23 November 2012

Creating a safe haven and secure base

It’s been almost two years since Brene Brown delivered her YouTube sensation TED talk about being vulnerable. She related how for humans, our core need and desire is security, and to do that, we have to be open and vulnerable with one another.

Back in 1957, Harry Harlow started conducting studies on rhesus monkeys where he removed the monkey from their mother and had them raised by machine mother monkeys. In some cases, there were two mothers the baby rhesus could choose from, one that was soft and covered by cloth, but did not dispense food; whereas the other was wired and could provide food. What is fascinating is that the baby monkeys chose comfort over food. Something different from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These monkeys spent roughly 23 hours of their day with the cloth machine mother monkey, and only went to the wire mother machine monkey when they were hungry.


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