Explanations of Attachment - Unit 1 AQA A

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  • Created on: 18-05-13 14:00
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  • Psychology - Developmental EXPLANATIONS
    • Learning Theory
      • All behaviour is learnt
        • Classical Conditioning - learning through association
          • Pavlov - dog salivation reflex : learnt association of door open with the arrival of food
        • Operant Conditioning - learning through reward or consequence
          • Dollard and Miller - hungry infant feels discomfort but reduced when fed : feeling of pleasure provides reward
      • Strengths - provides adequate explanation of how attachment is formed, learn through association and reinforcement
      • Weaknesses - role of food in attachment, Harlow's rhesus monkeys, distress caused by cages being cleaned : used sanitary pads as security blanket
        • Harlow created two wire mothers - one with feeding bottle and other covered in soft cloth, learning theory suggests monkeys go to lactating mother : actually spent most time with soft cloth especially when scared
          • Study on animals may not be relavent to humans
        • Schaffer and Emerson - 60 babies from birth for about a year, infants were not most attached to feeding carer but most responsive
          • Suggest 'cupboard love' is not likely to be best explanation for attachment.
            • Harlow created two wire mothers - one with feeding bottle and other covered in soft cloth, learning theory suggests monkeys go to lactating mother : actually spent most time with soft cloth especially when scared
              • Study on animals may not be relavent to humans
    • Evolutionary Theory - Bowlby
      • Attachment in adaptive and innate
        • Attachment is a behavioural system that evolved because of survival and reproductive value
        • Children have innate drive to become attached as it has long-term benefits
      • Sensitive period
        • Limited window for attachment to develop
          • Development of all biological systems is rapid and easy during critical period but can still take place at other times
        • Bowlby suggested the second quarter of the first year is when infants are most sensitive to the development of attachment
          • As months pass, it becomes increasingly difficult to form infant caregiver attachments
        • Once this period has passed, it is difficult to form attachment
      • Caregiving is adaptive
        • Drive to provide caregiving is innate as it enhances survival of offspring
          • Infants are born with social releasers (certain characteristics)
            • Social releases include smiling and crying - also the baby's face : baby facial features act as a trigger for parenting behaviour (baby face hypothesis)
              • Attachment is the innate behavioural system in babies; caregiving is innate response in adults - both provide protection so enhance survival, formation depends of interaction on systems.
      • A secure base
        • Important for protection, so acts as secure base from which a child can explore with a safe place to return to when threatened
        • Attachment fosters independence rather than dependence, some mistakenly interpret it as dependence
      • Monotropy and Hierarchy
        • infants form a number of attachments, one has special importance, this bias towards one individual is called monotropy (primary attachment)
          • Primary attachment figure is usually (but not always) the infants mother : main foundation for emotional development, self esteem and later relationships
            • Sensitivity hypothesis - infant becomes most attached to person who responds most sensitively to social releases
        • Infants also have secondary attachments that form a hierarchy
          • Secondary figures important in emotional development as act as a safety net and contribute to social development
            • Children with no secondary figure appear to lack social skills
        • Infants form multiple attachments that form a hierarchy
          • Much evidence to support this : Tronick et al studied Efe tribe
            • Schaffer and Emerson - most infants have many attachments however had one primary object (often mother)
      • Internal Working Model
        • Attachment starts as a relationship between an infant and caregiver
          • May be of trust or uncertainty and inconsistency which creates expectations about what future relationships will be like
          • This model is a cluster of concepts about relationships and what to expect from others - whether they involve consistent or inconsistent love, whether others make you feel good or anxious etc.
      • The Continuity Hypothesis
        • Internal working model means consistency between early emotional experiences and later relationships
        • Leads to continuity hypothesis - view that there's a link between early attachment relationship and later emotional behaviour
          • Securely attached infants continue to be socially and emotionally competent
          • Insecurely attached infants have more social and emotional difficulties in adulthood / later childhood
        • Sroufe et al - Minnesota longitudinal study, followed infants to later life and found continuity between early attachment and later social / emotional behaviour
          • Individuals rated secure were rated highest for social competence, less isolated, more popular and more empathetic
      • Strengths
        • Imprinting in non-human animals
          • Lorenz research - supports that imprinting in innate, goslings imprinted on first moving thing they saw whether goose of Lorenz : similar process likely to have evolved in many species as mechanism to protect young and enhance survival
        • Universality
          • If attachment evolved, to provide important biological function, would expect attachment and caregiving to be universal
          • Tronick et al - studied Efe tribe where infants looked after and breast fed by different women but usually slept with mother, despite this the infants at six months showed one primary attachment so supports universality
        • Caregiver sensitivity
          • Schaffer and Emerson - strongly attached infants had mothers who responded quickly and offered more interaction, weakly attached infants had ones who failed to interact
          • Harlow - monkeys formed one way attachment with wire mother became maladjusted adults : difficulties in reproductive relationships and poor parents
            • Underlines the importance of interaction in attachment - not enough to have someone to cuddle you, you need cuddling back
              • Carlson - found insensitive caregiving was associated with disorganised attachment and having psychological problems in adulthood
      • Weaknesses
        • Alternative Explanation
          • Continuity can be explained without Bowlby's theory - an innately trusting and friendly personality could be the prime factor in secure attachment and forming close adult relationships (temperament hypothesis - personality shapes a mother's responsiveness
          • Evidence that children born with innate temperamental differences
          • Evidence that temperamental differences contribute to attachment
        • Multiple attachment
          • Rutter et al - all attachment figures are important
          • Multiple attachment model - no primary and secondary : all integrated into one model
            • May not be very different from Bowlby - secondary do not contribute to social but healthy requires one central person to stand above others in hierarchy
          • Grossman and Grossman - infant father attachment key role
          • Sibling relationship important
    • Lorenz -Imprinting Goslings
      • Took a clutch of gosling eggs and divided into two groups
        • Placed in an incubator
          • First moving thing seen when hatched was Lorenz
        • Left with natural mother
        • Test imprinting - placed two groups together and goslings quickly divided themselves up (one to natural mother, one to Lorenz)
          • Suggests young animals imprint on first moving thing seen
      • Short term importance for protection and being fed
        • Long term for mating
          • Martina slept on Lorenz bed every night, when became 'betrothed' to Martin on first night as door banged behind Martin he panicked and flew into chandelier damaging himself in the process
            • Martin not adapted to indoor living like Martina

Comments

MrsMacLean

An insanely detailed mind map! Definitely one for the wal!

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