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Harry Harlow- The formation of attachment in Rhesus Monkeys

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Introduction

Jessica May Harry Harlow- The formation of attachment in Rhesus Monkeys In 1962 Harlow conducted a study on the formation of attachments in Rhesus monkeys. Experiments were undertaken where rhesus monkeys were raised in isolation. They had two 'surrogate' mothers. The infant monkeys were placed in a cage with two wire mesh cylinders, each with a face. ...read more.

Middle

In fact, the monkeys spent most of their time with the towel-covered 'mother', and would jump on to this one when frightened, a characteristic of attachment behaviour. In was noticed that the infant monkeys also used the towel-covered cylinder as a secure base for exploration, another characteristic of attachment behaviour. The study showed that simply supplying food is not sufficient for the formation of attachment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Isolating baby monkeys is not an ethical method of studying attachment development. This study, which now is considered unethical, was critical in demonstrating that neither feeding nor physical contact could explain attachment and healthy development. I think the separation of the baby monkeys from their primary care giver was too extreme. Why not conduct a similar study using the ethological approach, study the animals in their natural environments and with their biological parents. ...read more.

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