Attachments AS Psychology

Includes : Development, Disrruption of attachment and Day Care

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  • Created by: Kehza
  • Created on: 11-05-09 14:30
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Developmental Psychology
Section 1
Explain and evaluate Ainsworth's Strange Situation Experiment
Explain and evaluate Schaffer and Emerson's stage account of attachment
Explain cultural differences in attachment.

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Schaffer and Emerson
Aim: To investigate of attachment in infants, when do they form their first attachment?
Procedure: The P's were 60 infants from Glasgow. The infants were observed once a
month until they were 1year old and then once again at 18months. Measurements were
taken to see when the infant's first attachment formed there were two factors to consider:
Separation Anxiety ­ Is distress shown when left alone ­ In a room/in a pram
outside/with other people.…read more

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Show fear of strangers.
Multiple Attachments (10/11 months Baby shows attachments towards
onwards) several different people.
Methodological Issues ­
Only Glasgow infants were used and therefore low population validity.
Ethical issues ­
Not many, research down in their own homes and mothers rated their own child's making
it unstressful.…read more

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Used mother as safe-base to explore
Distress when mother left
Welcomed mother back on return
Treated strangers differently
Insecure Avoidant (Type A) 15% Fell into this category
Showed some distress when mother
Did not seek comfort on mother
Rejected Strangers
Distant and avoided closeness
Insecure Ambivalent ( Type C) Very upset when mother left
Not easily comforted on mother
Appeared to be angry/upset when
attempted to comfort
Relationships difficult
Alternated between distant and
wanting closeness.…read more

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Rare separation like Japan have increased chance of Insecure-Ambivalent
Western Countries (Europe etc.) ­ Increased chance of Insecure-Avoidant.…read more

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Evolutionary Theory
Bowlby argued that attachment was an evolved mechanism that ensured survival
of the child.
He argued that attachment behaviours in babies and caregivers have evolved
through natural selection to ensure the baby survives to reach maturity and to
Babies process instincts such as crying and smiling
Parents especially mothers possess instincts designed to protect their baby
from harm and nurture them to ensure survival to maturity.…read more

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Most evidence suggests that early attachments do affect child later on in life
His idea of monotropy has been challenged and multiple attachments may be the rule
rather than single and unique attachments.
Learning Theory
Learning theory argues that attachments are based on the principles of operant and
classical conditioning.
Operant Conditioning
Worked with rats and cats
Placed hungry animals in boxes called Skinner's boxes.…read more

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Parent learns to do this as this stops baby crying and therefore positive
This is a perfect system as both caregiver and baby receive something
positive in return and therefore positive reinforcement.
Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning is based on learning through association. Refer back to Pavlov's
experiment (on dogs in first unit).
In terms of attachment, milk is an unconditioned reflex, babies receive pleasure from no
longer being hungry. This is automatic and does not need to be learned.…read more

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Ethical Issues
Monkeys deprived of their mothers and they may never be able to form a bond with her.
Monkeys locked up in a cage and experimented on very stressful etc.
Social learning explanations
Hay and Vespo attempt to learn on how social learning affects attachments etc. They
argue that parents act as role models for their infants and teach them to how to
understand and carry out relationships by their own actions of looking after the child.…read more

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Disruption of attachment
Discuss the effects of separation
Discuss the effects of privation
Discuss the effects of Institutionalisation…read more


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