Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Deprivation Experiment

Experiment in which an animal is socially isolated (deprived of parents, peers, etc.), generally during its infant development period. The classic study in primatology is the Harlow experiment, in which infant rhesus monkeys were subjected to a number of different treatments. Studies included infants raised without mothers (they were given cloth or wire surrogates) or without interaction with peer cohorts. The Harlows concluded that abnormal socialization in monkeys is a function of peer deprivation rather than of maternal deprivation.

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