Food or Security? Warmth vs Necessity.

In this experiment conducted by Harry Harlow, we see an infant monkey’s basic need for physical contact with a mother figure overrides that of the need for nourishment. One surrogate mother is warm, soft, and provides comfort and safety while the other is a wire bound mother figure that is cold, hard, and uncomfortable to cling to as a baby that needs affection and connection. While the basic human needs of nourishment are presented in the monkey, the infant eventually leaves the wire mother to seek comfort with the soft, cloth mother. 22 hours out of 24 hours a day, the infant monkey spent most of their time with the cloth mother as opposed to the wire mother that provided food. This shows an infant’s basic need for physical and emotionalĀ warmth.

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2 Comments

  1. I am combining the video entry about maternal abandonment and this entry as one entry…you should have commentary anytime you post a video that explains exactly why this connects to “warmth”. The maternal abandonment video needs your discussion….more than an introduction and restatement of what happens.
    The research complements your Maslow’s hierarchy posting…because the monkey has its basic needs fulfilled (food, shelter), the monkey has the option to move up a rung on Maslow for comfort…a level higher that basic needs. Mammals are live birth creatures, and have spent their formative growth in warmth…seems a natural desire to want to crawl back into the womb.

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  1. Final Blog Entry: Warmth Reflection « Words, Words, Words

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