Harlow (1959) - Animal studies of attachment

AS- A2/A-Level

  • Created by: usharif
  • Created on: 24-03-18 18:04
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  • Harlow (1959)
    • AIM
      • To find out whether food or contact is more important when forming an infant-mother attachment
      • 2 wire mothers - different heads
        • 1 wire mother was wrapped in soft cloth
      • 8 infant-rhesus monkeys studied for 165 days
      • 4 monkeys - milk bottle & cloth covered mother
        • 4 monkeys - milk bottle + wire mother
      • Time measurements were made
        • The amount of time each infant spent with 2 different 'mothers'
      • Monkeys response when frightened by a mechanical teddy bear was also observed
      • monkeys clung to the cloth mother
        • When frightened
          • when introduced to a new toy - kept one foot on the cloth mother for reassurance
      • All 8 monkeys spent most of their time with the cloth-covered mother
      • only spent a short time getting milk and then returned to the cloth-covered mother
        • Those monkeys who were fed by the wire mother
      • Infants do not develop an attachment to the person who feeds them but to the person offering contact comfort
      • 'Contact comfort; is more important than feeding in formation of an attachment (between an infant monkey and its monkey)


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