"Nature love" experiment Harry Harlow


In this article we will talk about a terrible experiment with the poetic name of "Nature love”.

In the first half of the twentieth century it was believed that the education of children the main thing - to provide the child with proper care. American psychologist Harry Harlow (1905-1981) suggested that in addition to meeting the basic needs of the kids for their development of necessary tactile contact with the mother and heat.

In the late 1950s - early 1960s for his experiment, Harlow used more than 60 newborn rhesus monkeys, which in the first hours of life had weaned from their mothers.

Harlow created 2 dummy mother:

  • cool-mom from the wire, but with a bottle of milk;
  • warm mother, covered with a soft cloth but no food.

the Cub was able to select any substitute for the mother. Pattern of behavior in kids was this: the cub climbed on a dummy with food, quickly sucked the milk, and then almost all the remaining time spent on a soft “mom”.

Harlow even came up with a terrible stuffed animals that were supposed to scare baby monkeys. The baby calmed down just beside soft “mom” and could even give a kind of resistance to the monster.

the little monkeys were placed in classrooms with different subjects. The unfamiliar surroundings frightened cubs. However, the kids felt more confident only in the presence of soft layout “mom”.

the period of experiment (90 days) macaque was isolated from birth parents and relatives.

the VALUE of the experiment

    - main conclusion is that for full development the child needs not only food, but also warm, tender COMMUNICATION with mom and tactile contact;
    - children's homes and shelters became more careful with ward: to touch, to stroke, to swing on the hands of newborns and infants;
    - widespread backpacks and other accessories for carrying and sickness of children;
    - in the 1960s, Harry Harlow had a world fame and recognition, his experiment and findings have become classics of experimental psychology.

the fate of the monkeys participating in the experiment had developed sad

    - when the experiment ended, the monkeys were allowed to communicate with relatives, but they refused to play, to communicate with other apes or were aggressive. Normally, these animals live in groups of up to 20 individuals;
    - 20 macaques females managed to forcibly impregnate, most of the newly minted mothers kill their cubs or were indifferent to them;
    - many of the participants suffered from dementia, autism and died at the end of the second year of life (average life expectancy of 28-30 years).

Future life Harlow was also bleak. After his wife died he started drinking, got depressed, was subjected to shock therapy and died of Parkinson's disease. Admitted that never liked animals.

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