Monday, February 26, 2024

The unique experiment of scientists who raised a chimpanzee and a child at the same time

On many occasions, it has been seen how animals such as chimpanzees show reactions very similar to human behavior. It is not surprising that these animals show some similarities to humans, and it opens many lines of research in the field of science, especially psychology. Therefore, the rare case that arises is when a couple of psychologists decide to raise their son with a seven-month-old chimpanzee.

The Daily Mail reports on the progress of an experiment carried out in the 1930s, especially at the beginning. The authors are psychologists Winthrop and Luella Kellogg. The two decided to conduct an experiment involving their ten-month-old son Donald and a seven-month-old chimpanzee named Gua.

The goal of this experiment is to know if it is possible to educate a monkey and teach it to communicate like a person, as they intend to do with their child. It initially lasted five years, but the two parents left the scientific trial after nine months when they noticed chilling changes in the child’s behavior.

Experimental progress

The ideologue was Winthrop after thinking of the ‘children of the wolf’ experiment in India, where a group of children adopted the behavior of wolves after they were raised far from civilization. However, the two scientists did not consider it ethical to raise their child in nature, so they decided to bring the animal home and raise it together with their little son in the same way as a person.

Part of the research process is dressing the chimpanzee like a baby, including diapers. They wake him up the same way as a baby: he eats in high chairs, they take him in a baby carriage, and he sleeps in a bed. In addition, every night, he received a goodbye kiss from the psychologists.

The next step was to try to teach the Gua the same skills that they would teach the child, and they discovered that, interestingly, the animal learned to eat with a spoon, drink from a glass, open doors, and others. And this was before the youngest of the family had made it.

cruel experiments

The bond between the child and the chimpanzee as a result of spending a lot of time together becomes that of siblings. But both are subject to experiments that, at times, border on cruel. In some videos recorded by scientists about the animal and its child, you can see how they do some experiments that represent a high level of stress and irritation for the little ones. This is the case of an experiment that consists of firing a gun a few centimeters from their ears to determine which of the two reacts first. The result was that they shivered together, and Gua jumped into the arms of one of them, seeking safety.

One of the disturbing experiments was one in which Wintrhop and Kellogg teased children to the point of causing them discomfort and distress and even hit their heads with spoons to hear the difference in sound when they collided. in the skull.

Both were monitored for blood pressure, memory, body size, scribbling, reflexes, depth perception, vocalization, locomotion, tickling, strength, manual dexterity, problem solving, fears, balance, fear, climbing, obedience, acquisition, language comprehension, attention span, and others. Between them, it was obvious that the couple was a little surprised to learn to speak Gua.

The result of the most brutal and calmest experiments was that Gua developed faster than Donald; he learned to respond to 95 phrases such as “show me your nose” and “kiss Donald.” However, this progress stopped at some point and was caught and surpassed by Donald, especially in terms of speech.

A bleak result

What the psychologists did not expect was that their experiment had to be suspended early because of the behavior of their son Donald. The little boy began to behave in a similar way to the chimpanzee: he walked on all fours, dragging his knuckles, biting people, and sharing a Gua language by barking and growling.

Because of the fear that their son would fall apart from other children and that Gua would interfere with his growth, they decided to return the chimpanzee to captivity and make it the subject of another experiment. While Donald grew up to be 43 years old, he killed himself in 1973.

World Nation News Desk
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