There has been much speculation about the real identity of Little Albert. The first candidate for the title was a young boy named Douglas Merritte. What made little Douglas a particularly scandalous possibility is that he had a neurological disorder, meaning that perhaps Watson had committed a serious ethical breach by hiding this fact while he conducted his studies and published them in scientific outlets. However newer historical research has a much more likely candidate: Albert Berger. Albert Berger seems to make more sense because his name and last initial match the name that Watson published, his age is close to that of the infant used in the study, and his weight on record means that he would have been a pudgy baby, much like the baby in the video many of us have seen.
Many students have learned, likely erroneously, that Little Albert suffered neurologically either during or due to the experiment Watson put him through. This was based on people believing that Douglas Merritte was the baby that was used in the study. It seems much more likely that Little Albert grew up as Albert Berger, a relatively normal man. Many people wondered if Albert would have fears of furry animals as he grew into an adult. All accounts of Albert Berger as an adult point to this fear not continuing into his adulthood. Although, it was reported by his niece that he had a rather intense dislike of dogs.
Griggs, R.A. (2015) Psychology’s lost boy: Will the real Little Albert please stand up? Teaching of Psychology, 42, 14-18. DOI: 10.1177/0098628314562668
Powell, R.A., Digdon, N, Harris, B., & Smithson, C. (2014) Correcting the record on Watson, Rayner, and Little Albert: Albert Barger as “Psychology’s Lost Boy." American Psychologist, 69 (6), 600-611.