What is attachment?
Attachment is close two-way emotional bond between two individuals in which each individual see the other as essential for their own emotional security.
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what is reciprocity?
Reciprocity is responding to the action of another with an action where the actions of one partner elicit a response from the other partner. The responses are not necessarily similar as in interactional synchrony
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How do babies display reciprocity?
The infant produces innate signals from birth (crying, clinging, smiling, or sucking) that bring others to his/her side and the infant is comforted by these interactions.

The regularity of an infant’s signals allows a caregiver to anticipate the infant’s
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How did the babies respond to the still face experiment?
The importance of reciprocity in caregiver-infant interactions is demonstrated in Still Face Experiments (e.g. Tronick et al, 1978), infants:
Smile less
Avert their gaze
Heart rates change in ways that indicate arousal
Some infants fuss or cry
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what does the still face experiment show about babies?
Babies expect reciprocity
It also shows that very young infants already have several basic building blocks of social cognition in place. It suggests that they have some sense of the relationship between facial expression and emotion, that they have some
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what did Schaffer and Emerson find?
studied 60 babies (31 male, 29 female) from skilled Glaswegian working class families. visited at home every month for the first year and then at 18 months. The researchers asked the mother about the kind of protest shown by the babies in 7 types of ever
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How did Schaffer and Emerson and the still face experiment prove the reciprocity theory?
These studies suggest that not only do babies actively engage in reciprocal behaviour but that it is also essential in forming a secure attachment bond. Furthermore, as young babies engage in reciprocity it suggests it is an innate behaviour.
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what is interactional synchrony?
Interactional Synchrony: when two people interact they tend to mirror what the other is doing in terms of their facial and body movements. This includes imitating emotions as well as behaviours. This is described as a synchrony – when two (or more) things
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what did Meltzolf and Moore find about interactional synchrony?
found that infants as young as 2-3 weeks old imitated specific facial and hand gestures.
An adult model displayed 1 of 3 facial expressions or hand-movements
A dummy was placed in the infants mouth during the display to prevent a response.
The dummy was
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what did Meltzoff and Moore's follow up study suggest?
In a follow up study. Meltzoff and Moore (1983) demonstrated interactional synchrony in infants only 3 days old. This suggests it is an innate behaviour.
Meltzoff and Moore also propose that the behaviour is intentional on the part of the infant, not just
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why are there doubts about testing infant behaviour
There are doubts about the reliability of testing infants’ behaviour.
Infants’ mouths are in fairly constant motion and the expressions that are tested occur frequently (e.g. sticking tongue out, yawning). This makes it difficult to distinguish between ge
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How did Meltzoff and Moore combat the doubts?
However, to overcome these difficulties, Meltzoff and Moore measured infants’ responses by filming infants and asking an observer to judge the infants behaviour from the film. It was double blind procedure as the observer did not know the behaviour that w
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how does Isabella et al support interactional synchrony?
Interactional synchrony is believed to important in the development of attachment. Supported by Isabella et al (1989) – observed 30 mothers and infants and assessed the degree of synchrony and the quality of mother-infant attachment. They found higher l
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what are Schaffer's 4 stages of attachment?
Asocial stage
Indiscriminate attachment
Specific attachments
Multiple attachments
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what is the asocial stage?
0 to 8 weeks
Babies respond to inanimate objects and humans in similar ways.
Towards the end of this period, they show a preference for social stimuli (e.g smiling face) and people.
During this time reciprocity and interactional synchrony play in a role i
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what is the indiscriminate stage?
2 to 7 months
Happiest when receiving attention - show sociability
Prefer people to inanimate objects
Can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar people
Can be relatively easily comforted by anyone and do not yet show separation or stranger anxiety
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what is the specific attachment stage?
Around 7 months
Attachment to 1 person - stranger anxiety & separation protest. Also show joy at reunion with that person
65% first specific attachment to mother (primary attachment figure)
30% mother joint first object of attachment
3% first specific att
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what is the multiple attachment stage
Around 1 month after forming a specific attachment.
