Mary Ainsworth And Attachment : An Influential Psychologist

1576 Words Nov 28th, 2016 7 Pages
Mary Ainsworth and Attachment
Mary Ainsworth was an influential psychologist in the area of attachment. She had a great life and not only helped further other psychologists’ findings, but also made significant findings of her own.
Historical Context
The types of studies in the area of attachments before Mary Ainsworth were the works of Harry Harlow, John Bowlby, and William Blatz. Harry Harlow was born October 31st, 1905 in Iowa to a small farming community. He obtained his BA and PhD at Stanford University in experimental psychology. Harlow did studies on attachment with baby rhesus monkeys. According to Harlow, he “showed that maternal care in infancy was essential for adult sexual adjustment and mental health” (Vicedo, 2009). In his study, he had two replicas of maternal monkeys for the baby monkeys. One of the ‘mothers’ was warm to the touch as well as being soft. The other just had food and was just made of wire. The baby monkey showed more interest in the warm and fuzzy mother and barely went to the one with food. This showed Harlow that the baby monkey cared more about the warm and fuzzy mother. The second study on the baby monkey was scaring the baby monkey. The baby went running to the mother that provided warmth. To summarize, “the moral of this legend is one about the power of biology and the determinant effects of factors like mother love, which are necessary to fulfill an organism’s innate needs” (Vicedo, 2009). This was also an important conclusion to a…
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