Attachment Animal Studies (3.2)

  • Created by: Amy.w
  • Created on: 14-11-21 21:43
Why does psychology use animal studies?
Studies are carried out on animals species rather than humans, either for ethical or practical reasons - practical because animals breed faster and researchers are interested in seeing results across more than one generation of animals
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What did Lorenz (1935) study?
Lorenz carried out research into imprinting, which is seen in ducklings and geese.
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What is imprinting?
Where offspring attach to the first large-moving object they see
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What was Lorenz’s procedure?
-Split large clutch of goose eggs into two batches one hatched naturally, other in incubator where first moving object was Lorenz.
-Following behaviour recorded.
-Marked all goslings, placed them under upturned box, removed it and recorded following
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What were Lorenz’s findings?
Immediately after birth – naturally hatched followed mother, incubator hatched followed Lorenz.
- Bonds irreversible, natural would only follow mother and incubator would only follow Lorenz.
- Imprinting would only occur between 4 and 25 hours after hatch
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What was Lorenz’s conclusion?
Imprinting is form of attachment – mainly in birds that leave nest early.
Close contact kept with first large moving object encountered.
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What are the advantages of Lorenz’s study?
- Its findings have been highly influential within the field of developmental psychology
- Supports the idea of a critical period
- Lots of control which increased reliability and therefore is easy to replicate
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What are the disadvantages of Lorenz’s study?
- Guiton (1966) found that it was reversible, as he experimented to see if chickens would imprint on rubber ducks, which they did, but he found after spending time with their own species , they were able to engage in normal sexual behaviour with other chi
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What did Harlow (1959) study?
Harlow conducted research into attachment using rhesus monkeys. By removing the infant monkeys from their mothers and providing wire and/or cloth-covered surrogate mother, he was able to demonstrate the effects of maternal deprivation
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What was Harlow’s aim?
Test learning theory – compare attachment behaviour in baby monkeys given a food-giving surrogate mother producing milk with those given soft, comforting mother producing no milk.
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What was Harlow’s procedure?
Two types of surrogate mother – wire mother and soft towelling mother.
16 baby monkeys – Amount of time spent with each mother and feeding time recorded.
Frightened with loud noise to test mother preference during stress.
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What was Harlow's conclusion?
This study goes against the learning theory, which states we attach better wit whoever gives us food. Harlow's study shows that comfort is much more important that food when forming attachment
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What were Harlow's findings?
Harlow found that the monkeys primarily spent time with the comforting monkeys instead of the food monkeys. When getting food, the monkeys would spend a short amount of time with the wire monkey, then go straight back to the cloth monkey.
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What are the advantages of Harlow's study?
- Green (1994) states that all mammals have the same brain structure as humans; the only differences relates to size and the number of connections. Therefore the study is highly generalisable.
- Harlow’s research has profound implications for childcare
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What are the disadvantages of Harlows study?
- The study was very unethical, as it deprived the monkeys from their mothers during the critical period. This meant that they struggled to form attachments later in life, with some cases as extreme as the monkeys killing their offspring
- The wire monkey
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What is the critical period?
The time in which an attachment must form if it is going to form at all.
In geese this is up to 32 hours
In humans it is around 2 years
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What did Lorenz (1935) study?


Lorenz carried out research into imprinting, which is seen in ducklings and geese.

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What is imprinting?


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Card 4


What was Lorenz’s procedure?


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What were Lorenz’s findings?


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