Attachment

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  • Created by: Laelle
  • Created on: 13-05-16 10:59
What is an attachment?
A close, two way emotional bond between 2 individuals where each sees the other as essential for their emotional security
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What is reciprocity?
Interactions between the carer and infant, that results in mutual behaviour. Each person responds to and elicits a response from one another
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What is interactional synchrony?
Each person reflects the actions and emotions of the other in a coordinated and synchronised way
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Which study supports reciprocity?
Murray & Traverthen- mother were asked to adopt a frozen face + not interact. 2 m/o babies became upset and tried to draw mother back into interaction
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Which study supports interactional synchrony?
Isabella et al. Observed 30 mothers and infants and found that high levels of synchrony was associated with better quality mother-infant attachment
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What did Scaffer + Emmerson find?
Majority of infants form primary attachment to mother (@7 months), then secondary attachment to other family members including the father. 75% of infants studied at 18months were attached to father
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What did Grossman find?
That the childs attachment in adolesence was determined by quality of attachement with their mum. But the quality of fathers play with infants was related to the quality of adolescent relationships
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What did Grossman suggest?
That mothers roles is to give comfort, health and love. Fathers role is to provide play and enjoyment
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What did Field say?
When fathers where main caregivers, they adopt mother-like behaviour. e.g. smiling, imitating, holding which are important in building an attachment with the child
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What does this suggest?
That the gender isn't important, but the child is likely to attach to the carer who provides the mother figure role
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Who suggested the stages of attachment?
Schaffer + Emerson
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What are the stages of attachment?
Asocial, indiscriminate, discriminate/primary + multiple
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What's asocial attachment? (0-6 weeks)
Any stimuli can produce a favourbale reaction; but show some preference some familiar adults.
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What is indiscriminate (specific) attachment? (6weeks to 7 months)
More sociable + enjoy human company indiscriminately. Recognise and prefer some familiar adults- get upset when an individual doesn't interact with them
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What is discriminate attachment? (7-9 months)
Protests when separated from 1 particular individual (65% of the time mother), they attempt to be close to this person + show stranger anxiety
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What is mulitple attachement? (10 months +)
Child attaches to other adults. By 1 year old, they have developed multiple attachments
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Describe the sample that Schaffer + Emerson studied?
60 babies- 31 male + 29 female, from working-class families in Glasgow in the 1960s
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How often were they visited?
In their homes, every month for the first year then at 18 months
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What did the researchers do?
Ask the mum to about their infants reaction to separation (separation anxiety) + assessed separation & stranger anxiety
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Why is the smaple criticised?
Because it is small (60 infants) and unrepresentative (Glasgow/working-class)- so it's dificult to generalise the findings (low population validity)
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What is the problem with the mother's reporting data about their infants?
Social desirability is a problem; mother's may present their infants in the best possible light and even be unhonest in order to make their child appear better
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What is a strength of this study?
High ecological validity- the infants were observed in their homes which is a natural setting and is more likely to produce natural behaviour
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What's another weakness of this study?
It is outdated- it was conducted in the 1960s; since then there have been changes in (1) parenting styles, (2) living conditions (3) gender roles
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What did the researchers find?
Specific attachment (7-9m) 65% of time to mum. Attachment was to the caregiver that was the most interactive + sensitive not to who spent the most time or carried out the most physical care, by 10 months 80% had specific attachments, 30% had multiple
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Who studied imprinting in geese?
Lorenz
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What is imprinting?
The innate readiness to form a strong bond with the mother that takes place within a critical time period
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What was the procedure?
Half of the geese eggs were with the natural mother, the other half were placed in an incubator and the first moving, living thing they saw was Lorenz
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What happened?
When the eggs hatched, those with the natural mother imprinted on her and followed her + those in the incubator imprinted of Lorenz and showed no recognition of their mother
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When all the goslings were placed together what happened?
Half followed their natural mother + the other half follwoed Lorenz
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What shows that imprinting is long-lasting + irreversible?
One of the goslings that imprinted on Lorenz even slept in his bed every night
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What is sexual imprinting?
When early imprinting impats later mate preferences. He found that birds who imprinted on a human displayed courtship behaviour to humans
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What did Harlow study?
8 Rhesus Monkey's (which are more similar to us than geese)
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What did Harlow want to demonstrate?
