regression therapy in some cases, but that does not mean that the "memories" created by it are real. Personally, I wouldn't trust any hypnotherapist claiming to do past life regression in the least. The implantation of false memories using hypnosis is what led to the many untrue accusations of sexual abuse and Satan worshipping in the early 1990's.


Blueskyyy
Posted 26 September 2008 at 08:37 pm

Just to clarify, HiEv.....my friend was being hypnotized to help her to quit smoking. The hypnotist, who knew nothing of my friend's horror of dogs, was not looking for past life memories and was astonished to learn that while suggesting to her client that she "would lose all desire to smoke", the client was, well, back on the prairie.

My solid, salt-of-the-earth friend was baffled and still wonders if she could have been recalling an old episode of Bonnaza. Whatever the cause, the result was that she immediately recovered from a lifelong fear of dogs.

Also, about 5% of the population (or so I've read) is unable to be hypnotized. I am one of those and wish I were not. I could use a little weight control help. However, I don't believe that the other 95% and my quite intelligent friend are "fantasy prone".

My point, really, was that perhaps Numzy could discover, thru hypnosis, subconcious reasons for her fear of dogs.


HiEv
Posted 27 September 2008 at 03:33 am

I believe you've misread me. I wasn't saying that everyone who can be hypnotized is "fantasy prone", I'm saying that there is a correlation between being easily hypnotized and receptive to hypnotic suggestion and having what is classified as a "fantasy prone personality" (FPP). I've read about a few studies a while back that compared those two traits using testing and psychological surveys and they found a moderate correlation (see here for example). However I admit that there are some other studies that contradict those findings.

Furthermore, while there is some difficulty in separating true hypnosis from a mere placebo effect, those capable of deep hypnosis are apparently only around 10%, and this "readily hypnotized" group was more what I was talking about.

For more on both of those points see "Can anyone be hypnotized, or only certain people?" from the Psych Web. Also, if you want to see how bad it can get, you can read a critical discussion of fantasy prone personalities in "alien abduction" cases that were "recovered" under hypnosis in "A Study of Fantasy Proneness in the Thirteen Cases of Alleged Encounters in John Mack's Abduction".

And finally, if your friend "remembered" being "back on the prairie", I'd be thinking more of the TV show "Little House on the Prairie", than "Bonanza". ;-)


Blueskyyy
Posted 27 September 2008 at 01:03 pm

Dear HiEv, you'd probably be thinking more of the more recent "Little House" than "Bonanza" because you're not as old as us!


Ronald
Posted 28 September 2008 at 08:37 am

Little House on the Prairie wins hands down for hottest blind chick on a 70's show.


openside
Posted 28 September 2008 at 09:05 pm

Ronald said: "Little House on the Prairie wins hands down for hottest blind chick on a 70's show."

At the risk of taking this thread in a whole new direction [like it hasn't already] - just how much competition is there for the category "hot blind chicks in 70's show"?

;-)


sid
Posted 29 September 2008 at 09:57 am

Well, she wasn't that hot, so perhaps that's why the show won.


eveningdusk
Posted 29 September 2008 at 01:24 pm

Hence the Democrat strategy of associating Bush (CLANG!) with McCain at every opportunity i.e. the "Bush-McCain [insert noun]."


Two Cents from Girth
Posted 29 September 2008 at 07:32 pm

Openside!
Lynn stared in the 1978 movie "Ice Castles", her part was that of a blind hottie figure skater! She later starred as the Bond bait in For Your Eyes Only... any other questions :)
I too had a crush on Mary Ingles, I love them Minnesota women!


shinigami
Posted 06 October 2008 at 05:28 am

I'm a psychology graduate and I can still remember this experiment. However, what's so interesting with this article is that it mentioned how John Watson got fired from his job for having an affair with his assistant. Guess they don't tell those details in the undergrad. Hehehehe!


iq_two
Posted 16 October 2008 at 05:22 pm

Was anyone else reminded of Sherlock Holmes when they noticed his name was Dr. John Watson? :-)


Rich T
Posted 23 October 2008 at 09:52 am

Is anyone else reminded of Dr Marvin Monroe, who wanted some of Grandpa Simpson's money to buy a child to raise in a box?


