Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Comfort over Everything Else

In this video attached, I watched a short experiment conducted by Harry Harlow. In this experiment, he was trying to prove that infants, if given a choice would choose comfort over any other variable. The way he proved his thesis was through a lab monkey, which was given two separate choices for "mothers." The first mother had a bottle attached to it, but was made out of wire. The second mother was made of cloth, and was more comforting. The monkey was released from it's cage, and immediately went to the wire mother for food. Harlow said it best "he has to eat to survive." However, after a few seconds, he went to the cloth mother. The monkey would go to eat once more to fulfill it's apetite, but would ultimately stay with the cloth mother. Once and for all proving Harlow's thesis that when given a choice, an infant will choose comfort over any other variable.

I learned from this experiment. I always knew that infants would choose comfort, but I also thought that food would be near that level. However, as Harlow proved, a baby when put in an uncomfortable situation like the monkey was with the wire, would only eat the bare minimum to substain it's desire for food. I would assume that most infants would drink from a bottle until it was out, or they were completely full before going back for comfort. Infants do become attached to the love and comfort they receieve from their mother. It's important that they receive this growing up in their early years. However, as Physical Education teachers, we have to be prepared for students who come from broken homes, or have situations where they're moved around in foster care that don't receive a lot of love or attention. This will occur, and we have to make school enjoyable for them so they have something to look forward to.

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