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What is an attachment?
An attachment is a strong emotional bond
between people. It is especially apparent in
infants and their caregivers.
The three signs that show an infant has an
attachment is that they:
Seek proximity.
When care giver is not around they show signs of
separation anxiety.
When reunited they are joyous on reunion.…read more

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The ethological approach
Ethology is the study of animals in their natural
environment.
Lorenz (1935) found that geese automatically attach to
the first moving thing they see. He called this
imprinting.
Lorenz got some geese to imprint to him instead of
their mother.
He concluded that imprinting takes place in a critical
period, in the case of geese right after hatching. It is a
fast and automatic process.
This is unlikely to occur in humans, human
attachments take longer to form and seem to be based
more on the quality of car being given.…read more

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Imprinting in humans
Klaus and Kennell (1976) argued that there is a sensitive period
immediately after birth in which bonding can occur through skin-to-
skin contact (thus being called the skin-to-skin hypothesis) To test
this they arranged for a group of mothers to have extra contact time
with their newborn babies, including skin-to-skin contact. A year later
these infants and mothers had stronger attachments. However,
Goldberg (1983) reviewed a number of studies and concluded that
the effects of early contact are neither large or long lasting.
Evaluation: There is some question as to whether imprinting is any
different from learning in general. This suggests that it is a
superfluous concept.
Using the concept of sensitive rather than critical period means that
learning can actually occur at any time, though perhaps less easily.…read more

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Schaffer and Emerson (1964)
They studied 60 babies in Glasgow and visited them
monthly and then again a 18 mnths.
They were collecting data on attatchment and
considered two things:
Separation anxiety (because this indicates attachment)
Stranger distress (this shows that a baby can recognise
familiar people and feel anxious about people the don't
recognise)
How they collected data; interviews and observation
They used four point scales during observation.…read more

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Schaffer and Emerson (1964)
cont
Conclusion:
They said that the formation of attachments was
loosely linked to age. And that babies showed
separation anxiety around 6-8 months and stranger
distress a month later.
65% of the babies first attachment was their mother.
This was probably to do with the time in which this
study took place (most mothers stayed at home caring
for children).
27% formed joint attachment i.e. to mother and father.
Babies didn't necessarily form attachments to the
people who gave them the most physical care, only
40% in fact.…read more

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