Bryan Lowder
Posted 23 October 2008 at 11:11 pm

I'm not sure what revulses me more-- the negative conditioning with the metal rod, or the planned stimulation of the sex organs (only as a last resort, of course) for positive conditioning. Didn't they have taboos against that sort of thing back then as well?

Good luck finding my comments amidst this Bible-length list of commentaries.


psyprofs
Posted 29 October 2008 at 08:04 am

I use this story often in my psychology classes. To complete the story, Watson married his graduate student, and did go into advertising. He took his one great idea with him, the classically conditioned emotional response, and created an ad campaign that is still in use over 80 years later - the Johnson Baby Powder ads.

The classical conditioning paradigm takes advantage of a naturally occurring stimulus-response pairing. In the baby powder ads, that is Baby (unconditioned stimulus, or UCS) and the warm emotional response, or "Awwwww" factor (the unconditioned response, or UCR). See baby, Awwwww! Classical conditioning occurs when a neutral stimulus, in this case, baby powder, is presented with or just before (but not after) the UCS. When the neutral stimulus is presented in this manner enough times, an association gets made between the neutral stimulus and the UCR. The neutral stimulus, baby powder, then becomes a conditioned stimulus, and the UCR, Awwwww, now is a conditioned response, or CR.
(UCS) ..........................(UCR)
......Baby------------->Awwwww
Baby powder --------> Awwwww
(CS)...............................(CR)

This is a powerful paradigm because it comes in under your awareness. When someone takes a direct persuasion route - trying to convince you that her product is better than what you are using, brand loyalty (also discovered by Watson) sets in, and you counter-argue. You are not aware of the persuasion attempt in the classically conditioned emotional response ads, so there is no resistance. Besides, it is in the realm of emotions, which are a-rational to begin with. This is the advertising method of choice for products that poorly differentiate, too. The beer advertiser that uses the big horses does so because they know when you look at their beer in the display case you will have an emotional response.

Any time someone finds a tool that really works, there are lots of copycats. Several beer brands use this technique. So does GEICO, with its caveman and its gecko ads. Who can look at a white duck and not say, "AFLAC!"

It is also used to condition fear responses. The "ring around the collar" ad series that ran for many years is one such. This one uses vicarious conditioning - where you see the actress get dissed for letting her husband wear a shirt with a stained inner collar, but avoids such unpleasantness in the future by buying the whitening product. Some home security companies are using the conditioned negative emotional response paradigm today, showing a house getting broken into, a woman and child in fear, an alarm scaring off the crook, and a security company rep calling to reassure the woman that the police are on the way.


Marian006
Posted 01 November 2008 at 11:44 am

I think it should be noted it is most likely that Little Albert did not spend the rest of his life suffering from an irrational fear of fluffy white obects and animals. Watson and Rayner failed to induce a phobia in Little Albert; they only achieved fear. The fact that his fear diminished following the 30 day break suggests that it would continue to diminish, if given an even longer reprieve. If the fear stimulus wasn't again paired with the animals, he would most likely lose the fear completely, and I hardly imagine that his mother kept on with the experiment herself. Watson and Rayner also noted that Albert exhibited no fear so long as he was allowed to suck his thumb, which suggests that his fear was rather weak, given that it was easily countered by the pleasure of sucking his thumb.
Although by today's standards Watson's Little Albert experiment is utterly inhumane and cruel, people have to understand that was Watson did was acceptable at the time of the experiment. It's easy to take an experiment out of its context and say "Wow, what a bastard that experimenter was," but these kinds of things need to be evaluated in their temporal contexts. Watson was actually a very intelligent man and made immense contributions to the field of psychology.


splashy
Posted 03 November 2008 at 10:05 am

This is a prime case of how the upper class can feel free to use the lower classes for whatever they want. Notice that it's a child of a "wetnurse" who would be considered lower class from a professional scientist. This has gone on for a very long time, hurting those that are in the lower classes by the cavalier attitudes of the upper class to the pain and suffering they induce.

Then the upper class people blame the lower class people for not being able to cope with the BS handed to them, when it's obvious that the upper classes get all kinds of socialistic welfare and perks because of their status.

