A discourse analysis of the Little Albert experiment

A discourse analysis of the Little Albert experiment

2,500 word Discourse Analysis. Due 20th April. Overview The coursework is a 2500 word qualitative report. In this report you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of a particular historical event in Psychology and will integrate conceptual and philosophical thinking within the analysis. In this assignment you will demonstrate that you have met these aims by conducting a piece of critical discourse analysis that will involve you – deeply – in historical understanding of one major event in the history of psychology; the Little Albert experiment. To complete the discourse analysis, you will need to come to terms with a range of epistemological assumptions within the experiment itself, the historical writing about it, and discourse analysis itself. You will be exposed to historical research showing how treatment of Little Albert has varied across time in psychology textbooks as major movements – such as behaviourism, cognitivism, and neuroscience – have maxed and waned. What is Discourse Analysis? The basic idea behind discourse analysis is that words and language do things. Discourse analysis proposes speech, and texts, are social actions with effects and consequences that can be analysed in terms of context. Discourse is written, spoken and visual material. Discourse creates its own topic and the boundaries of what that topic is. Objects thath might occupy your attention in this analysis might include “ethics” “learning” “Little Albert” “the rabbit” “history” “gender” or “myth.” Different discourses can facilitate, limit, enable, and constrain what can be said, when and by whom. Discourse analysis is about making the actions that discourse performs obvious, in the service of critiquing that discourse, and creating alternatives to it. Your discourse analysis is not outside, above or after the discourse that it analyzes; it becomes part of it. How is Discourse Analysis Done? The reading list includes several texts that examine how discourse analysis can be done, in general, and specifically in the history of psychology. See particularly Lamont (2015) for advice on how discourse analysis can be quickly applied to the history of psychology. For your paper, you will examine the discourse in textbooks about Little Albert. The minimum number of textbooks that you must consider is four; there is no maximum. (You are also encouraged to subject Pioneers of Psychology to discourse analysis).