Animal studies- Harlow

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 30-10-20 19:26
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  • Animal studies- Harlow's research (1958)
    • Harlow worked with rhesus monkeys which are much more similar to the birds Lorenz used
    • Harlow observed that new-born monkeys kept alone in a bare cage died but that they usually survive if given something soft to cuddle
    • Method
      • Harlow tested the idea that soft objects serve some of the functions of a mother.
      • He reared 16 baby monkeys with 2 wire model mothers. One mother was wire and had milk being dispensed and the other was covered by a soft cloth
    • Findings
      • It was found that the baby monkeys cuddled the soft object in preference to the wire one and sought comfort from the cloth one when frightened
      • Showing that contact comfort was more important to the monkeys than food
    • Maternally deprived monkeys as adults
      • He followed the monkeys into adulthood to see if the maternal deprivation had a permanent effect, they found severe consequences
      • All the monkeys were more aggressive and less sociable. Also, hey bred less often and they were unskilled at mating
      • As mothers, some of the deprived monkeys neglected their young and others attacked their children, sometimes even killing them
    • The critical period for normal behaviour
      • Harlow also concluded that there was a critical period for this behaviour, a mother monkey had to be introduced to the infant monkey within 90 days for an attachment to form
      • After this time, attachment was impossible and the damage done by early deprivation became irreversible


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