Developmental Psychology

What is an attachment?
a close emotional bond between two people characterised by mutual affection and a desire to maintain closeness.
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What are the four key behaviours shown by the PCG and child in attachment?
Seek closeness to each other. Seek involvement with each other. Show distress when separated (separation anxiety). Show joy when reunited.
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What other behaviour with the child show?
Stranger anxiety
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What is learning theory?
Attachments are learnt from our environment, classical conditioning (association- Pavlov), or operant conditioning (reinforcement- Skinner)
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Outline classical conditioning
Behaviours learnt through association. Infants have a biological drive for food, when this is met they feel pleasure. As the PCG provides food, they are associated with pleasure. PCG is conditioned stimulus and pleasure is conditioned response.
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Outline operant conditioning
Any behaviour rewarded is likely to be repeated. Feeding an infant is rewarding as infant meets their drive for food and PCG is rewarded with a smile. In this way, the infant is reinforced to feed again and the PCG is reinforced to feed them again.
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Who provided evidence for learning theory?
Schaffer and Emerson
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What procedure did Schaffer and Emerson use?
Interviews and Observations. Independent groups. Volunteer sampling. 60 working class infants from Glasglow.
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What did Schaffer and Emerson find?
By 9months the infant shows separation and stranger anxiety, monotropy (by only 60% on monotropy was to PCG). By 18months they had multiple attachments.
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What did Schaffer and Emerson conclude?
Infant is likely to form one main attachment to PCG. (however 40% formed attachment to someone else, more than just the association of pleasure).
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Give two strengths of learning theory
1) Strong supporting evidence, 60% had monotropy to PCG. 2) meets the characteristics of science, used objective, empirical methods which can be easily repeated for hypothesis testing- Skinner and Pavlovs research.
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Give two weaknesses of learning theory
1) simplistic- Harlow shows that monkeys go for 'contact comfort' not food. 2) Constrained- some parents choose not to form an attachment (Surrogate mothers give up child after birth)
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What is Bowlby's evolutionary theory?
Bowlby argues that attachments form through nature and not nurture. They have evolved as an adaptive process, which promoted the survival of the species and so have become innate. Montropy, Internal Working Model, Social Releasers.
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In what three ways have attachments formed through nature?
1) Monotropy- one main attachment, more likely to reach sexual maturity and pass on behaviours. 2) Internal working model- observe necessary skills to form sexual relationships and survive. 3) Social releasers- smiling/crying, strengthens bond.
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According to Bowlby in what period do attachments have to form?
Sensitive period- few years after birth, if this doesn't happen infant will never form a strong attachment.
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Who provided evidence for Bowlby's evolutionary theory?
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What procedure did Harlow use?
Laboratory, Independent Groups, Non-human participants (monkeys). Wire mock mother (food) and cloth mock mother (comfort), monkey was delierately frightened
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What did Harlow find?
Infant spent most of its time clinging to the cloth mock mother and only went to wire mock mother for food, when frightened the monkey went to the cloth mock mother for comfort.
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What did Halow conclude?
Monkeys were reared in isolation, therefore, it must be instinct to seek proximity with a care giver most like themselves, even without food. Goes again learning theory as monkey did not form an attachment based on the association of food.
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Give two strengths of evolutionary theory
1) strong evidence- Harlow, chose mock mother with contact comfort, increasing chance of survival. 2) strong evidence- Lorenz, geese prevented from forming an attachment during sensitive period, never formed an attachment later in life.
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Give two weaknesses of evolutionary theory
1) Simplistic- may be due to an infants temperament not just innate behaviour. 2) Unflasifiable, time period is too large to be tested, cannot be observed.
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Who provided evidence for different in attachment types?
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What procedure did Ainsworth use?
Controlled/Structure interviews, Independent Groups, Volunteer sampling. North American Infants 12-18 months, tested with PCG
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What did Ainsworth find?
70% Secure, 15% Insecure avoidant (ignored), 15% insecure resistant (needy), State what happened: with mother, stranger entering, mother leaves infant with stranger, mother returns.
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What did Ainsworth conclude?
Secure attachments are the most common attachment type in American Infants
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What two things can cause a difference in attachment types?
Parenting style- if they show 'sensitive responsiveness'= secure, if insecure disorganised- insecure. 2) Temperament Hypothesis- some children are insecurely attached due to personality, forming a secure attachment very hard.
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Who researched into Cultural variations in attachment?
Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg
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What did Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg do?
Meta analysis of 32 different strange situation experiements across 8 cultures, 27 experiments from individualist, 5 from collectivist
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What did Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg find?
