research and studies

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  • Created by: sian
  • Created on: 20-05-12 15:54


Maccoby: you can see if people have an attachment based on these 4 behaviours-1. Seeking Proximity2.Distress on seperation3.Joy on reunion4.General orientation towards each other

Van Izjendoorn & Kroonenburg Cultural Variations of the strange situation(Ainsworth+bell): Meta analysis of studies using the SS around the world. It was found that there is a consistancy across cultures and the findings were similar to ainsworth + bell's. However there were differences in Germany + Japan for example...Western Germany : 31%secure 35% avoidant and 8% resistant. The high percentage of avoidant is possible due to the upbringing of children in germany as they encouraged to explore andbe independant.* Critisism of A&B -Japan had a high percentage of 27% of resistnat insecure children possibly due to their culture of never being awayfrom their mother or primary care giver , they often never expirience seperation as the sleep , bathe + go around with their mothers, explaining the high % of resistant insecure children as they expirienced extreme distress when their mum left in the SS so they had to stop the experiment, this created a TYPE D attachment.

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Van izjendoorn & Kroonenburg

The number of studies varied in each country e.g US-15 China-1 so you cant accuratly compare them 

The results dont show how many participant were in the study. e.g the china study consisted of 36 participant which isnt generalisable to the millions of people in china.


Ethics- the infants expirienced intence anxiety= possible psychological harm

Sampling issue- they only used middle class home reared children = non generalisable.


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Learning Theory- Behaviourists

we learn through conditioning:CLASSICAL CONDITIONING-learning through associations+responce to a stimulus. The stimulus of milk (UCS) produces a response of pleasure (UCR). The primary caregiver, who provides the milk becomes associated with the milk and becomes the conditioned stimulus, then also becomes a source of pleasure which is the basis of the attachment. OPERANT CONDITIONING-learning through Positive+Negative REINFORCEMENT Dollard and Miller:In Operant conditioning we learn attachment behaviours through positive and negative reinforcement.When the infant is hungry they enter a drive state that makes them cry (a social releaser). Being fed satisfies the hunger and therefore is rewarding for the child. The primary caregiver is the source of reinforcement and an attachment bond is made

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They used 8 new born monkeys ho hadbeen seperated from their mothers and isolated in cages.

In the cages were 2 surrogate mothers made of wire. Oneof the mother waswrapped in a soft cloth + the other was just wire containing food. They monkeys spent an average of 22hours on the cloth mother

When a mechanical bear was introduced with a drum to scare the monkey , they would cling to the cloth mother opposed to the wire food giving mother. This was refered to as CONTACT COMFORT

This contradicts the learning theory that the primary attachment is with the food supplier. However we cannot EXTRAPOLATE thefindings to human beings!

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Evolutionary Theory- BOWLBY

John Bowlby proposed attachment was essencial for survival so we were born with ani nnate tendancy to form attachments.(meaning its inherited/biological) His research was influnced by Lorenz who discussed the process of imprinting of humansBowlyby's theory had 3 main componenets:

1. InnateProgramming- babaies are born with instincts (crying/smiling) that encourage their care. Parents also have innate behaviours to protect their child from harm.

2. Critical Period- If an attachment isnt formed in the first 2.5 years of a babies life then it isnt possible to do so in the future

3. Contunuity Hypothesis- The attachment with one attachment figure (MONOTROPY) gives the infant an internal working model of relationships which is then usedfor the rest of their life in future relationships. SECURE children have a positive IWM from having a sensitive caregiver. An INSECURE child have a negative IWM and exaggerate emotions to gain attention 

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is a disruption/loss of attachment which results in the breaking of emotional bonds. THE MATERNAL DEPRIVATION HYPOTHESIS(Bowlby): If an infant is unable to develop a warm continuous relationship with a maternal caregiver then they will have difficulty forming relationships with others + be at risk of behavioural disorders.  He focused on 3 areas:  1.Continuous Relationships- between mum+child as seperation can cause instablility +disrupts development.                                                                                                  

2.Critical Period: sepertation before 2.5 years can cause a child to be emotionally disturbed,after 5 years old they can cope betterwith seperation.                                                                                             

3.Maternal Caregiver: Relationships dont have tobe with the biological mother just someone with mothering behaviour as the child needs monotropy for healthy emotional development.                                 BOWLBYS 44 Thieves-44 theives (16 of thieves were affectionless psychopaths)and 44 hadnt comitted crimes (control group)+their families were interviewed to record early life expiriences. 86% of the A.P's expirienced prolonged seperation. 17%of theives had seperations+4%of control group.

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Lackof ever having an attachment or failure to form one.

HODGES +TIZARD: Longitudinal study/natural experiment/65 children in an institution whenless than 4 months old. The institution had a policy restricting staff forming an attachment with childen! By 4 years old 24 of the children were adopted, 15 returned home + the rest remained.After parent/child/teacher+peer interviews they found that the adopted children had close attachments with their parents which wasnt the case for the returners. There were similarities outside the home; both groups seeked adult attention+approval + both groups were less successful in peer relations.

Evaluation: there are other factors such as attractiveness +social ability of the child and ATTRITION (drop outs)= BIASED SAMPLE     

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Effects of Institutionalisation-

1.REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER-lack of ability to give and recieve attachment/cruelty to animals/pets/lying,stealing/lack of long term friends/ control problems.

2.DIFFICULTY MAKING FUTURE ATTACHMENTS-links to bowlbys critical period.

3.DISINHIBITED ATTACHMENT DISORDER- symptoms of attention seeking towards adults and strangers/ lack of fear of strangers/ lack of checking back to parents in stressful situations.  ..........

This was examined by RUTTER looking at romanian orphans.

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the different layouts: bigger letters, different colours etc. are really helpful as it makes you pay attention to what you're reading! helped me alot for my psychology test :)

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