Thursday, 9 April 2009

The nature of love


In 1957 Harry Harlow devised an experiment designed to take a pop at psychoanalytic drive theories of bonding ("Mummy gratifies my hunger. I love Mummy"). He wrote up his findings in a paper bearing the tongue-in-cheek title The Nature of Love.

The experiment proceeded thus: infant rhesus monkeys were separated at birth from their mothers and reared with the help of surrogate wire 'mothers' to which feeding bottles had been attached. 


The monkeys were also presented with another ‘mother’, this one without the feeding bottle, but covered with soft terry nappy material.


The infant monkeys showed a clear preference for the cuddly mothers, clinging to these surrogates for 18 hours a day (as they would to a real mother) even though they were fed exclusively from the wire mother and even ‘punished’ with sudden blasts of compressed air as they clung to the cloth stand-ins.


Salty Miss Jill said...

Have you read 'Love at Goon Park'? Interesting stuff. And that Harry Harlow was quite e one would have to be to engage in monkey torture studies, right?

Prozac said...

No I haven't. Looks right up my street (have just put in an order to Amazon). Thanks for the suggestion SMJ.

Ellis Nadler said...

he was a twisted fuck

Anonymous said...

i love your depictions of jim.