Psychology Unit 1 - Sex & Gender

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  • Attachment
    • Key Terms:
      • Attachment - An enduring bond formed with a significant other
      • Separation protest - When an individual shows upset and distress on separation from an attachment figure
      • Stranger anxiety - When an individual shows anxiety and distress in the presence of an unfamiliar person
      • Secure attachment - When a child and caregiver have a relationship based on trust and security, and the child wishes to interact with its caregiver
      • Insecure avoidant attachment - When a child and caregiver have a relationship in which the child is quite independent of the caregiver
      • Insecure ambivalent attachment - When a child and caregiver have a relationship in which the child can be clingy and demanding, yet awkward with the caregiver at the same time
      • Monotropy - An attachment to one primary caregiver
      • Critical period - The first three years of a child's life, when attachment has to take place or there will be long-term consequences
      • Privation - When a child forms no attachment to a caregiver
      • Deprivation - When a child has formed an attachment to a caregiver, but this attachment is broken through separation
      • Instinctive - Natural and automatic
    • Core Theory: Bowlby's Theory
      • Bowlby believed that humans and other animals are very similar in terms of attachment. His theory was that infants instinctively bond with one key figure
        • He said that in non-human animals this is nearly always the mother but argued that this was the same for human beings too
      • It is worth remembering that Bowlby developed his theory at a time when the primary caregiver was typically the mother. The most important point is that Bowlby believed that babies formed a special attachment to just one particular person = MONOTROPY
      • Theory includes monotropy, critical period, privation and deprivation
        • Deprivation less extreme than privation
      • Privation - e.g. child being moved to many different foster homes - effects of privation can be extreme - some children locked away from parents since birth.....
        • Poor language, social and motor skills - Bowlby's idea is that privation is irreversible
        • Deprivaton called 'maternal deprivation' by Bowlby but bond can be broken with any primary caregiver. He said that children experience deprivation if separated for a week or longer within first 5 years of life - e.g. caregiver spending time in hospital or even dying
    • Alternative Theory: Behaviourist Theory
      • Says that attachment is not an instinctive process but relies on learning and experience (nurture)
      • Positive or negative reinforcement (behaviour) can be applied to attachment behaviours
        • If an infant interacts with its caregiver (e.g. gazing at them, smiling, cooing or even crying) then they will get attention and this is rewarding
          • More importantly, the caregiver will also feed, comfort and keep the child safe, which is particularly rewarding. However, children do not bond with caregivers who neglect and abuse them. They may even see relationships as punishing and avoid them.
      • Securely attached children tend to have caregivers who are very sensitive to their child's needs, insecure avoidant = caregivers generally uninterested in child, insecure ambivalent = caregiver interested but misunderstand child's behaviour.
    • Core Theory: Criticisms
      • Bowlby believed in monotropy but his critics say that children can develop multiple attachments. Lots of evidence to support this, particularly in this day and age - e.g. bonding with fathers, grandparents and paid carers.
        • Bowlby believed that there was a critical period for forming attachments but his critics say that this was too extreme.....
          • More recent research shows that there may be a sensitive period rather than a critical one, so the first 3 years may be the best time to form an attachment but it is not the only time - healthy bonds can be formed after this time
      • Bowlby's theory states that attachment is primarily instinctive, whereas others believe that it is learnt behavior - e.g. babies learn to bond with caregivers, not naturally
    • Core Study: Hazen and Shaver (1987)
      • To investigate the idea that attachment types in infancy affect adult relationships.
      • Opportunity sample aged 14-82, carried out in USA, 'love quiz' advertised in local newspaper
      • Variable 1 - the person's infant attachment type - secure, avoidant, ambivalent..... Variable 2 - person's attitude to their most important love relationship. This was assessed using a series of multiple choice questions.
      • 1200 replies received, 620 of these analysed.
      • Results: 56% secure, 25% avoidant, 19% ambivalent. Adults with secure infant attachments - happy, friendly relationships - more supportive. Avoidant = afraid of intimacy, more highs and lows, more prone to jealousy and said that they could get along fine by themselves. Ambivalent = more prone to obsession - extreme sexual attraction and jealousy, most likely to be divorced out of 3 groups.
    • Core Study: Criticisms
      • Unrepresentative sample (only certain age groups or people in stable relationships may have completed it, questionnaires rely too much on participants giving honest and accurate answers.....asking about upbringing and intimate relationships quite sensitive so could have lied, multiple choice questions - not enough depth.....
        • Intimate relationships much more complex - not valid to just 'tick boxes'.....




This is about Attachment not Sex & Gender but its very good:)

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