I was reading a story about an experiment with little ducks today. The story was to illustrate how traumatic bonding works. I don’t know about most, but at times visuals tend to help me truly understand concepts better.
This reference came from the book, "Get Me Out Of Here: My recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder," by Rachel Reiland.
In it, the author was being asked to examine the nature of her relationship with her parents and the closeness of her bonds to them. The therapist shared with her the duck-test story:
"Some scientists were conducting an experiment," he said, "trying to gauge the impact of abuse on children. Ducks, like people, develop bonds between mother and young. They call it imprinting. So the scientists set out to test how that imprint bond would be affected by abuse.
"The control group was a real mother duck and her ducklings. For the experimental group, the scientist used a mechanical duck they had created - feathers, sound, and all - which would, at timed intervals, peck the ducklings with its mechanical beak. A painful peck, one a real duck would not give.
They varied these groups. Each group was pecked with a different level of frequency. And then they watched the ducklings grow and imprint bond with their mother.