Animal studies of attachment

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  • Created by: Gottowork
  • Created on: 12-05-16 19:23
Which two researchers carried out animal studies?
Lorenz and Harlow
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What did Lorenz do?
Halve a clutch of goose eggs, half hatched with mother in natural environment, half hatched so Lorenz was first moving object
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What did Lorenz find?
Incubator group followed Lorenz everywhere, control group followed mother, even when two were mixed
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What is imprinting, and what does Lorenz suggest is the critical period for it to happen in?
Bird species that are mobile from birth attach to and follow the first moving object they see - critical period a few hours. If not, didn't attach to mother figure
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What is sexual imprinting? Give me an example.
Birds that imprinted on a human would later display courtship behaviour towards humans - peacock and giant tortoises
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What is a problem with Lorenz's study?
Problem in generalising - mammalian attachment system quite different than birds, e.g. more emotional attachment
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Why have some of Lorenz's observations been questioned?
E.g. imprinting has permanent effect on mating behaviour - Guiton et al. found chickens who imprinted on yellow washing up gloves would try to mate, but learn to prefer mating with other chickens - so not as permanent as Lorenz believed
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What did Harlow do?
Wanted to find out if cupboard love was important, got 16 rhesus monkeys - two wire mothers, milk dispensed by either plain or cloth in two conditions
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What did Harlow find?
Monkeys cuddled soft object rather than wire one when frightened, whether milk or not. 'Contact comfort' more important than cupboard love
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What did Harlow et al. find out when they follow up the monkeys?
Severe consequences - more aggressive, less sociable, unskilled at mating, some mothers even attacked their children
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What did Harlow say was the critical period, and the effects of it?
90 days - after this time attachment was impossible, damage done irreversible
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Why are there ethical issues with Harlow's study?
Monkeys suffered greatly, similar enough to humans to generalise so suffering was human-like. Harlow aware - referred to wire mothers as 'iron maidens' (medieval torture device). Important enough to justify effects
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Why does Harlow's study have practical value?
Important applications - helped social workers understand risk factors in child neglect + abuse so prevent it. Also zoos - importance of proper attachment figures, breeding programmes in the wild
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Why does Harlow's study have theoretical value?
Profound effect on understanding of human mother-infant attachment, attachment doesn't develop from being fed but from 'contact comfort' importance of early relationships for later social development e.g. rearing children successfully
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What did Lorenz do?

Back

Halve a clutch of goose eggs, half hatched with mother in natural environment, half hatched so Lorenz was first moving object

Card 3

Front

What did Lorenz find?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is imprinting, and what does Lorenz suggest is the critical period for it to happen in?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is sexual imprinting? Give me an example.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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