Motivation pp 543-583 | Cite as

Social Separation in Monkeys as Viewed from Several Motivational Perspectives

  • Stephen J. Suomi
  • Susan Mineka
  • Harry F. Harlow


Consider the following cases of human and nonhuman primate behavior. (a) When Billy was first admitted to the hospital 4 days ago, he was excitable, alternatively bubbling and crying but seldom quiet, perhaps not unusual for a 4-year-old in his first long stay away from his home and his parents. In the last 2 days, however, Billy’s demeanor has changed considerably. He is no longer active; his behavior now ranges between silent pouts and quiet sobs. Once the darling of the nurses, he now refuses even ice cream. He spends most of his time lying on his back, staring at the ceiling. When his parents visit he becomes visibly sullen; tantrums often mar the visits. His parents are clearly worried as they contemplate the 8 weeks before Billy’s treatment will be finished. They wonder if he will be his normal, outgoing self when he comes home again (Robertson and Bowlby, 1952). (b) The widow’s children are worried. Since the death of her husband 7 months earlier, she has become more withdrawn, even though they now spend twice as much time with her as they did before their father’s passing. Yet her interest in the visits has been waning recently. She no longer cares if they bring their own children along— strange, since previously she had always taken a keen interest in her grandchildren. They fear that if her condition gets much worse she will have to be put in a nursing home. (c) A young chimpanzee, perhaps 2 or 3 years of age, remains at the periphery of a group of peers engaged in interactive play. The chimp is passive; he sits in a hunched-over posture.


Rhesus Monkey Anxious Attachment Inescapable Shock Attachment Behavior Infant Monkey 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Suomi
    • 1
  • Susan Mineka
    • 1
  • Harry F. Harlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Primate LaboratoryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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