Believe it or not, there was a period in the early 20th century when psychologists adamantly warned parents against cuddling their own children. Simple acts of affection, like picking up a crying baby to comfort them or showering them in hugs and kisses, were lambasted as unnecessary and detrimental to a child's cognitive development. A 1928 book by leading behavioral psychologist John Watson even said that "mother love is a dangerous instrument" that would lead children to unhappiness in adulthood.
This frame of mind would prevail for many decades even as a few individuals began to speak out about the observable consequences. It would take a psychologist named Harry Harlow, conducting controversial and cruel experiments on baby monkeys in the late 1950s, to shake up the psychological community and help inspire a shift to scientifically acknowledge the importance of love and touch to human health.
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