Harry F. Harlow

Harry Harlow's Research into Human Behavior was Ground-Breaking

Harlow focused his research primarily on learning, motivation, and affection. His research has had a huge impact on child psychology and psychology as a whole. He was recognized for three awards, The Howard Crosby Warren Medal in 1956, The National Medal of Science in 1967, and Gold Medal from American Psychological Foundation in 1973.
Harlow's research provided insight into mother-child bonding and how it has long-term psychological effects on the child. Harlow performed an experiment where there were to types of fake "mother" monkeys. One was soft and cuddly, while the other was made of wire. Both were warmed, but the monkeys spend more time with the cuddly one, even though they received their food from the wire monkey.

However, all the monkeys suffered extreme effects, and were either unable to find a mate, or served as inadequate or abusive parents. This led Harlow to the conclusion that mothers are supposed to bond with their children as well as giving them nourishment, which was a fundamental change to the way mother-child relations were viewed.

His research provided psychology as a whole insight into mother-child relationships and child development. Through his monkey experiment, he was able to come to the conclusion that a mother's affection for her child has a huge impact on a child's long-term development and it's own ability to be a parent.

Harlow witnessed the monkeys raised by dummy mothers struggle to find a mate in the correct way. If the monkey did have a child, they were either emotionally neutral to it ( doesn't hate, doesn't love) or were very abusive. The abusive mothers would end up being so abusive that many of the babies ended up dying.

Harlow's research was accepted throughout the field of psychology and he received numerous awards for his contributions to psychology as a whole.