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Social Development

-Early relationships

Attachment is a long-lasting, emotionally meaningful bond to a specific individual.

Schaffer and Emerson

Aim: Investigating the number of attachments infants can form.

Method: In a longitudinal study, 60 Scottish infants in Glasgow were observed while their
mothers were interviewed during the first 18 month after…

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Condon & Sander

Interaction synchrony:

When babies and care-giver take turns in communicating with each other.

Isabella found that securely attached mother-infant pairs were those who had shown more
instances of interactional synchrony during observation at home.

Snow & Ferguson


High pitched repetitive, short and simple sentences to communicate…

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to imitate human behaviour even when objects were also used to stimulate many
human expressions.

Animal research

Human and animals are similar as both have a need for early social interaction. Darwin argues
that human have evolved and turned into more complex beings. Regardless, characteristics
are shared between human and…

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Functions of attachment

Cupboard love: Babies attach for food.

Proximity: Keeping close to mother enables us to survive.

Internal working model: Early relationships act as a model for future relationships.

Communication: Babies attach to those who can best communicate with them.

Evaluations of Functions of Attachment

Cupboard love: Harlow study…

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Behaviourists perspective in psychology (rewarding behaviour is repeated)

Measuring Attachment


The strange situation:

Aim: Investigating the types of attachments in the strange situation.

Method: In a controlled observation, babies were left to play with their mother in the same
room. Later a stranger entered the room, soon after the…

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Bremner argues if securely attached babies are often happy to explore the
environment, they can in fact have an insecure attachment rather than secure, since they
are not exactly seeking proximity
Belsky argues that Ainsworth focused too much on the mother responsiveness to
measure babies' attachment, other factors such as…

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As the questions are open, it can be harder to simplify the results into a particular
Ethical issues need to be considered as some adults may have had bad childhood
experience, hence they may feel periods of distress during the interview-nonetheless
informed consent can be gained from these adults…

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Rutter concluded that Romanian children were able to overcome the severe effects of
privation only if they were adopted before reaching the age of 6 months.
The case study of Genie suggests that privation consequences cannot be overcome
after puberty. Although there are other factors that may have contributed to…

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underdevelopment as the British children were also separated from mother but not
underdeveloped, the institution children are raised in also plays a role

Evaluating Rutter's study:

Studying the effects of privation is difficult due to ethical issues; hence previous research
is based on animal and case studies. The situation of…

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Main concluded that parents who were neglected by their parents during childhood were
also likely to neglect their own children, as Bowlby suggested one of the functions of
attachment in Internal working model that shapes future relationships.
Bowlby concluded that maternal deprivation during the critical period of the first two…


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