Harry Harlow Writing Assignment

Harry Harlow Writing Assignment - Page 1 of 18 Harry...

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Page 1 of 18 Harry Harlow’s "The Nature of Love" stands as a classic report of research and also as evidence of the author’s wit and his willingness to share his, shall we say, strongly held opinions. It was an oral address to the convention of the American Psychological Association, and as such it has much that is humorous and also much that is antagonistic. Put it this way: It was sure to offend nearly everybody, but presumably in a cute, crotchety way. Let us note that the title of the piece may be somewhat misleading for many readers. I think when I first came across it, it made me think of romantic love. It turns out that it is about what developmental psychologists refer to as attachment—the enduring bond between one organism and another, and, in this case, mainly between mother and infant. The Nature of Love By HARRY F. HARLOW UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN Love is a wondrous state, deep, tender, and rewarding. Because of its intimate and personal nature it is regarded by some as an improper topic for experimental research. But, whatever our personal feelings may be, our assigned mission as psychologists is to analyze all facets of human and animal behavior into their component variables. So far as love or affection is concerned, psychologists have failed in this mission. The little we know about love does not transcend simple observation, and the little we write about it has been written better by poets and novelists. But of greater concern is the fact that psychologists tend to give progressively less attention to a motive which pervades our entire lives. Psychologists, at least psychologists who write textbooks, not only show no interest in the origin and development of love or affection, but they seem to be unaware of its very existence. The apparent repression of love by modern psychologists stands in sharp contrast with the attitude taken by many famous and normal people. The word "love" has the highest reference frequency of any word cited in Bartlett’s book of Familiar Quotations. It would appear that this emotion has long had a vast interest and fascination for human beings, regardless of the attitude taken by psychologists; but the quotations cited, even by famous and normal people, have a mundane redundancy. These authors and authorities have stolen love from the child and infant and made it the exclusive property of the adolescent and adult. Thoughtful men, and probably all women, have speculated on the nature of love. From the developmental point of view, the general plan is quite clear: The initial love responses of the human being are those made by the infant to the mother or some mother surrogate. From this intimate attachment of the child to the mother, multiple learned and generalized affectional responses are formed. Unfortunately, beyond these simple facts we know little about the fundamental variables underlying the
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSY 2012 taught by Professor Jenkins during the Fall '07 term at Seminole CC.

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Harry Harlow Writing Assignment - Page 1 of 18 Harry...

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