Food or Security: One of the most outrageous psychological experiment that has been done


In the 1950s American psychologist named Harry Harlow created his own laboratory for this research because nobody wanted to support him, and his unethical methods of doing this experiment.

Majority of people think that he took this experiment way too far, and the way he treated his subjects were very controversial.

What has he done?

First, he was experimenting using the monkeys as his subjects. He would isolate every monkey from a very young age in the separate cages, and use them in his study.

As he did this research he noticed that the young monkeys seemed to really like the cloth blankets that covered the floors of their cages, and if you took one away they would freak out.

Now, he got an idea. Harlow thought the monkeys found some kind of comfort from those blankets, and he designed an experiment to test it using two inanimate objects that would act as surrogate mothers.

– Wire surrogate mother

This one was made of just wire and wood. Because of those rough materials which was used for this surrogate mother, that object didn’t supply any kind of softness or comfort. Yet, this mother could supply food.

– Cloth surrogate mother

This surrogate mother was made of soft cloth, but unfortunately this object could only supply comfort but not food as a wire mother.

Food or Security?

The monkeys were clear – they go to the wire mother for food, but then spend the rest of their time cuddling with their cloth mother.


Researchers back then were trying to figure out whether children bonded with their mothers only because they were the source of food when they were babies, or if there is something more than that – maybe love? In this experiment those monkeys had emotional and attachment needs for their mothers.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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