What was done to this child was abominable, and should be condemned.


mossberg8
Posted 03 November 2008 at 09:41 pm

This is pretty off topic but during my senior highschool year i had to do some reading and this all seems familiar. Clearly this type of conditioning was mentioned in Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World, toddlers were electrified when they came near roses, but I wonder if in George Orwell's 1984 Winston's fear of rats was supposed to have been conditioned into him as a method of control. If the party controled your worst fears they could knowingly administer the greatest possible punishment without physical harm. The fact that it was specifically rats that Winston feared makes the connection clear enoough not to ignore.

I think the truthfullness of comments only matters if the comments give testable scientific facts or historically relevant information. If someone says that they saw a plane crash that they really didn't i don't care. If someone lies about having proven a theory or having invented something that's not ok because that is not trivial. Frankly, Radiatidon's claims don't matter because there is no reason to ever quote his claims outside of this forum.


Silverhill
Posted 04 November 2008 at 03:59 pm

mossberg8 said: "I wonder if in George Orwell's 1984 Winston's fear of rats was supposed to have been conditioned into him as a method of control."
IIRC, Winston had developed his fear of rats without help from the Party; rats had been an unpleasant part of his childhood. Recall that the Party operatives, through their Thought Police, could discover anyone's worst fear without having to go to the trouble of instilling it.


Neesie
Posted 07 November 2008 at 10:42 pm

A) physical stimulation of "first the lips, then the nipples and as a final resort the sex organs"

I found this to be FAR more repulsive than the experiment itself. Utterly vile.


Buddha
Posted 14 November 2008 at 12:56 am

That is great. Now we are going to have another psychopath out there who enjoys touturing things because it reminds him of cute loving things.


qazxsw
Posted 26 December 2008 at 10:24 pm

Watson is a rascal.


jaskew
Posted 22 January 2009 at 07:30 am

I met Albert later in life. He owns and runs a highly successful Butcher shop, specializing in exotic meats.


E.A.T.
Posted 18 February 2009 at 02:05 pm

Hello all. First time poster. I first heard of Watsons' experiments during the course of an introductory psychology class. I felt then, and still feel that Watson would have been right at home performing experiments in Nazi concentration camps. Sadly, the "medical researchers" of the Nazi Regime, with the aide of horrific human experimentation, made some of the most profound discoveries of the last century concerning the human body and brain. For instance, the body of knowledge that illustrates the human bodies reaction to freezing until the point of death is almost entirely based on Nazi experimentation (http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/NaziMedEx.html, et al).


Caprise
Posted 24 February 2009 at 01:45 pm

I was about 4 years old when I was attacked by a dog. Its teeth punctured underneath my jaw and the bridge of my nose.

My younger brother Wyatt was attacked also, by a pit bull. He had stitches, but something in the dogs saliva caused a serious infection in his face. He went through hell as a kid...always had ear infections and different kinds of immunity problems.

My other brother Braxton was attacked by a wolf-mix (who was on a chain, Brax approached him). I wasn't there for that and I don't know how bad it really was... He had four or five stitches and I think he was over it in a couple days.

To this day, Braxton and I don't have irrational fear toward dogs. Wyatt has a dog, but I think he's more leery than we are. My only point is that, obviously, this experiment is flawed.

I think the reason this test was tolerated is simply evolution...when we look back, society did a lot of astounding things that we, in today's mentality, would look at as inferior and incompetent. Society, like an individual human life, has embarrassing moments of lapse of common sense...while this makes me feel nauseous, I'm thankful that it happened and we're past that point.

I do wonder what happened to the baby, though. I'll bet he still has a fear of bunnies.


Alchemist
Posted 26 February 2009 at 10:27 am

Rich T said: "Is anyone else reminded of Dr Marvin Monroe, who wanted some of Grandpa Simpson's money to buy a child to raise in a box?"

Homer: that's why i drew bunnies on all the electrical outlets.

marge: maggie's not afraid of bunnies!

homer: she will be...


Shannnon
Posted 02 March 2009 at 02:35 pm

E.A.T. said: "... I felt then, and still feel that Watson would have been right at home performing experiments in Nazi concentration camps. Sadly, the "medical researchers" of the Nazi Regime, with the aide of horrific human experimentation, made some of the most profound discoveries of the last century concerning the human body and brain. For instance, the body of knowledge that illustrates the human bodies reaction to freezing until the point of death is almost entirely based on Nazi experimentation "

This is what I thought of when I read this as well.

