Review and on the article The Nature of Love by Harry Harlow - Research Paper Example

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Harlow and the Nature of Love I. A Glance at the Nature of Love a) Hypothesis b) Methods c) Results d) Conclusions II. The Nature of Love and the History of Psychology III. Harlow and the Later Developments in Theories of Attachment a) Hypothesis b) Methods c) Results d) Conclusions IV…
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Paper review and research on the article The Nature of Love by Harry Harlow
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Download file to see previous pages Through the rigorous study of the effects of separation and maternal care on infant monkeys, Harlow challenged many of the then established truths in psychology. a) Hypothesis Harlow’s (1958) hypothesis in this article is that "primary object-clinging," a need for intimate physical contact, which is initially associated with the mother” (p. 674) could be primary as opposite to the needs such as hunger and thirst. Further, the article attempts to examine the “relative importance of the stimulus variables determining the affectional or love responses in the neonatal and infant primate’ (Harlow, 1958, p. 674). b) Methods Harlow made the baby rhesus monkeys isolated from their mothers and they were given the choices of a two surrogate mothers, one made exclusively from terrycloth and the other from wire. Neonatal infant macaque monkey was used as the subject of Harlow’s research. Harlow’s team had three years of experience in working with rhesus monkeys. He used them for experiments as they mature more speedily than human infants but do not have much difference from the human infants in terms of “basic responses relating to affection, including nursing, contact, clinging, and even visual and auditory exploration” and more importantly, “the development of perception, fear, frustration, and learning capability follows very similar sequences in rhesus monkeys and human children” (ibid). The method of Harlow’s team involved the separation of infant monkeys from their mothers for definite times at definite intervals. For instance, they “had separated more than 60 of these animals from their mothers 6 to 12 hours after birth and suckled them on tiny Bottles” (Harlow, 1958, p. 674). The body of the surrogate mothers did not differ much “other than in the quality of the contact comfort which she can supply” (Harlow, 1958, p. 676). c) Results The result of the experiments was that the “bottle fed babies were healthier and heavier than monkey-mother-reared infants’ (Harlow, 1958, p. 675). It was mainly because of human scientists were more capable of feeding the infant monkey with better nutritious food and providing them with better care. More importantly, it was found that the “laboratory-raised babies showed strong attachment to the cloth pads (folded gauze diapers) which were used to cover the hardware-cloth floors of their cages. The infants clung to these pads and engaged in violent temper tantrums when the pads were removed and replaced for sanitary reasons” (ibid). It has also been discovered that “a baby monkey raised on a bare wire-mesh cage floor survives with difficulty, if at all, during the first five days of life” (ibid). d) Conclusions Therefore, the conclusion is that “the baby, human or monkey, if it is to survive, must clutch at more than a straw” (ibid). It has proved that “contact comfort might be a very important variable in the development of the infant's affection for the mother” (ibid). The experiments results lead us to the conclusion that “With age and opportunity to learn, subjects with the lactating wire mother showed decreasing responsiveness to her and increasing responsiveness to the nonlactating cloth mother, a finding completely contrary to any interpretation of derived drive in which the mother form becomes conditioned to hunger-thirst reduction” (ibid, p. 676). The nursing variable, Harlow’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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