Nature of Love, Harlows Monkeys

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The rhesus monkey experiment "nature of love" (1958), undertaken by Harry F. Harlow bolstered our understanding of the emotional bond between a baby and its mother. Harlow was able to distinguish between emotional attachment and the biological desire for food. Harlow had left behind an extraordinary legacy relating to the ethical implications which lead to deprived love at a young age, Hock (2013) depicts the inhumane treatment towards the infants needs and how the research that Harlow had produced could not be done on humans as it would harm their psychological and physical state, as it had already done to the infant monkeys. The experimental research deprived the infants of their original mother by replacing them with a cloth, although he only did these with the infant monkeys due to the ethical principles. Harlow had found that the infant monkeys as young as a day old, became very attached to the cloth pads used in the experiment, most for comfort and security. Allowing the young monkeys to examine the room one of which in the presence of their surrogate mother or without her. The infants in the company of their surrogate mother would use her as protection as they scanned the room. When Harlow removed the surrogate mothers the monkey's would act out dramatically often crying and screaming in need of the comfort (Harlow, 1958). The impact of the research was proof that love was a vital for development for children especially during childhood, “They have intrinsic value, even beyond their breast milk. Call it their company” (Harlow, 1958). He found that the monkey's chose nurturing over sustenance. He then conducted another experiment to see how the infant would react in a frightened situation, the infant in the experiment went straight to his surrogate mother for comfort and security as any child would do. To Harlow, he believed that comfort and love was

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