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Harlow's Pit of Despair
Transcript of Harlow's Pit of Despair
- effects of social deprivation on primates in 1960s and 1970s for insight on human depression
- young monkeys were isolated either partially or completely from their families and the rest of their society
- put in small cages; some were able to see, smell, hear, and some were not allowed any contact whatsoever
- amount of times differ: a few months to fifteen years Results - partial isolation: blank stares, repeated circling inside cage, self-mutilation
- complete isolation: emotional shock, self-clutching, rocking, starvation, death after release (3 months)
- 12 months "almost obliterated the animals socially"
- unable to have normal sexual and social relationships
- when reintroduced to other monkeys, they faced bullying
- some starved themselves Why was it unethical? - Harlow kept some monkeys in isolation for 15 years
- "The only thing I care about is whether a monkey will turn out a property I can publish"
- Took monkeys away from their mothers and emotionally and physically abused them
- Let them do whatever they want, like starve themselves and self-mutliate
- Controversy over results: some say if he had any respect for life and for people he would not have done it, some say his experiment was common sense
-Artificially inseminated females against their with a "rape rack" Was the unethical behavior needed? - No other way to find these results about isolation, maternal/social deprivation?
- Some results in human babies had already been found; no experiments of this magnitude
- Paved the way for animal rights movement
- “Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research.” (George Bernard Shaw) Battuello, Patrick J. "Harry Harlow's Pit of Despair." In Behalf of Animals. 30 May 2011. Web. 7 Feb. 2013. <http://inbehalfofanimals.com/2011/05/30/harry-harlows-pit-of-despair/>.
"The Well of Despair." Null Hypothesis. 2008. Web. 7 Feb. 2013. <http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/science//item/harry_harlow_unethical_psychology_experiments>. Works Cited