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Socialization Experiment: Causes of Sociological Deformities Under Different Environments

Our previous post about socialization mentioned about interaction with other people is so important for human development and preventing from interacting with people is definitely not a good option for a number of reasons. In this post, we will show you a great socialization experiment that can unveil the real causes of sociological deformities under different environmental background.

Socialization Experiment: Causes of Sociological Deformities Under Different Environments

A famous psychologist, Harry and Margaret Harlow, did conduct a classic but an interesting socialization study by making use of monkeys. Owing to its illegality nature, human beings could not be used for socialization study like this one. Harry and Margaret Harlow selected to use monkeys in this experiment since they could show very close correlation to real human beings. Actually, his whole socialization experiment was about testing monkeys in different environments and then comparing various results to each other. His experiment results indicated that when baby monkeys were put in pure isolation (excluding nutrients or food) for a half year, they did have some sociological deformities during their future development. Harry and Margaret Harlow found that when these baby monkeys eventually returned to their original group after six month of experiment, they became extremely subservient and fearful.

Harry and Margaret Harlow then put baby monkeys into cages. Inside each cage, there was an 'artificial mother' that was either made of metal or made of non-metal (soft cloth) with feeding tube just like monkey nipple. For the initial socialization experiment, baby monkeys had some sociological deformities during their future development. It was because after they were put back in their original group, they were not able to interact with other monkeys properly. For the second socialization experiment, however, those baby monkeys that were put in cages having artificial mothers but made of non-metal (with soft cloth) actually held with their artificial mothers pretty closely and did not have much sociological deformities.

Why there was a complete different experimental result with different artificial mothers? Many psychologists tried to explain the difference and they did arrive a common conclusion. Having artificial mothers made of metal, baby monkeys could not hold on the artificial mothers as they were so rough and gave no response back. This explained why these baby monkeys would have some sociological deformities and could not interact with other monkeys properly during their future development. On the other hand, having artificial mothers made of non-metal (with soft cloth), baby monkeys could hold on to the soft artificial mothers deeply since they were warm enough and similar to his real mother who had a close bond with him. These baby monkeys therefore would show little or no sociological deformities after the experiment.

As a result, this socialization experiment confirmed how significant it shall be for infants to have love or hugs, otherwise it can affect their future proper development. Some psychologists also discovered that infants could recover from a maximum period of three-month isolation and could be free from sociological deformities. Most psychologists had their experimental results indicated that, however, after six months of isolation, behavior of isolated infants would become 'irreversible' and thus 'unrecoverable'. So once these baby monkeys finally returned to their original group after six month of experiment, they would have sociological deformities that would affect their future development and their whole life.

The above socialization experiment can exactly unveil the real causes of sociological deformities under different environmental factors. Going forward, we will compare this study result with different interesting socialization experiments so as to let you understand the real human development process more deeply.

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