Design for Humanity

In 1950, the American psychologist Harry Harlow conducted an experiment that separated infant monkeys from their mothers just a few hours after birth. Each monkey was isolated in a cage and given two dummy mothers. One mother was constructed of metal wire and held a milk bottle; another was covered in synthetic fur and designed to resemble a real monkey, but it provided no sustenance.

Instinctually, Harlow assumed the infants would gravitate towards the metal mother because it provided a basic need: nourishment.

Much to his surprise, the infants preferred the animate mother despite her lack of milk. In fact, when the two mothers were placed side by side, the infants would suck milk from the metal mother and cling to the more realistic looking dummy.

Written by procreate