In Schaffer & Emerson’s study, 29% of infants had secondary attachments 1 month after forming a specific attachment. Infants also show separation anxiety towards these people.
By 1 year old, majority of
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what study supports the stages of attachment?
shaffer and emerson
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how can you evualuate shaffer and emerson study?
High in ecological validity as a naturalistic observation with few variables manipulated to see the effect on the baby. This should result in the infants behaving naturally when being observed – and therefore you are observing real-life behaviour that ca
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Data from separation anxiety was collected from the mother’s themselves, this may have challenged the validity of the data collected because it required the mothers to be objective and honest. Some mothers may have been less sensitive to their infant’s
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It can be challenged in terms of population and temporal (historical) validity because the sample was of a very specific social group – Glaswegian working class families and so the finding might apply to this social group along – and could be argued to be
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This study was a longitudinal design – this seen to have an advantage of higher internal-validity over a cross-sectional design because the same children were observed and followed up rather than comparing different children of different ages. This means
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how does Bushnell et al challenged S&E
A challenge to this theory is that babies may not be asocial, e.g. Infants show preference for mothers face within 24 hours of birth (Bushnell et al, 1989). Therefore infants may have stronger preferences than Shaffer and others allow for.
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what disputes are there of multiple attachments?
Bowlby’s monotropic theory and research said that infants had one main attachment figure first and then a hierarchy of secondary attachments formed afterwards.
Schaffer & Emerson were consistent with Bowlby to a limited extent with 68% of children formin
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what disputes are there of multiple attachments?
Rutter (1995) believes that all attachment figures are integrated to form an infants’ attachment type. This means that there is conflicting evidence about how and when multiple attachments form.
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Why is measuring multiple attachments hard?
Measuring multiple attachments can be difficult, just because an infant becomes distressed when someone leaves the room, does not mean they are attached to them, for example it is not unusual for an infant to be distressed with a playmate leaves them. Th
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why is there issues with linking attachment to ages?
Ugandan children show stranger anxiety earlier at about 6 months and also begin crawling earlier (Ainsworth, 1967). Correlation between attachment and mobility makes evolutionary sense as the attachment bond serves the purpose from an evolutionary point
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what did Schaffer and Emerson find about the role of the father?
Schaffer and Emerson found that fathers far less likely to be the primary attachment figure (3% primary and 27% joint first object) vs. 65% primary attachment to mother.
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what did Heermann et al find about the role of the father?
There is some evidence that men are less sensitive to infant cues (Heermann et al 1994)
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what did Grossman find about the role of the father? (and how can this be used as AO3)
Grossman (2002) carried out a longitudinal study of parents behaviour and the quality of their children’s attachment in their teens. Found quality of attachment to mother only was related to children’s attachment in adolescence – suggests role of the ra
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what did field find for the role of the father
Primary caregiver fathers, like mothers, spent more time smiling, imitating and holding infants than secondary caregiver fathers. This behaviour appears to be important in building an attachment in infants. It appears then that fathers can be the nurtur
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why are fathers not the primary attachment figure?
The research suggests fathers can be primary attachment figures but, perhaps due to societal expectations and practical reasons, do not typically fulfil this role.
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what did Schaffer and Emerson say about the role of the father as secondary attachment?
fathers have an important role as secondary attachment figures. Research has shown then to be more playful, physically active and better at providing challenging situations
75% of infants formed an attachment with their father by 18 months
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what did Lorenz do?
Lorenz (1935) took goose eggs and divided them into two groups.
One group he left with their natural mother, the other he placed in an incubator.
When the incubator eggs hatched, the first living and moving thing the goslings saw was Lorenz and they so
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what did Lorenz find?
The goslings divided themselves up, with the incubator group following Lorenz around and the other group the mother.
The incubator group showed no recognition of the natural mother. The incubator group had imprinted on Lorenz.
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what else did Lorenz find
