Just a reminder to go to my Giveaway page to enter into the contest.
This next study was conducted by Watson & Rayner (1920). They were wanting to find out where emotions come from and so they setup a study to find out. They proposed that behavior is generated outside the person (these are your nature folks). Further, they proposed that we learn our emotions. In fact he made a statement that said that everything is learned, "Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own special world to bring them up in, and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant, chief, and, yes, beggar man and thief" (Watson, 1913). Watson theorized that if presented with a stimulus that produced an emotion and then coupled with another stimulus the person would start to equate to the new stimulus (Just like pavlov's dog but with emotions this time).
In the experiment they put a rabbit with Albert and he was not afraid of it but then they coupled it with something that Albert was scared of (a loud noise) and soon Albert was afraid of the rabbit. This proved two of Watson's thoughts first that all human behavior stems from learning and conditioning and second that behavior stems from unconscious processes. This was done in part of course as we have looked at our nature vs. nurture already.
So how does this apply to writing? I think that once again it goes along with how does our characters become who they are? Did they learn it or were they born with it? Do they have a strange response to something because of a past stimuli? What about smells do they get happy when they smell Christmas smells (I know I do)?
How does your character react?