Limitations to classic conditioning as a theory

Page 1 of 2

Limitations to classic conditioning as a theory

By | September 2013
Page 1 of 2
Limitations to classic conditioning as a theory
Harry Harlow's Rhesus Monkey is a experiment that took place in the 1950s were he tested classical conditioning as a theory. He separated infant monkeys from their mothers a few hours after birth, then arranged for the young animals to be raised by two kinds of surrogate monkey mother machines, both equipped to dispense milk. One mother was made out of bare wire mesh. The other was a wire mother covered with soft terry cloth. Harlow’s first observation was that monkeys who had a choice of mothers spent far more time clinging to the terry cloth surrogates, even when their physical nourishment came from bottles mounted on the bare wire mothers. This suggested that infant love was no simple response to the satisfaction of physiological needs. Attachment was not primarily about hunger or thirst. It could not be reduced to nursing. This shows that classical conditioning in monkeys at least is not completely right as the infant monkeys also spent many hours with the soft terry cloth and only went to the wire mesh mother to feed and returned after to the soft terry cloth to cling to it.

Limitations to classic conditioning as a theory
Harry Harlow's Rhesus Monkey is a experiment that took place in the 1950s were he tested classical conditioning as a theory. He separated infant monkeys from their mothers a few hours after birth, then arranged for the young animals to be raised by two kinds of surrogate monkey mother machines, both equipped to dispense milk. One mother was made out of bare wire mesh. The other was a wire mother covered with soft terry cloth. Harlow’s first observation was that monkeys who had a choice of mothers spent far more time clinging to the terry cloth surrogates, even when their physical nourishment came from bottles mounted on the bare wire mothers. This suggested that infant love was no simple response to the satisfaction of physiological needs. Attachment was not primarily about hunger or...