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  • Created by: hannahr
  • Created on: 26-04-16 12:22
Strong, enduring emotional bond that is reciprocated. Between 2 people e.g. infant and caregiver.
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Four characteristics of Attachment
Seeking proximity, distress when apart, pleasure when reunited and frequent contact.
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Learning Theory - Who and What?
Dollard and Miller - based on the principle of classical and operant conditioning.
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Classical Conditioning
Learning through association
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Operant Conditioning
Learning through reinforcement
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Harlow and Harlow
Investigated if children choose food over comfort. Used monkeys, putting them in a cage with 2 'mothers'(made of metal frames), one provided food and one provided comfort. Monkeys put in uncomfortable situations to see how they reacted.
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Harlow and Harlow Findings
Found that monkeys preferred comfort, shows that attachment isn't just based on food.
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Harlow and Harlow Evaluation -Negative
Can't be generalized to humans, unethical to cause emotional distress to monkeys, monkeys treated as outcasts when returned to other monkeys-psychological harm, lacks E.V. not a real life situation.
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Harlow and Harlow Evaluation -Positive
Reduced chance of demand characteristics as the animals don't know how to behave how the experimenter wants, Use of lab experiment reduces possibility of extraneous variables -more control.
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Evaluation of Learning Theory
Reductionist- oversimplifies human behaviour.
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Bowlby's Theory- Innate Programming
Innate Programming- attachment can be explained through evolution, infants and parents are innately programmed to attach.
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Bowlby's Theory- Critical Period
Attachment must be formed in the first 2.5 years or not at all.
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Bowlby's Theory- Continuity Hypothesis
relationships with primary caregiver (monotropy) provides infant with an internal working model of relationships. Early attachment patterns are related to later characteristics.
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Critical Period Research- Rutter et al.
Observed romanian orphans, adopted before and after 6 months. Those adopted before 6 months developed normal attachments, those after 6 months formed disinhibited relationships.
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Rutter et al. - Evaluation
Negative- only romanian = cant generalise to whole pop., failure to inform how long after 6 months so we cant determine if 2.5 years is the critical period.
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Continuity Hypothesis Research- Sroufe
Longitudinal Study- followed children for 12 months to adolescence. Throughout the children were rated by teachers, observers and counsellors. Those rated as securely attached as infants= more popular, high self esteem and confidence when older.
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Sroufe - Evaluation
Negative- subjective using ratings reducing reliability of results, being observed over a long period may lead to children showing demand characteristics. Positive- longitudinal allows a lot of info to be gathered, supports continuity hypothesis.
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Continuity Hypothesis Research- Lorenz
Study based on imprinting. Observed newly hatched ducks/geese, they became socially bonded to the first moving object they encountered, started following him. Even in maturity they tried to court/mate humans. Irreversible bond.
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Lorenz Evaluation
Negative- study is based around geese cant be generalised to humans =less reliable. Geese have a 17hr critical period, significantly shorter than humans, would need to be longitudinal for human study.
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Bowlby's Theory Evaluation
Negative- Reductionist, not all attachment formed in 2.5yrs, critical period should be renamed sensitive period. Temperament Hypothesis=some children easier to form attachments with,too simplistic assuming all children are the same. Reductionist.
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Bowlby's Theory Evaluation- Research
Schaffer and Emerson- Glasgow Babies. 60 infants, observed every month up to 1, returned at 18months. Mother interviewed about attachment. found 87% attached to more than one parent (not monotropy) & attachments were formed between 6-8months.
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Schaffer and Emerson Evaluation
small sample size & all Glasgow babies- can't generalize, subjective as it was observational, possible observer bias = reduced reliability(use inter-rater reliability), field study = less chance of child acting differently, increased validity.
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Strange Situation
Ainsworth- investigating quality of attachment between caregiver and child. 106 american infants. Found 3 attachment types:66% securely attached, 22% avoidant insecure, 12% resistant insecure.
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Securely Attached
child would explore, subdued when mother left, greeted her positively when she returned, moderate avoidance of stranger, mothers were sensitive.
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Avoidant Insecure
child didn't orientate to mother, wasn't concerned by her absence, showed little interest when she returned, avoided the stranger, mother sometimes ignored infant
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Resistant Insecure
intense distress, especially when mother was absent, rejected mother when she returned, showed ambivalent behaviour towards the stranger- similar pattern of interest and resistance shown with mother. mother behaved ambivalently towards infant.
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Strange Situation Evaluation
cant generalise- all american. High E.V. Allows us to assess how children are attached to parents and how it affects later life. ethical issues- distress to baby(emotional harm). Didn't show all attachment- later study showed Disorganized attachment
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Individualist Culture
concerned with personal independence & achievement
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Collectivist Culture
concerned with the needs of group and interdependence
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tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important & that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own.
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Japanese Culture
children rarely left alone or in strange care - in strange situation they would be highly distressed
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German Culture
children taught to be independant from an early age - wouldn't be as bothered in strange situation
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Israeli Culture
children grow up in Kibbutz, family relationships are importants- also would be distressed in strange situation
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considered whether strange situation would be valid for other cultures. 60 middle class japanese infants. 68% securely attached, No avoidant-insecure, 32% resistant insecure. Infant alone step was stopped for 90% of infants because of distress.
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Takahashi Evaluation
there are cross cultural variations in how infants respond, strange situation doesn't have the same meaning for japanese as it does for Americans. Ethical Issue of emotional harm. Limited sample- can't generalise. not reliable,different results found
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Universal Monotropy
For: Tronic- even when infants were fed by others, they still preferred mother. Against: Thomas- several attachments are healthy for a child.
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Seeking proximity, distress when apart, pleasure when reunited and frequent contact.


Four characteristics of Attachment

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Dollard and Miller - based on the principle of classical and operant conditioning.


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Card 4


Learning through association


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Card 5


Learning through reinforcement


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