Lorenz noted that imprinted is restricted to a very definite period of a young animal’s life - the critical period. If an animal is not exposed to a moving object during this time, it will not imprint.
Lorenz noted that imprinting on humans does not occu
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what did Lorenz find about imprinting on mate preference?
He found that imprinting had an effect on mate preferences, called sexual imprinting. Animals (especially birds) will try and mate with the same kind of object they imprinted on.
He also noted that imprinting was irreversible and long-lasting.
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what was guiton's study?
Guiton (1966) found that leghorn chicks exposed to yellow rubber gloves for feeding them during the first few weeks became imprinted on the yellow gloves. He also found they later tried to mate with the gloves.
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how does guiton support Lorenz?
This supports the idea that young animals are not born with a predisposition to imprint on a specific type of object (e.g. their own species) but probably any moving thing during this critical period of development. It also supports Lorenz’s idea of sexua
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Harlow's research into animal attatchment?
Harlow (1959) showed attachment is not based on supply of food. Infant monkeys placed in a cage with two wire mesh cylinders, each with a face. One was bare and the other was covered in towelling.
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what were the 2 conditions of Harlow's study?
In one condition the bare cylinder provided the baby with milk, in the other one the cloth cylinder had the milk. If food was the cause of attachment then the babies should have always clung to the cylinder that supplied the milk. Instead, they clung to t
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wqhat were the long term impacts of this study?
The cloth covered mother didn’t provide sufficient ‘love’ for healthy development. In later life, the monkeys were abusive to other monkeys and had difficulty mating and parenting. Shows that contact comfort is preferable to food comfort but not suffici
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why is Harlow's study criticised ethically?
Harlow’s study has been criticised on ethical grounds for causing distress in monkeys during the study and long-term emotional harm as the monkeys had difficulty with peer and sexual relationships
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why do some people state that Harlow's research was worth the long term damage to the monkies?
On the other hand, this study has be justified as provided a great deal of understanding in to the processes of attachment which has been useful in order to ensure better care for both human and primate infants. It also has demonstrated the importance of
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what is another criticism 0f Harlow's study?
One criticism of Harlow’s method is that there was more than one difference between the cloth-covered and bare wire monkey. The heads of the monkey’s also differed which might have acted as a confounding variable. The monkeys might have clung to the cloth
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why can you not apply Harlow's findings to humans?
Although monkeys are more similar to Humans than geese, it could be argued that you can not generalise findings from this study to humans because humans are cognitive more complex than monkeys, with a more developed frontal lobe. This means that human beh
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what study supports harlow?
However, Harlow’s findings are supported by a human study by Schaffer and Emerson (1964) who observed 60 babies from mainly working-class homes in Glasgow for about a year. They found that infants were not most attached to the person who fed them. Instead
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what do behaviourist argue about attachment?
that is learnt through operant conditioning
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how is attachments formed through classical conditioning?
food is pleasure, feeder becomes associated with food, attachment bond is formed
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what is operant conditioning?
Operant conditioning = learning through reinforcement & punishment.
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what did dollard and miller find about learning attachment through operant conditioning?
A hungry infant feels uncomfortable, and this creates a drive to reduce discomfort.
When the infant is fed, this produces feeling of pleasure (a reward) and the drive is reduced.
Food is the primary reinforcer (stamps in or reinforces the drive to eat)
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how can you evaluate behaviourist approach to attachment?
Provides adequate explanation for how attachments form as we do learn through association and reinforcement.
Although evidence suggests that it is not an association or reinforcement through being fed, it is possible that the comfort provided by a carer
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Strong evidence that feeding has nothing to do with attachment (e.g. Harlow, 1959) - ‘Cupboard love’ does not explain attachment and Lorenz – imprinting happened with no influence of food.
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Also challenged by Schaffer and Emerson (1964) who observed 60 babies from mainly working-class homes in Glasgow for about a year. They found that infants were not most attached to the person who fed them. Instead, they were attached to the person who int
