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Flashcards in Attachment Deck (88)
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What is reciprocity?

2 people interacting, both responding to one another and both eliciting a response from the other


What is an alert phase?

A baby’s signal that they are ready for interaction
Mothers pick up on this 2/3 times (Feldman)
Increases in frequency from 3 months onwards
Done through verbal signs and facial expression


What did Feldman find about the alert phase?

That mothers pick up on the alert phase 2/3 times


What did Brezelton et al compare caregiver-infant interactions to?

A dance because they’re both responding to each other and both the caregiver and the baby are playing an active role


What is interactional synchrony?

Mother and infant reflecting the actions and emotions of each other in a synchronised way


Describe the Metzoff and Moore study

An adult showed one of three facial expressions to an infant. They found that there was an association between the baby’s reaction and the adults expression.


Describe the study done by Isabella et al

They observed 30 mothers and infants and assessed their synchrony. It was found that high synchrony levels were associated with better quality attachment this shows that interaction synchrony is important in attachment.


Name the two studies done on the role of the father.

Grossman (2002)
Tiffany Field (1978)


Describe the study of Grossman (2002) in investigating the role of the father.

It was a longitudinal study
They studied the relationship between parents behaviour and the quality of their children’s attachments later on in life.
They found that the quality of the attachment with the mother affects future relationships but that with the father does not.
The quality of the fathers play was related to future attachments. This suggests that fathers have a different role in attachment, stimulation rather than nurturing.


Describe the study of Tiffany Field (1978) into the role of the father.

She observed 4 month old babies and found that when the primary caregiver was the father, he took over the role of the mother. This shows that the level of responsiveness matters over gender.

Primary caregiver fathers spend more time smiling, imitating and holding infants than secondary caregiver fathers do.


Evaluate caregiver-infant interaction.

That we cannot determine the purpose of interactional synchrony and reciprocity (Feldman). However there is evidence that reciprocal interaction and synchrony are helpful in attachment and stress responses, empathy and moral development.

studies of caregiver infant interaction have good validity. They have good control, the procedures are often filmed so fine details can be observed . The baby also acts naturally so demand characteristics do not interfere.

what is really happening? For caregiver infant interactions we cannot tell if the baby’s imitation of the adult is conscious and deliberate and whether or not is studies of caregiver infant interaction have good validity any special meaning.


Evaluate the role of the father.

Fathers are usually not the primary attachment figure. Why is this? Is it because of traditional gender roles or is it because female hormones make mums more nurturing than fathers, giving them a biological predisposition to be the primary attachment figure?

Children in same sex families develop the same, suggesting that the role of a father has no impact in a child’s development (MacCallum and Golombok 2004)

Inconsistent findings: some studies look at the father as being the secondary attachment figure while some look at him as being the primary attachment figure leading to contradictory conclusions.


What was the aim of the study by Schaffer and Emerson (1964)?

To investigate the formation of early attachments including the age they formed, the emotional intensity of them and who they were directed to.


What was the procedure of Schaffer and Emerson’s study?

They took 60 babies from Glasgow. 31 were male and 29 were female. They were visited on a monthly basis up to the age of 18 months. Their mothers recorded their baby’s reactions to 7 daily separations. Stranger anxiety and separation anxiety were measured.


What were the findings of Schaffer and Emerson’s study?

50 % of babies displayed separation anxiety, meaning they had formed a specific attachment, between the ages of 25 and 32 weeks old. They found that the specific attachment was formed with the adult who displayed the best reciprocity rather than the adult who spent the most time with them.
By the age of 49 weeks, 80 percent of babies had formed specific attachments and 30 percent had formed multiple attachments.


Describe the first stage of attachment according to S&E

Asocial stage
Formed in the first few weeks
Isn’t really asocial as interactions between cg and infant are still important
The baby treats humans and inanimate objects with similar behaviour.
The baby’s showed a preference for familiar adults.


Describe the second stage of attachment according to S&E

Indiscriminant stage
2-7 months
The baby shows more observable social behaviour
The baby prefers people to inanimate objects
The baby recognises and prefers families adults
The baby accepts comfort from all adults
The baby does not display any stranger or separation anxiety.


Describe the third stage of attachment according to S&E

Specific attachment stage
From 7 months onwards
The baby forms a specific attachment, which S and E found to be the mother 65 percent of the time.
The baby displays separation and stranger anxiety.
It was found that the primary attachment figure was the adult who had the best reciprocity.


Describe the fourth stage of attachment according to S&E

Multiple attachment stage
Baby forms secondary attachments with other adults they see regularly
29% or babies form multiple attachments within a month of forming a specific attachment
Most babies had multiple attachments by the age of 1


Evaluate the study of Schaffer and Emerson.

How multiple attachments are measured:
Distress on someone leaving does not necessarily mean that an attachment has been formed. Bowlby found that babies show distress when a playmate leaves but has no attachment to them. This lowers the validity of the study.

Asocial stage: It is hard to measure as the baby has poor coordination and is immobile. This means there is little observable behaviour and so the evidence is unreliable.

Limited sample characteristics: Families all came from the same district and the same city and the same social class
The study was also done 50 years ago.
This means that the study has low temporal validity as the findings can’t be generalised to today.

Longitudinal study: The same children were studied regularly rather than different children of different ages
The study also had a cross-sectional design meaning that if observed different children at different ages
The study has more internal validity because there is no compounding variable (which would be individual differences)

Good external validity: the study was carried out at the babys’ homes by their mums, and so the baby’s behaviour was unaffected by its surroundings and natural.


What was the aim of Lorenz’s study on ducklings?

To investigate imprinting after Lorenz found that a baby duckling he had been given followed him around


What was the procedure of Lorenz’s study?

He divided a clutch of goose eggs. Half hatched with the mum (this was the control group) and half hatched with Lorenz in an incubator (this was the experimental group). These were the first moving objects they saw.


What were the findings of Lorenz’s study?

The control group followed the mum while the experimental group followed Lorenz. Even when the two groups were mixed, the ducklings separated to follow the first person they saw when they were born. Lorenz called the phenomenon of birds following the first thing they saw imprinting and found that the critical period for these goslings was 32 hours, after which no attachment could be formed.


What is sexual imprinting?

When mating preferences of a bird are affected by imprinting. Ie Lorenz found that a peacock that imprinted in a giant tortoise would only try and mate with other giant tortoises


Evaluate Lorenz’s study.

Low ecological validity: Mammalian attachment is different to that of birds. For example, mammal mothers act more emotionally towards their young and mammals have a different critical period

Conflicting evidence: Guiton et al (1966) found that sexual imprinting can be reversed in ducks which had imprinted on gloves


What was the aim of Harlow’s study?

To investigate the impact of contact comfort


What was the procedure of Harlows study?

He studied 16 baby rhesus monkey’s and put them in a cage with two ‘mothers’. One was made from cloth and the other from wire. The cloth one had no food while the wire one did.


What are the findings of Harlows study?

Harlow found that the monkeys sought comfort from the soft mum when scared, despite which one had milk, and spent up to 22 hours in the cloth mother and only one hour on the wire one


Explain the maternal deprivation findings from Harlow’s study.

(AUBC)The most maternally deprived monkeys were the ones that were only in contact with the wire mother, however the presence of the cloth mother was not enough to lead to the development of normal social behaviour. The monkeys were aggressive, unsociable, bred less as they were unskilled at mating, and often neglected and attacked their children. The critical period was found to be 90 days, after which maternal deprivation is irreversible.


What was the aim of Bowlby’s 44 thieves study?

The aim was to examine the link between affectionless psychopathy and maternal deprivation.