Is psychology a true science? How do we define science? In Science the fundamentals are; testable ideas (hypothesis), experimentation, objective data, conclusions based on balancing the evidence, and results that can be replicated. Testable Idea (hypothesis)
Harry Harlow wanted to see if the behavior of baby monkeys that were separated from their mothers at birth. He wanted to see if the separation would affect their behavior later in life. Experimentation
Harlow took 8 baby monkeys away from their mothers, within hours of their birth. He put each of the baby monkeys in separate cages. In each cage he had placed – a cloth “mother” and a wire “mother”,4 of the wire monkey mothers were set up to feed and the cloth “mother” was not. In the other 4 cages the cloth “mothers” were set up to feed while the wire “mother” was not. After a period of time he put the baby monkeys in to cages of monkeys that were raises normally. Objective Data
All the baby monkeys preferred the cloth “mother” when frightened. When Harlow’s monkeys were put with the normal monkeys they did not know how to behave. They were aggressive and did not know how to form normal relationships. Conclusion
Harlow’s monkeys suffered emotionally. They showed anti-social behavior. Harlow concluded that baby monkeys needed contact for comfort. He also concluded that security and comfort was the basis of attachment rather than food. Harlow’s monkey experiment used all the fundamentals of science, just proving my point that psychology is a real science.
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