Psychology AS - Developmental Studies

APFCC of Studies for Psychology AS

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Konrad Lorenz - Evolutionary Theory

Aim:

  • To prove that animals had an innate ability to recognise a caregiver when first born - imprinting.
  • Support Lorenz's theory of the critical period - early in life when imprinting occurs.
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Konrad Lorenz - Evolutionary Theory

Procedure:

  • Hatched goose eggs in an incubator.
  • Showed goslings with various objects for different amounts of time.
  • Mixed goslings with others: Group (1) Goslings imprinted on a mother goose. Group (2) Goslings not imprinted on anything.
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Konrad Lorenz - Evolutionary Theory

Findings:

  • Goslings had tendency to imprint on first large moving object that they saw for 10 minutes or more.
  • When the groups were mixed in a pen, then released. Goslings (1) Went straight to the mother goose. Goslings (2) Wandered around, seemingly without purpose.
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Konrad Lorenz - Evolutionary Theory

Conclusions:

  • Imprinting had to occur within the first 36 hours of life.
  • Effects of imprinting are irreversible.
  • Outside of critical period, imprinting would not work.
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Konrad Lorenz - Evolutionary Theory

Criticisms:

  • Sensitive period preferred to Critical period due to imprinting occuring outisde of this time. Sluckin - young birds hatched then kept in isolation showed critical period can be extended.
  • Imprinting not permanent - Kendrick et al - sheep and goats cross fostered at birth, behaviours grow to resemble those of foster species. However, not permanent as females in mixed flocks preferred their own species.
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Harry Harlow - Evolutionary Theory

Aim:

  • Show importance of early attachment types.
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Harry Harlow - Evolutionary Theory

Procedures:

  • Removed infant monkeys from mothers soon after birth.
  • Kept in cages with two artificial 'mothers'.
  • Mothers were: both wire models but (#1) covered in cloth and (#2) a teet with milk.

- 2 groups of monkeys: (A) Almost total isolation, allowed 20 mins with other monkeys.

(B) Not allowed at all with other monkeys.

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Harry Harlow - Evolutionary Theory

Findings:

  • Monkeys became quite attached to the cloth 'mother', using it as security when stressed or just for comfort.
  • Preferred to spend all their time cloth 'mother', only switching to the other 'mother' for food.
  • Long term consequences: - Developed into timed, fearful, clumsy adult monkeys.

- Unsucessful during mating.

- Females lacked parenting skills, often behaving cruelly to their offspring.

Although: Group (A) - appeared to grow up like normal monkeys.

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Harry Harlow - Evolutionary Theory

Conclusions:

  • Behaviours of the monkeys was due to being deprived of maternal care = maternal deprivation.
  • May not have just been maternal deprivation it may also have been due to social deprivation (deprivation of the company of others of the same species), due to findings of (B).
  • Monkeys need physical contact with a live, affectionate caregiver during critical period. To develop normal social and emotional skills, also contact with other monkeys limits the negative effects of deprivation.
  • If they did not attach during the critical period, then there would be permanent social and emotional damage to the monkey.
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Harry Harlow - Evolutionary Theory

Criticisms:

  • The monkeys had not experienced deprivation, they had experienced privation because they never had any maternal care at all.
  • Did not distinguish between type of contact. Fox - not the quantity of contact but the type of contact. Israeli children who have most contact with their nurse but still have the strongest attachment with their mother.
  • Use of monkeys - different to humans in terms of evolution, therefore it is debatable whether the findings can be generalised to humans.

Positives:

  • Klaus and Kennel - support contact comfort to be important. They found mothers in hospital who were given more time with their new born babies developed a stronger attachment. Compared to those who had shorter time.
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