‘Give me a baby and I can make any kind of man.’ These are the words of John B. Watson, the founder of behaviorism. According to this world view, the behavior of organisms, including human beings, is predictable and therefore controllable.
In 1920, at John Hopkins University, Watson experimented on several babies ranging in age from 3 months to a year. The experiments were remarkable in their simplicity. He would present a candle to infants to see if they were afraid of fire, he would introduce animals to their environment to see if children were afraid of them naturally or only after a traumatic experience. He would make a hissing noise and observe the results. Watson learned that new born babies had no fear of the dark. He also learned however that such fear could be conditioned, and so it was, with rabbits.
From his experiments, Watson reached a radical conclusion which would come to define political and social engineering in the 20th century. The driving force in society he claimed is not love, but fear.