That mother-infant attachement isn't based on food (as learning theory suggests) but rather on contant-comfort
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What were the 2 conditions?
4 monkeys had their milk bottle on a wire monkey covered in cloth + the other 4 had their milk bottle on a plain wire monkey
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What was observed?
The amount of time each monkey spent at each different monkey mother & how they reacted when frightened (by a mechanical teddy bear)
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What did Harlow find?
All 8 monkeys spent majority of time with the cloth covered mother. Those with their bottle on their plain wire mother spent a short amount of time getting food then returned to the cloth mother
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What was the critical period in monkeys?
90 days
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What was the result of maternal deprivation in the monkeys?
They were socially abnormal (froze around other monkeys) + sexually abnormal (didn't craddle young). They recovered if they spent less than 3 months with wire mothers + spent time with peers
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What is the Strength of Harlow's reasearch?
Helps us to see the importance of early attachment. We can prevent serious consequences of infants lacking attachment. This can be applied to Fostering (real life application)
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Why is animal study research reductionist?
We can't generalise findings from simple animal relationships to complex human relationships
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What did Guiton et al. find that works against Lorenz's findings?
He could reverse imprinting in Chickens. If they spent time with their species they showed normal sexual behaviour.
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What does this suggest?
That imprinting isn't permanent or long-lasting
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What does learning theory suggest?
Babies aren't born with the innate ability to form attachments. They learn attachments through food.
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What 2 concepts does this theory use?
Classical conditioning + operant conditioning
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What is a strength of the Learning theory?
It has good face validity- because the explanation is simple and seems to make sense. Aspects of it can be seen in real life e.g. operant conditioning
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What is face validity?
Appears successful without any psychological testing
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What is a weakness of this theory (think behavioural approach)?
It is reductionist; reduces complex human behaviour to a simplisitic explanation; ignoring other important factors such as; cognition, physical contact and emotion
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Why is it a weakness that most of the theory is based on animal studies?
It's difficult to generalise the findings to much more complex human relationships (low population validity)
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Why is Harlow's research contradictory to this theory?
Harlow's study showed that comfort is more important in forming attachments, rather than food. (e.g. imprinting occured before food in Lorenz study). This decreases the validity of the theory
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What did Bowlby propose in rejection of Learning Theory?
An evolutionary theory
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What does the evolutionary explanation say?
That the tendency to form attachments in infants is innate + is a survival advantage
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Why is the theory monotropic?
Because Bowlby placed much emphasis on the childs attachment to its mother (not necessarily biological). This was the primary attachment figure + strongest/most important attachment
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Why did Bowlby say infants were social releasers?
Because they behave in ways that activate and encourage caring responses from adults
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Examples of such behaviours?
Smiling, clinging + crying
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Why are babies social releasers?
It enables them to survive; because they need asisstance in their vulnerable state
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What it is the critical period?
Time period in which the childs attachment system is active (up to 2 and a half years)
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What happens if a child doesn't form an attachment within this time?
They will find it hard to form an attachment later & will face psychological consequences in later life
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What does the Internal Working Model propose?
That a child's early attachments serve as a template for later relationships, as a child forms a mental metarepresentation
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What do our early attachments serve as a template for?
Later relationships + parenting styles
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Which research provides support for Bowlby's 'social releasers'?
Murray + Trevarthen- when mothers adopted frozen faces + didn't interact with infant they grew upset and tried to draw mother back inton interaction
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Why is monotropy socially sensitive?
Because 'law of accumulated separation & continuity' puts a burden of responsibility on the mother's life style choices- anything thats goes wrong may be blamed on them
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Why is the mother's role not as important as Bowlby suggests?
Research has found that father's can be attachment figures as well & the child attaches to who is sensitive and interactive rather than based on gender
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So what is a weakness of Bowlby's monotropy?
It ignores the role of the father (even in things like play- Grossman)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is reciprocity?

Back

Interactions between the carer and infant, that results in mutual behaviour. Each person responds to and elicits a response from one another

Card 3

Front

What is interactional synchrony?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Which study supports reciprocity?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Which study supports interactional synchrony?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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