Compare and Contrast research by Harry Harlow and Mary Ainsworth on Understanding Attachment.

What is attachment and why is it important to us as human beings? Let’s begin with attachment and our understanding of it. On the whole, attachment is one of the most important relationships we as humans ever experience, as this involves the emotions between two people although sometimes it can be more, but more often it is regarded to the relationship between a child and parent or primary care giver and this will be where we normally see the first signs of attachment.

These individuals will often take comfort in being in each others company and have a need or a desire to be together to feel secure. In my essay the aim is to look at why it is deemed important and how two of the leading Psychologists in this field, Harry Harlow and Mary Ainsworth, took part in ground breaking studies to prove that attachment exists and why. I hope to be able to show the contrasts and also comparisons in both researches. Harlow and Ainsworth in their researchs wanted to prove that similar things like attachment in humans and animals was not due to imprinting (Lorentz and Kickert, 1981 Hess, 1958) as previously thought in past experiments or studies.

Harry Harlow was an American Psychologist who became interested in understanding attachment, he wanted to investigate infants who formed a bond with their mothers because of cupboard love i.e they provided food (Chapter 5, Key study 2); Harlow wanted to know why some animals form attachments to objects when the parent or primary care giver was not involved in the care of the infant from the beginning such as Orphans. He wanted to investigate attachment using rats but unfortunately the rat laboratory at his university had closed. He then took the opportunity to use Rhesus monkeys which had become available and he decided that Monkeys could work in his experiments. He worked with the baby monkeys taking them away from the mother just...

Similar Essays