Psychology Unit 1 Revision

AQA Psychology A Unit 1 Revision

- Developmental Psychology - Attachment

- Cognitive Psychology - Memory


Attachment Formation

Attachment Definition:- a strong emotional bond shared between two people, it is a two way process which endures over time.

Attachment Behaviours:-  Maccoby, Schaffer & Emerson (1964)

Maccoby Attachment behaviours:- Joy on reunion, seeking proximity, distress on separation, orientation towards attachment figure.

Schaffer & Emerson (1964) Glasgow Babies:-

  • Observed 60 working class babies from birth
  • Longitudinal study - 1 year
  • Observed separation anxiety and stranger distress
  • Observed babies using a four point scale and interviewed mothers
  • Most babies formed primary attachment around ages 7 months
  • Formed multiple attachments 1 month after first attachment formed
  • Responsiveness key factor in attachment formation/strength

AO2 :-   +Study is relatively old     +Longitudinal study - more reliable  +Triangulation - used a variety of methods providing rich data     -only working class sample -cannot be generalised to all class'  +High EV as babies observed in own homes  -interviewing time consuming, demand characteristics 

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Explanations of Attachment :- Evolutionary

Evolutionary Explanations:- Bowlby

  • Attachment is adaptive:- promotes survival as it ensures safety and food
  • Critical Period:- if attachment does not form before aged 2.5 years, attachments are more difficult to form.
  • Social releasers:- e.g. crying,laughing, smiling Babies are born with cute faces and use social releasers which elicit caregiving promoting their survival.
  • Quality of care over quantity:- Ainsworth (1974)  proposed caregiving sensitivity hypothesis - responsive mothers = secure attachment
  • Monotropy:- one attachment is more significant than the rest 
  • Internal Working Model:- Babies internalise their experiences of attachment to create a model which generates expectations of other relationships (Hazan & Shaver)

AO2:-    -Schaffer & Emerson found multiple attachments are normal, going against Bowlby's theory of monotropy   +Hazan & Shaver found strong relationship between adult attachment type and childhood attachment type  - Main & Goldwyn proposed 'earned security', although person had difficult childhood, positive adult relationships formed  -Ignores learning theory, oversimplified, reductionist  +Influenced care of children  +Cannot be proven wrong  -Critical period concept too strong, 'sensitive period' more appropriate  -IWM alternative explanations, 'temperamental hypothesis' some babies may be better at forming attachments

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Attachment Types

This research was pioneered by Mary Ainsworth & The Strange Situation

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Thanks for including A02 points!! :D

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