There was a greater variation within cultures (1.5x greater) than between cultures.
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What evidence is there that the strange situation is a valid measuring tool?
Secure attachments make up the majority of all infants in all cultures (USA-70%, UK- 75%, Germany- 57%, Japan- 64%), and countries with similar cultural norms show similar findings.
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What evidence is there that the strange situation is not a valid meausring tool?
Large variation of insecure attachments across cultures. Avoidant= USA- 15%, Germany- 35%, Japan- 5% (german children encouraged to be independent), Resistant, USA- 15%, Germany- 8%, Japan- 27% (In Japan a mother never leaves the baby)
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What did Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg conclude?
Secure attachments are the most common around the world, can be considered a valid measuring tool as repeatability is high, however, influence of culture is not accouted for insecurely as they do have influence.
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What are the two types of cultural variation?
Individualist (emphasis on needs of the individual- independence is desirable) and Collectivist (emphasis on needs of the group- interdependence is desirable)
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Who provided evidence of cultural variation in attachment?
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What did Rothbaum do?
Mothers in USA and Japan were interviewed and asked what behaviours they thought a securely attached infant should show.
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What did Rothbaum find?
American mothers placed emphasise on independence (achievement and initiative) and Japanese mothers placed emphasise on interdependence (group co-operation and obedience).
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What did Rothbaum conclude?
Secure attachments are culturally absolute, meaning they are found in all cultures. This is because all cultures see desirable behaviours as characteristics or a secure attachment. However, these are ethnocentric as they vary between cultures.
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What 3 factors can affect attachment?
Deprivation (seperated temporarily or permenantely), Privation (abuse of abandonment), Institutional Care (orphanage)
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Who provides evidence for Disruption?
1) Bowlby and Robertson 2) Bowlby
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Who provides evidence for Privation?
1) Curtiss (Genie) 2) Koulchova (Czech twins)
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Who provides evidence for instituational care?
1) Tizard and Hodges 2) Rutter
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What is Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis?
Infant will be negatively affected if they fail to experience a 'warm, intimate and continuous relationship with their attachment figure'.
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What is disruption/deprivation?
Any life event that disrupts an infants attachment could affect a child's emotional and social development.
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Who showed the short term affect of disruption?
Bowlby and Robertson
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What procedure did Bowlby and Robertson use?
Case Study with naturalistic observation and correlational analysis. Reaction of 5 infants (1-2 years) who had been taken into care whilst their mothers were hospitalised for up to 27 days, were observed.
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What did Bowlby and Robertson find?
Children fit into 3 catagories: Protest (cry/screams for PCG, likely to cling to PCG and resist others comfort), Depair (Infant shows less signs of distress, withdrawal from environment), Detachment (interacts with others, rejects attachment figure)
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What did Bowlby and Robertson conclude?
Disruption of attachment can have short term negative effects on a relationship between an infant and their attachment figure, such as protest and despair. In the long term, further disruption can cause detachment
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What factors can reduce the effects of Disruption?
1) Allow infant to form one main substitute attachment with the same individual 2) Keep the infant in similar routine that its used to 3) Discuss the attachment figure of the infant whilst they are away
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Who investigated the long term effect of Disruption?
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What procedure did Bowlby use?
Case Studies: 44 Children identified as 'thieves' were compared to another 44 other children who made up a control group. Bowlby investigsted detachment to PCG.
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What did Bowlby find?
86% of the thieves had experienced disruption of thier attachment to their mother. 4% of the control group experienced a similar level of disruption. Some thieves showed 'affectionless psychopathy' (can't show care for others).
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What did Bowlby concluded?
Disruption of an attachment can have long term, negative effects on an infant's emotional and social development. Children are likely to show poor social develipment (thieves), and poor emotional development (affectionless psychopathy).
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What factors affect the seriousness of disruption?
Age (Schaffer and Callender found children
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Who studied Genie?
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What procedure did Curtiss use?
Case Study: correlational analysis, naturalistic observation, interviews and psychological
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What happened to Genie?
At 1 1/2 Genie was diagnosed as developmental delay. Her father locked in her bedroom and was chained to a potty and sleeping bag. He hit and shouted at her when trying to speak, didnt allow her mum contact with Genie. She was found at 13 and helped.
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What did Curtiss find?
She could say fewer than 20 words and couldnt dress. She improved her language, but it never fully developed and never formed a true attachment.
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What did Curtiss conclude?
Privation has a permanent effect on a child's social and cognitive development as show by Genie's poor language and difficulty forming attachments.
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Who studied the Czech twins?
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What procedure did Koluchova use?
