Animal studies of attachment

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  • Animal studies of attachment
    • Konrad Lorenz (1950s)
      • Aim
        • Find out how ducklings imprint on those they're first exposed to
      • Procedure
        • Randomly divided clutch of eggs into two groups - one stayed with mother gosee, one with Lorenz
      • Findings
        • Control group imprinted on mother goose, experimental group imprinted on Lorenz
      • Conclusions
        • Birds imprint on the first person/figure they see
        • Critical period of 24-48 hours
        • Imprinting influences later sexual imprinting
    • Harry Harlow (1950s)
      • Aim
        • Investigate importance of contact comfort
      • Procedure
        • 16 baby monkeys
        • 8 exposed to wire mum
        • 8 exposed to wire cloth mum
      • Findings
        • Monkeys more likely to seek comfort with cloth mother, whether it produced milk or not
      • Conclusion
        • Contact comfort is more important than cupboard love
          • Cupboard love is providing food, shelter and warmth
    • Overall evaluation
      • Animals (especially monkeys) are closely related to humans and are caoable of emotions
        • poses ethical dilemma
          • They can't say whether they want to withdraw/take part - no  consent
      • Research has important implications for childcare - children's emotional and physical needs have to be taken care of
      • Monkeys & humans closely related - findings are generalisable


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