- Feb 2021
The frightened or ailing child clings to its mother, not its father; and this selective responsiveness in times of distress, disturbance, or danger may be used as a measure of the strength of affectional bonds. We have tested this kind of differential responsiveness by presenting to the infants in their cages, in the presence of the two mothers, various fear-producing stimuli such as the moving toy bear illustrated in Figure 13. A typical response to a fear stimulus is shown in Figure 14, and the data on differential responsiveness are presented in Figure 15. It is apparent that the cloth mother is highly preferred over the wire one, and this differential selectivity is enhanced by age and experience. In this situation, the variable of nursing appears to be of absolutely no importance: the infant consistently seeks the soft mother surrogate regardless of nursing condition.
In this article we see that there is a reference to how the infant clings to its mother in times of need for comfort. During this era it was the mother who was seen as the nurturer and provider, which made sense. Looking at it today, where men play a bigger part in nurturing their children, this is a good example of how studies of today have been able to find the correlation between nurturing behavior and bonds developed by both parents.