Attachment- Animal Studies

  • Created by: DonaJ2002
  • Created on: 16-12-18 06:54


Lorenz looked at the case of imprinting when he was a child and a neighbour gave him a newly hatched duckling that followed him aorund.

A: To investigate imprinting mechanisms where young goslings would follow and form attachment to the first large, moving object they encounter.

P: Randomly divided a batch of goose eggs- the control group were naturally hatched with the mother goose and the experimental group was hatched in an incubator where Lorenz made sure that he was the first, large moving object they encountered. The observations were recorded. He then labelled them so that he knew if they were NH or IH. Lorenze then placed them in an upturned box and then release them. The observations were recorded.

F: After being hatched, the control gorup followed the mother goose everywhere and the experimental group followed Lorenz everywhere. After being mixed up and released, the control group went to their biological mother and the experimental group went to Lorenz.

C: This is known as imprinting- bird species that are mobile from birth attach to the first lage, moving object they encounter. Lorenz identified this as the critical period in which imprinting should occur. Depending on the species, this could be at birth or after a few hours. If imprinting doesn't occur, then they don't form an attachment with a mother figure.


P- You can't generalise Lorenz's findings to humans

E- Mammals and birds have different psychological and attachment systems for instence. 

E- Mammalian mothers show more emotional attachment to their young than birds do and mammals may be able to form attachments at any time.

L- This means that it's not appropriate to generalise Lorenz's findings to humans and therefore, this study lacks external validity (ecological validity).

P- His findings have been influential in the development of psychology

E- because the fact that imprinting is irreversible suggests that attachment formation is under biological control and that attachment formation happens in a specific time frame.

E- This is a strength becuase


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