Essay A Healing Touch?

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A Healing Touch?

Several weeks ago in our biology, Professor Grobstein mentioned that his college seminar class was holding a bake sale in our campus center. He approached his sales pitch by asking if we were stressed from the workload of the end of the semester. Inevitably we all nodded our heads in agreement that the homework had begun to take its toll. He urged us all to support his class's efforts and their somewhat atypical offer including an optional hug with the purchase of a brownie. After class I found myself thinking about his association with stress and the need for a hug.

I know from personal experience that a hug or even a pat on the back can cheer me up. I've also read that people who make appropriate
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They grew so attached, in fact, that the removal of the cloth for sanitary purposes threw the infants into violent temper tantrums. As a follow up, he found that monkeys raised in a mesh cage with a bare floor had difficulty surviving their first five days. When he inserted a mesh cone the difficulty lessened, and when he covered the cone with terry cloth they developed into "happy babies" (11). According to Harlow himself in his essay, The Nature of Love, "We were impressed by the possibility that, above and beyond the bubbling fountain of breast or bottle, contact comfort might be a very important variable in the development of the infant's affection for the mother" (11).

From this point he embarked on his famed experiments that are now included in most psychology textbooks. He tested this infant-mother affection. In this series of studies he offered a "surrogate" mother to the isolated infants. He had two models of this mother substitute-one made of bare, heavy wire and the other made of wood covered with a soft terry cloth. In one such experiment both models were placed in the infant's cage, but only one had a nipple to provide milk. Regardless of which "mother" fed them, the monkeys spent a significantly greater amount of time with the terry-covered mother (6). Harlow summarized his findings by stating, "These data make it obvious that

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