2 responses to “monkey love experiment

  1. Ah yesss, the Harlow experiments. This was one of the first case studies I studied in the academy.

    Psychologist Harry Harlow conducted monkey love experiments in the 1950s on maternal deprivation in rhesus monkeys. These were landmark studies, not only in primatology, but in the evolving science of attachment and loss. Harlow himself repeatedly compared his experimental subjects to children and press reports universally treated his findings as major statements about love and development in human beings. These experiments had powerful implications for any and all separations of mothers and infants, including adoption, as well as childrearing in general.

    In his University of Wisconsin laboratory, Harlow probed the nature of love, aiming to illuminate its first causes and mechanisms in the relationships formed between infants and mothers.

    First, he showed that mother love was emotional rather than physiological, substantiating the adoption-friendly theory that continuity of care—“nurture”—was a far more determining factor in healthy psychological development than “nature.”

    Second, he showed that capacity for attachment was closely associated with critical periods in early life, after which it was difficult or impossible to compensate for the loss of initial emotional security. The critical period thesis confirmed the wisdom of placing infants with adoptive parents as shortly after birth as possible. Harlow’s work provided experimental evidence for prioritizing psychological over biological parenthood while underlining the developmental risks of adopting children beyond infancy.

    All in all, I take it as evidence that we will be able to bond with our android future friends (and sex bots) just fine as long as they have adequate skin or fuzz going on…

    • was the behaviorist version of the studies done by Freudians of attachment in kids separated from their families in the bombings of London and all, later of course we’ve had the horrendous examples of kids abandoned and institutionalized in the wreckage of the Soviet Union, the things we do to our fellow hominins…

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