Monday, April 28, 2008

Contact Comfort Within Infants

Contact comfort is the innate pleasure derived from close physiqcal contact. It is the basis of an infants first attachment. This is where attachment begins with infants, physical touching and cuddling between the infant and mother. Margaret and Harry harlow exemplified this with their contact comfort study. They raised †wo rhesus monkeys with two kinds of artificial mothers. The first "Mother" was constructed of wires, wwarm lights, and a milk bottle. The other, was constructed of wire and covered with foam rubber and cuddly terry cloth. Psychologist's previously thought that babies became attached to mothers simply because they provided them with food. The studies showed, that when frieghtened cuddling up to somethimng made them more calm. It all goes back to the idea of feeling secure, and once they are secure the mother must be careful not to establish to much close contact, to create unhealthly attachment as observed with Ainsworth's studies.


Dave said...

I feel that since Harlow did not use real Rhesus mothers in his experiment, one could also conclude that a ‘cuddly’ mannequin would suffice just as well for a human baby as its mother, and I don’t believe that this is true. Also, the last statement takes Mary Ainsworth's research out of context, is misleading, and discounts the need for secure attachment between infant and caregiver.

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old blog but even so it needs correction. Ainsworth had nothing to do with Harlows monkey studies :/ She studied Human babies not violating any ethics at all, unlike Harlow the cruel git.

Anonymous said...

Harlow didn't violate ethical guidelines of the time. It can also be considered that Ainsworth's research is unethical as it puts some babies under distress that would not normally have occurred. Also cross culture test have revealed that it could be even more unethical to conduct such research in, for example, Japan.