Case study: naturalistic observation, interviews and psychological testing. Looking at two twins who failed to form an attachment.
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What was the twins background?
Cared for in an orphange till 1. Age 2 lived with father and step mother and locked in celler till 7 years. Once found placed in learning difficulty school and recieved permanent care from two sisters.
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What did Koluchova find?
Twins suffered from deprivation dwafism, showed poor speech and didnt understand pictures. By age 14 they were normal intelligence, by age 20 they were above average intelligence, married with children.
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What did Koluchova conclude?
Privation does not necessarily have as permanent effect on a child's social and cognitive development shown by the twin's normal development later in life.
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Why might the twins have not been as effected as Genie?
Being together. Being rescued at a younger age. Recieving high quality care afterwards.
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Who studied the effects of Institutional care on British children?
Tizard and Hodges
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What did Tizard and Hodges do?
Longitudinal Study: with naturalistic observation, interviews and psychological testing. 65 British children placed in institution before 4, assessed at 4, 8 and 16.
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What three groups did the children fit into?
Restored: returned to natural parents, Adopted, and Institutionalised
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What did Tizard and Hodges find?
Adopted children showed normal levels of attachment to mother, restored children showed difficulties with PCG's. All children were rated as: attention seekers, less popular, more bullying, and non reliant on peers.
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What did Tizard and Hodges conclude?
Experiencing high quality care reduced effects of institutional care, however instituational care does have a negative effect on child's social development (poor peer relations).
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Who studied institutional care on Romanian and UK orphans?
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What did Rutter do?
Longitudinal Study: naturalistic observation, interviews and psychological testing. On-going study on Romanian ophans adopted from 6 months to 4 years and UK children adopted before 6 months.
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What did Rutter find?
Long period led to: disinhibited attachments, attention seeking, overly friendly, hard to comfort. Short periods showed less signs of disinhibited attachments.
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What did Rutter conclude?
The length of time a child spends in institutional care affects the serverity of their poor development.
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What is day care?
Any temporary care given to children during the day which is not performed by parents, often taking place outside the family home.
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What two psychologists studied effects of day care on aggression?
Belsky and Sylva
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What did Belsky do?
Longitudinal study with questionnaires and correlational analysis. Nationa Institute of Child Health Development studied over 1000 infants in 10 different cities in USA. Gave questionnaire to mothers, care givers and teachers of children on aggresion
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What did Belsky find?
17% of children recieving >30 hours of day care were more aggressive compared to 6% of children not recieving day care. Longer spent in day care, more arguing/lying/hitting. Link found between day care & aggression levels of children leaving primary.
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What did Belsky conclude?
Children who experience more that 30 hours of day care are more likely to show increased aggressive behaviour.
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What did Sylva do?
Correlational analysis with questionnaires & observations. The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project, studied 3000 infants over 141 day care centres in UK. Used Q&O to assess childs aggression at day care&school. High and low quality.
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What did Sylva find?
Least aggression was found in children who went to high quality and larger day care centres where staff are highly trained, compared to smaller/low quality centres.
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What did Sylva conclude?
The quality and size of day care may have an impact of the levels of aggression shown in children.
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What two psychologists studied the effects of day care on peer relations?
Leach and Campbell
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What did Leach do?
Longitudinal study: with questionnaires and observations, 1000 infants from london observed at 3,10,18 monthd and 3 and 4 years.
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What did Leach find?
She found that child who were in day care were more withdrawn from peers, more complaint, and sadder.
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What did Leach conclude?
Children who attended day care showed worse social development and peer relations that children who were cared for by their mothers.
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What did Campbell do?
Longitudinal study: questionnaires and observations. 58 Sweedish children who attended day care continuously from 18months-3years. 9= child minder, 30= nursery, 9= children switched between family/nursery &control group, assessed at 18months,2,3,6&15
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What did Campbell find?
Children who spent longer days showed less social development, children who spent many short days in care were most sociall developed. Children assessed with having good peer relations at 3 years continued to at 6 and 15 years.
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What did Campbell conclude?
Frequent amounts of short periods in day care help to improve a child's social development as they learn how to interact with their peers and so become more socially developed.
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How did research into attachment influence child care practices in hospital?
Parents see child as much as possible, provide parents a bed to stay in over night, ensure the child keeps their own routine.
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How did research into attachment influence child care practices for sure start?
Highly trained staff are used in practice, structured activities used to prevent boredom, give parents advice.
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How did research into attachment influence child care practices for Ofsted?
Advice of how to manage and run care centres, advice on what health and safety training staff should have, inspecting child care centres to ensure good quality.
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