Harry Harlow Experiment

Aim
To find out whether provision of food or contact comfort is more important in the formation of infant-mother attachment.

Participants
Eight newborn rhesus monkeys, separated from their mother immediately after birth.

Group 1
Four monkeys isolated in cages where a cloth mother surrogate gave food and a wire surrogate did not.

Group 2
Four monkeys isolated in cages where a wire mother surrogate gave food and a cloth surrogate did not.

IV
Provision of food by either cloth or wire mother.

DV
Amount on contact time spent with each mother.

Results
All monkeys, in group 1 and 2 spent far more time with the cloth surrogate over the wire surrogate, regardless of which provided food.

Conclusion
Contact comfort is more important than feeding in the formation of infant-mother attachment in rhesus monkeys.

Generalisation
Contact comfort is likely to be a crucial factor in human infant-caregiver attachment.