AQA PSYA1 - Complete Notes

These are the notes I've created for the PSYA1 exam for the AQA A board - I managed 100UMS in the exam using these notes so I thought I'd share them with you :) enjoy

Take a look at my PSYA2 notes where I also got 100UMS using my notes

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  • Created by: Claire
  • Created on: 16-03-14 17:18
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Attachment is an emotional bond between two people, it is a 2 way process that endures over time,
serving the function of protecting the infant and leading to certain behaviours (seeking proximity,
distress on separation, pleasure on reunion and general orientation of behaviour)
There is a Primary attachment figure (PAF)
Learnt rather than inborn
Classical: Association
Proposes that food (UCS) naturally produces a feeling of pleasure (UCR). The feeder (NS) becomes
associated with the food (UCS) when the infant is fed. The mother eventually produces the sense of
pleasure associated with the food. Pleasure is now a Conditioned Response which causes attachment
Operant: Reinforcement (DOLLARD AND MILLER 1950)
When an infant if hungry, they feel uncomfortable and I drive is produced to reduce this discomfort.
When the infant in fed, the drive is reduced and this produces a feeling of pleasure. The infant learns
that the food is rewarding (Primary Reinforcer) and begins to recognise the person that provided the
food (Secondary reinforcer). Attachment occurs because the infants seeks to be around the person
that supplied the award.
Evaluating learning theory
Research by Harlow (1959) suggests attachment may not totally based upon the provision of food.
Harlow removed baby rhesus monkeys from their mothers, and placed them into a cage. In the cage
there were 2 wire mesh cylinders. One covered in towelling (contact comfort mother) and the other
bare but with a bottle on the top (lactating mother) Harlow found that the babies spent most of their
time clinging to the contact conform mother, especially when they were scared, and only visited the
lactating mother occasionally to feed. This does not support leaning theory because it suggests that
comfort may be more important than food in securing attachment.
However there are some problems with the research conducted by Harlow (1959). The use of the
non human animal (rhesus monkeys) means that the data has been extrapolated, and so may not
apply to further research done on humans. However there is research by Shafer and Emerson (1964)
which supports Harlow's findings. Shafer and Emerson observed 60 infants from working class homes
in Glasgow in a naturalistic observation. They found no like between provision of food and
attachment related behaviour, in fact they found that most of the infants seemed more attached to
those who interacted with them the most.
Attachment is an innate and biological process that has evolved because of its survival value. Infants
are born with an innate drive to become attached to a caregiver. Attachment must form in a sensitive
period, ( the2nd quarter of the first year of life) or not at all. Attachment is also an adaptive process,
infants produce social releasers which elict care giving from their primary attachment figure. Bowlby
suggested that this primary attachment figure is called monotopy, and from there there is a hierarchy
of other important people in the infant's life. Bowlby also suggested that our relationship with our
primary attachment figure creates expectation for future life relationships, something known as the
internal working model. From this he suggested a continuity hypothesis, that there is continuity
between attachment and future life experiences.
Evaluating evolutionary theory

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Bowlby suggests that the primary attachment figure the most important person in an infant's life,
followed by many other people in a hierarchy. However some disagree with the concept of
monotropy. Rutter suggested the multiple attachment model, that infants had a collection of people
they seemed equal. After a meta-analysis by Prior and Glaser (2006), evidence points towards the
monotropy and hierarchy model originally suggested by Bowlby.…read more

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Also, the strange situation aimed to measure the attachment type of an infant, but this
experiment only uses the infant's mother. This suggests that the experiment actually measures the
infant's attachment to their mother, not their attachment type in general. This suggests that
Ainsworth's study lacks validity. Also, parts of the experiment may be seen by some as unethical.…read more

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Research by Grossman & Grossman in 1991 found that German infants are less likely to securely
attached according to the strange situation because their culture involves keeping interpersonal
differences between mother and infant, so they did not seek proximity in the strange situation.
- Research by Takahashi in 1990 studied 60 middle class Japanese infants under the strange situation.…read more

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Evaluating disruption of attachment
Strengths: There is research to support the idea that emotional care can reduce the severity of the
effects of attachment disruption. Sigvardson studied 600 adopted children from Sweden. At age 11,
26% of them were identified as problem children, but 10 years later none of them were recognised
as any worse off than the rest of the population. This supports Robertson & Roberson's research by
suggesting that the negative effects of disruption can be reversed with substitute emotional care.…read more

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This does not support Rutter as it suggests that others may recover outside
this sensitive period.
Day care
Temporary care, not by parents, away from the home.…read more

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Research by Clarke-Stewert involved a study of 150 children, and found that those in day care had
better social development than their peers
- Field found a positive correlation between time spent in day care and number of friends
- Crepes and Vernon - Feagans found that children who are in day care before the age of 6 months
are more sociable in the future than those who start day care after 6 months of age.…read more

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LTM through repetition, and the last numbers are still in STM. This supports the model by providing
evidence for its unitary stores.
> There is evidence of patients with damage to the hippocampus who's short term and long term
memory stores have been effected in different ways. H.M was involved in an accident, and as a
result he lost his ability to form short term memories, but was still able to retrieve his long term
memories from before the accident.…read more

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Misleading Information
Research by Loftus and Palmer in 1974 investigated the effects of misleading information on eye
witness testimony. 45 students were shown 7 traffic accident films and were then given a
questionnaire about what they had seen. One of the questions was "how fast were the cars going
when they ____" The blank was filed with different verbs including hit, smashed, collided, bumped
and contacted. The mean speeds were then recorded. Smashed gave a mean speed of 40.…read more

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Some research into anxiety has also found opposite effects. Research by Christianson and Hubinette
involved 110 people witnessing 22 genuine back robberies, some were bystanders and some were
directly threatened. Those who were threatened experienced higher anxiety but were more
accurate in their recall even 15 months after the study than the bystanders.
Strengths: Research by Loftus and Burns found similar results.…read more



Great, detailed notes! Only missing Research Notes chapter. ;)

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