HideShow resource information


Reciprocity - the infant and elder coordinate in line with one another as it helps to establish trust.

International Synchrony - showed that a baby would copy their parents from as little as 3 day's old showing how it's an innate quality and not something learnt.

Schaffer and Emmerson (1964) - developed a stage theory of attachment. Arguing that infants go through a number of stages:

Birth-2 months : Indiscriminate attachment : similar response to all objects : Show a greater preference for people towards 2 months.

2-4 months : Beginnings of attachment : Infant seeks attention from a number of individuals, content when receiving attention from them. No stanger anxiety.

4-7 months : Discriminate attachment : Infant develops a strong attachment to one individual, show's seperation anxiety & stanger anxiety.

7-9 months : Multiple attachment stage : Baby forms strong emotinal ties & non-caregivers such as siblings/other children = secondary attachments.

1 of 6

Animal Studies of Attachment

Harlow and Harlow - conducted a study on infant monkeys.

-The monkeys were placed in a cage with two wire mesh cylinders.

   - One cylinder was bare and provided the monkey with milk from a teat.

   - The other cylinder was covered in towelling providing the monkey with comfort.

-Monkeys spent most of their time on the towelling covered cylinder : they would also jump on the towelling covered cylinder when frightened = attachment behaviour.

-However the towelling-covered mother did not provide love to enable healthy psychological development. As a result of this: 

    - There were serious effects on the monkeys : indifferent or abusive to other monkeys. 

-The infants needed a responsive carer.

2 of 6

Animal Studies of Attachment


-Lorenz took half a group of gosling eggs from their mother and hatched them in his incubator.

-The first moving living they saw when they hatched was him.

-They followed him everywhere. 

-He tested this imprinting by putting them with other goslings who had hatched with their mother.

-They showed no interest in their mother.

-A critical period in which impriniting may occur - two days : long lasting effects.

3 of 6

Learning Theory

-Much of our behaviour is the result of learning.

-Learning occurs through classical and operant conditioning. 

Classical conditioning : when we associate a reflex response with an alternative stimulus.

Operant conditioning : explains behaviour as being determined by consequences.

                                - Pleasent consequence ( reward = positive reinforcement).

                                - Unpleasent consequence ( removal of hunger = negative reinforcement).

-Unpleasent consequences decrease behaviour.

4 of 6

Classical Conditioning

-Babies are born with a set of reflex responses.

-2 of the reflexes are : hunger & satisfaction.

-When the baby is hungry the mother provides the food and the baby feels satisfaction.

-The feeling of satisfaction becomes associated with the mother.

-After a while the food is not necessary, and the association of pleasure is with the mother herself.

5 of 6

Operant Conditioning

-Operant conditioning is through reinforcing behaviour, either through

    -A reward.

    -An unpleasent consequence

    -Through punishment then behaviour will be learned.

Dollard and Miller

-We have drive states: they motivate behaviour to reduce the drive. Eg A infant cries, the consequence is that it will be fed and the hunger goes away.

-Stimuli associated with drive reduction are known as secondary reinforcers

-Attachment occurs because the attachment figure is associated with the avoidance of discomfort & reward.

6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Attachment resources »