Psychology tasks


Schaffer and Emerson (1964)

60 babies were recorded for the first 18 months of their lives. Stranger anxiety, separation anxiety and social referencing were recorded in a diary by the mother. They found that: during the first 6 weeks, they are Asocial, where they are both social to everyone and not social to anyone. From 6 weeks to 7 months, Indiscriminate Attachments take place, where they respond to all caregivers. From 7 months to 9 months they begin forming Specific attachments, this is also when Stranger anxiety and separation anxiety start happening. 10 months and onwards, they form multiple attachments.

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ICED eval Schaffer and Emerson

:( - Population Vaildity

:( - Historrically biased

:( - evaluation apprehension

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Difference between mother and fathers

mothers provide nurture, affection and emotional care. They are a source of comfort when distressed and take care of caretaking activities. They also take care of education and imaginative play. They support children in their emotional, social and cognitive development.

Fathers provide active, physically stimulating, rough and tumble play, such as chasing wrestling and swinging. This supports infants in the development of their confidence and their ability to assess risks.

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ICED eval role of the father

:) - The attachment with the father is important. Strong evidence. Verissino.

:) - The attachment with the father is FUN. Strong evidence. Geiger.

:) - Evidence to suggest Fathers respond to their infants differently to mothers. Hrdy.

:) - Also evidence to suggest fathers can form a secure attachment. Belsky et al.

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Differences between reciprocity and interactional

Reciprocity: Turn-taking. Refers to the process in which a behaviour is responded to with a corresponding action. Infants coordinate their behaviours with their caregivers. Babies move in rhythm when interaction, like taking turns. 

Interactional synchrony: Simultaneous action. Baby and parent's behaviour are synchronised. Infants imitate specific facial and hand gestures to mirror their caregiver. This includes mirroring emotion. Babies are in synchrony with their caregivers.

Evidence for reciprocity: Papousek et al. Parents in China, America and Germany all use the 'higher tone' to show an infant it was their turn in the interaction. suggests a shared sense of timing.

Evidence for reciprocity: Condon and Sander. Micro sequences, Infants coordinated their actions with their primary attachment figure in 87% of their interactions. Shared sense of timing.

Evidence for Interactional synchrony: Melzoff and Moore. Infants aged 2-3 weeks mimicked 3 adult facial expressions and one hand movement. Imitation may be an innate ability to aid the formation of attachments.

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ICED eval Reciprocity and Interactional Synchrony

:) - Low experimenter bias

   - Highly controlled, Micro-sequenced.

:( - Low test re-test reliability

   - cannot be remade so the consistency can be checked.

   - Koepke found no evidence when remaking the experiment.

:( - Unfalsifiable

:( - Individual difference.

   - Isabella found that the stronger the attachment, the greater the interactional synchrony.

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Secondary Drive Theory

Before conditioning = Food, UCS (primary drive) -> Baby (Pleasure), UCR

During Conditioning = Primary Caregiver, NS + Food, UCS -> Baby, UCR

After Conditioning = Primary caregiver, CS (Secondary drive) -> Baby (Pleasure), CR

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Harlow (1959)

Infant monkeys were taken from their mothers at birth. They were placed in a cage with 2 'mock-mother monkeys.' 1. A wire mock mother (can give milk). 2. A cloth mock mother (can provide comfort).

They spent time with each mock mother and their behaviour was recorded when they were deliberately frightened by a toy drumming bear placed in the cage. Learning theory predicts they would want to spend more time with the wire mock mother as it can give food.

They found that the monkeys spent 17-18 hours per day clinging to their cloth mock mother and only an hour with the wire monkey. When distressed they sought the cloth mock mother.

Evidence against learning theory as an explanation of attachments. 

Evidence for the importance of contact comfort in the development of attachments.

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ICED eval Harlow

:( - Experimenter bias

:( - Low control over extranous and confounding variables

   - Took place in an artificial setting

:) - Practical applications

   - Profound for childcare. Infants need comfort to grow up properly.

:( - Psychological Harm

   - The monkeys had no right to experience physical and mental distress.

   - can be justified as it made contributions to our understanding of attachments.

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Before hatching, Graylag Geese Eggs were divided into 3 conditions. One group had a mother, one had Lorenz and one had neither.

After hatching: 

 - the ones with a mother followed their mother 

 - the ones with Lorenz followed Lorenz

 - the ones in isolation did not follow anyone or anything and this carried on even after the mother       was introduced.

 - this only happened in the first 20 hours after hatching.

The geese imprinted on whoever was close once hatching. It's an innate reaction.

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ICED eval Lorenz

:( - Experimentor bias

:( - Confounding and extraneous variables

   - it all took place in a natural environment, meaning Lorenz couldn't control a lot of the variables.

:( - Physical harm.

   - ones that did not imprint, could not survive in the wild.

   - could be justified as it was helpful.

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Attachments have evolved

The ability to form an attachment is innate and has evolved through natural selection as it aids survival. 

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social releases

Social releasers are innate infant behaviours, such as smiling or crying, that cause the primary caregiver to respond.

Primary caregivers who respond sensitively help create a secure internal working model.

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An infant will form one attachment that is more important than all others.

Monotropy occurs with the primary caregiver - the person who cares for the infant the most.

The quality of this relationship shapes an infant's internal working model.

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Internal working model

The internal working model is a part conscious, part unconscious set of rules and expectations about relationships based upon the relationship experiences with the primary attachment figure.

It is a cognitive blueprint (mental instructions) for how to carry out a relationship.

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Critical period

The internal working develops during a critical period (approximately 2 1/2 years from birth.)

If an attachment is not formed, an infant will experience permanent emotional damage and lasting relationship difficulties into adulthood.

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ICED eval Bowlby's Monotropic Theory P1

Attachments have evolved:

:) - Considers both nature and nurture

:( - Unfalsifiable


:) - Supporting evidence

   - Schaffer and Emmerson's study. 65% of babies had an attachment to a primary caregiver.

:( Reductionist

Internal Working Model

:( - Unfalsifiable

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ICED eval Bowlby's Monotropic Theory P2

Critical Period 

:) - Supporting evidence

   - Lorenz's study with geese

:( - Reductionist

   - Rutter suggested we have a sensitive period where we can form an attachment, but it is just           harder.

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