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Learning theory too ‘reductionist’ and reduces complex human behaviour to oversimplified ideas – a simple learned response and ignores other factors associated with the quality of attachment including developing reciprocity and good levels of interactiona
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what does the M in Massicc mean?
Infants form a primary attachment (called Monotropy) towards the person who responds most sensitively to them (‘sensitivity hypothesis’). Secondary attachments form a hierarchy of attachments
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what does the A in MASSICC mean?
Attachments are Adaptive and innate.
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what does the first s in Massicc mean?
Babies have Social releasers (physical & behavioural), ‘unlock’ the innate
tendency of adults to care for them
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what does the second s in Massicc mean?
Attachment important for protection – acts as Secure base from which to explore the world
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what does the I in Massicc mean?
The infant forms a mental schema for relationships (Internal working model.) All the child’s future adult relationships will be based on this.
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what does the first C in Massicc mean?
Continuity hypothesis : there is consistency between early emotional experiences and later relationships.
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what does the second C in Massicc mean
Critical period in which to form an attachment (about 2 years, with 3 – 6 months old believed to be especially important), Bowlby said that if this didn’t happen, the child could be damaged for life – socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physicall
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how does Schaffer and Emerson support Bowlby
study of 60 infants from Glasgow showed that most infants formed many attachments – to mothers, fathers, grandparents, and other relative and friends but most maintained one primary attachment figure, not necessarily to the person who fed them, but to the
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how does Schaffer and Emerson disprove Bowlby
There is some dispute about monotropy versus multiple attachments. Bowlby’s monotropic theory and research said that infants had one main attachment figure first and then a hierarchy of secondary attachments formed afterwards. Schaffer & Emerson’s findin
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how does Rutter support Bowlby
100 Romanian orphans at 4, 6, and 11 years old who had been brought over to Britain to be adopted. Found that, at age 11, children adopted to good families before 6 months old showed normal emotional development. Many children adopted after 6 months old
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how does Rutter disprove Bowlby?
However, evidence now suggests that a ‘sensitive’ period rather than a ‘critical’ period in which to attach would be more accurate. There is evidence that there is a period where a child is more likely to attach but it is possible, if less likely, outside
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how does Hazen and Shaver support Bowlby?
found that adults’ romantic attachments were closely linked to their infant attachments. Securely attached infants tended to have secure romantic attachments. Supports idea of internal working model and continuity hypothesis.
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what research group was used in the strange situation?
Middle-class American 9-18 month old infants and their mothers.
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what type of study was the strange situation?
Controlled observation of mother and child during a set of pre-determined activities (8 actions involving parent and stranger entering and leaving the room).
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what was observed and using what methiod?
Timed sampling every 15 seconds.
Separation anxiety : unease infant shows when left by caregiver
Infant’s willingness to explore
Stranger anxiety: the infant’s response to the presence of a stranger
Reunion behaviour: the way the caregiver was g
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what did Ainsworths find?
Ainsworth et al., (1978) combined data from different studies involving 106 middle-class American Infants – concluded 3 attachment types
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what are the positives of the strange situation study?
Efficient: could measure a lot of behaviours quite quickly and easily bring in lots of participants a
Easy to replicate: method has been employed in studies the world over
High reliability – 0.94 agreement between observers when rating exploratory behavi
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what are the negatives of the strange situation
Validity: location is different from infant’s normal environment so not measuring real-life behaviour. However, many infants experience new locations quite naturally e.g. with a babysitter, at play group, etc.
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what is reciprocity?


Reciprocity is responding to the action of another with an action where the actions of one partner elicit a response from the other partner. The responses are not necessarily similar as in interactional synchrony

Card 3


How do babies display reciprocity?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How did the babies respond to the still face experiment?


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Card 5


what does the still face experiment show about babies?


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