Posts Tagged ‘harry harlow’

Frantic cling: thoughts on attachment

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

baby monkey

First, notice the mouth. It’s o_o in action!

This story trips all the sensors on my maternal/protective axis of adorability: a newborn Siamang gibbon, saved by round-the-clock bottle feeding and the love of a stuffed camel. I can trace my exquisite sensitivities to back when I was a kid and saw a photo of a psychological test monkey being “raised” by a wire and terrycloth mother.

harlow monkey

The researchers were examining the importance of love and attachment by denying it to newborn rhesus monkeys. The ones in the control group were raised by their mothers and grew up normally. The monkeys in the second group were taken from their mothers and kept in empty cages, fed at a distance with long-nippled bottles. Without touch, they all died quickly. A horror, to be sure, but it’s the third group that really kills me. (more…)



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