A novel of passion and ambition based on the life of one of the most controversial scientists - and mothers - of the 20th century.
In 1920, when she graduated from Vassar College with a degree in psychology, Rosalie Rayner took a coveted position at the Johns Hopkins research lab to assist charismatic John B. Watson, the man who pioneered behaviourist psychology. Together, Watson and Rayner conducted experiments on hundreds of babies to prove behaviourist principles of nurture over nature.
One such experiment was the incredibly controversial 'Little Albert' study, in which they fear-conditioned an infant. Watson and Rayner also embarked on a scandalous affair that cost them both their jobs. The Watsons' parenting book, Psychological Care of Infant and Child (1928), which emphasized emotional detachment, was a bestseller and affected the upbringings of generations of American children - but Rosalie, now a mother herself, had to confront its tenets personally.
With BEHAVE, Andromeda Romano-Lax offers a fictional biography of Rosalie Rayner Watson, a woman whose lab work is now widely repudiated but who in her time was at the cutting edge of parenting psychology. Both moving and horrifying, BEHAVE is a thought-provoking and compelling novel about the meaning of motherhood.
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