While looking back on this and other experiments, we can be very judgemental of them because we have "evolved" but I think that what everyone is forgetting is that we are not born knowing everything. We learn from others teaching us, the past teaching us or from us learning for oursleves. As far as the discussion regarding this not being a learned phobia, I would have to disagree. There are a lot of comments in here that discuss being bitten by a dog as a child and not having a phobia. But I think that the point of the experiment was to go a step futher to see if phobias could be trained into a baby that has not yet been exposed to the world at large the way a 9 or a 13 year old would. Don't get me wrong, I do not condone what happened here. I just can't help but wonder where the research was gong to go. But I can clearly see this experiment being picked up in Nazi concentration camps.

If they CAN train a baby to like and not like certain things, you could essentially be creating your own "army" so to speak. To grow up without the love or the cute little things in life, could be to grow up without the "normal" love. Someone with a cold heart, a perfect soldier for whatever the cause. (not that all soldiers are cold hearted, please don't mistake that)

And about the "positive stimulus", I agree that this is horrific but that is because that is the way that we are trained to think. There are other cultures that still, to this day, use these types of positive reinforcements.

Also,

splashy said: "This is a prime case of how the upper class can feel free to use the lower classes for whatever they want. Notice that it's a child of a "wetnurse" who would be considered lower class from a professional scientist. This has gone on for a very long time, hurting those that are in the lower classes by the cavalier attitudes of the upper class to the pain and suffering they induce..."

Splashy,
I was particularly interested in your point of view. I did want to say that the mother willingly let her child go through with the experiments, she was not forced to. And it was probably to her benifit as she could stop in and see her son throughout the day while she was at work. There was no pain caused to the child other than the temporary mental aspect. Someone else stated that the child was hit in the head with the bar, but they misread the statement and I wanted to make sure that you did not as well.

All in all, this was a good read with many interesting points of views and commentary to go with it. Good luck on the book!


G5
Posted 13 March 2009 at 11:54 pm

Even today, Psychology is a pseudoscience. Some of it has a practical aspect, but much of it borders on superstition and junk science. The reason for this is that the different schools of psychology are all over the board and conflict with each other. Usually, a science should be grounded in solid theory and a unified philosophy. Materialists, like Watson, find Behavioral Psychology, with it's measured effects, nice and neat. But, they are naive realists and deny anything that can't be observed and measured. Social Psychologists deal with individuals in relation to groups. Then there are Gestalt Psychologists, Freudian Psychologists, Jungian Psychologists, and Transactional Analysis, just to name a few. Some are over the top and believe in spiritualism and oriental religions. Like I said, they're all over the board, and weird. How dare they expect the same credibility as a hard science following scientific method.

I'm not sure that I agree with splashy's political commercial about classes. It depends not on classes or groups, but individuals. There are good people and bad in all walks of life. The current day attitude to view people collectively is regressive, and tribal in it's outlook. We don't join a group to become a whole with the group, we are a whole as a person; and often groups keep us from achieving creative and inventive things; because groups have a leveling effect, pulling the top down, and the bottom up, until all becomes mediocre. Class-ism is a form of racism without the genetics. Those people who would like to work, live free, and think for themselves usually succeed with out a group or class. When they do that they are pulled back down by peer pressure, and malcontents. "The task of man is to set himself free from men." ... Ayn Rand


Vision21x2012
Posted 23 March 2009 at 08:31 pm

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TazManiac
Posted 14 June 2009 at 04:13 pm

It is a shame that we don't know if Albert carried those fears with him into adulthood. I find it hard to believe that these were the only experiments of their kind. Anyone knows of documentation of similar experiments the subjects of which were followed into adulthood? In other words, do childhood fears continue into adolescence and/or adulthood?

Great article indeed.


No name
Posted 10 October 2009 at 10:31 pm

Set a wild hound on Dr. Watson and if he is not afraid or 'sensitive' to the wild hound, we can safely assume that he will not be sensitive to any other man-eating carnivore!!!!

The fallibility of psychologists and their subject!!!! Psychology is something akin to a prostitute....its willing to sleep with anyone who is willing to pay for it and experiment and perfect and hone its art for with those who can`t. The lessons learnt with those who can not is used for the benefit of those who can pay for it!!!!!!


Michael
Posted 28 February 2015 at 08:24 am

Kiniesten, I hope I never come cross one of your posts again.... talk about deviating from the topic! you don't belong here.


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