Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Experiment: artificial bringing about of an event or artificial creation of a state for testing a hypothesis. Experiments can lead to the reformulation of the initial hypotheses and the reformulation of theories. See also theories, measuring, science, hypotheses, Bayesianism, confirmation, events, paradigm change, reference systems.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Harry Harlow on Experiments - Dictionary of Arguments

Slater I 11
Experiments/attachment/affectation/Harlow: In a series of studies using the surrogate preference paradigm, Harlow demonstrated that infant monkeys showed large and consistent preferences for cloth surrogates that provided contact comfort over wire surrogates that provided food.
The largest sample reported in the 1962 paper(1) consisted of 56 monkeys that had been raised in conditions of “partial social isolation.” These monkeys had been housed in cages where they could see and hear other monkeys. (…+…).
Slater I 13
In another set of studies (…) monkeys were exposed to a total social isolation, a condition in which they were individually housed in a cubicle with solid walls that eliminated all visual and auditory contact with other monkeys. (…) Harlow concluded that total social isolation for the first six months of life was a critical period that created irreversible effects on subsequent social adaptation. He indicated that this six-month period in the rhesus monkey was equivalent to the first two to three years of life for the human infant. (…+…).
A set of studies varied the conditions and the degree of social isolation and the resulting behavior of the monkeys was described. ((s) The severity of the social restrictions corresponded to the length and severity of the isolation as well as the time of the beginning of the isolation in the life of the monkeys.)
Slater I 14
Harlow’s paper had an immediate impact on the ongoing debate about the importance of the mother-infant bond in child psychiatry. During the 1950s, John Bowlby a British psychiatrist had published a monograph (1951)(2) on the effects of maternal deprivation on children’s development. In his visits to Harlow’s lab in the 1950s, Bowlby may have been responsible for pointing out to Harlow that his cage-raised monkey colony created conditions that were equivalent to partial social isolation (Suomi, Horst, & Veer, 2008)(3).
Slater I 15
[Harlow’s] approach was influenced by European ethologists, particularly Robert Hinde, and by Harlow’s sensitivity to the effects of different rearing environments ranging from his lab, to the local zoo, to monkeys born and raised in the wild. Harlow’s creativity in designing laboratory environments that elicit attachment, fear, exploratory, and affiliative behavior showed a unique understanding of the importance of context in assessing how early social experience could influence subsequent development. He actively designed environments that tested the interplay between attachment, fear, and exploration.
VsHarlow: The finding that rearing with age-mates could compensate for the effects of maternal deprivation on developing peer relationships was the most controversial and tentative finding in the 1962 paper(1).
For criticism of Harlow, see >Behavior/Harlow.

1. Harlow, H. F., & Harlow, M. (1962). Social deprivation in monkeys. Scientific American, 207, 137–146.
2. Bowlby, J. (1951). Maternal care and mental health. New York: Columbia University Press.
3. Suomi, S. J., Horst, F. C. P., & Veer, R. (2008). Rigorous experiments on monkey love: An account of Harry F. Harlow’s role in the history of attachment theory. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 42, 354–369.

Roger Kobak, “Attachment and Early Social deprivation. Revisiting Harlow’s Monkey Studies”, in: Alan M. Slater and Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Harlow, Harry
Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012

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