Harry Harlow Essay

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Harry Harlow’s “Monkey Love” Experiments Harry Harlow was an American psychologist who provided a new understanding of human behavior and development through the social behavior of monkeys. In his early life, many experiences contributed to his interest and curiosity that would later lead to his vital experiments. His research and experimentation with monkeys would be a breakthrough in psychology. The contribution of these theories to the field of psychology is still proven to be credible today. Harlow’s hard work, along with other psychologists such as John Bowlby, has helped to spark a revolution in our approach to childcare. The brilliance that Harlow showed began at an early age. He was born in 1905 as Harry Israel to a father who was a failed inventor, and a mother who wrote a partial autobiography (Slater, 4). Growing up, he never really fit in. Even as a 10-year-old boy, he experienced bouts of depression (Slater, 5). He began to draw free-handedly whenever he could, making strange yet beautiful creatures (Slater, 6). As he grew older, his creativity did not cease. He studied under a man that would start the influence of his experiments. Harry did his graduate work at Stanford where he studied with Lewis Terman. Terman convinced Harry Israel to change his name to a “less Jewish-sounding name”, and so came the name Harry Harlow. Harry later married a former “gifted child” of Terman’s, Clara Waters (Slater, 6). Later on, he took a job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although his original plan was to work with rats, he wound up working with Rhesus monkeys (Slater, 6). In his initial experiments, infant monkeys were separated from their mothers. He had a theory that there is a universal need for contact. Rhesus monkeys share 94% of human DNA, so they seemed to be a good test subject. Immediately after the monkeys were separated from
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