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Define 'attachment'

A two way emotional tie to another person, which develops in stages over time


Define 'precocial'

Those who are ready to function independently shortly after birth (most animals)


Define 'altricial'

Those who are born in an underdeveloped state and require care from their parents (e.g. humans)


What is the difference between reciprocity and interactional synchrony?

Reciprocity: Behavior of carer elicits a response

Interactional Synchrony: behavior of carer is imitated


Meltzoff and Moore (reciprocity study)
What was it and what did they find?

An adult model displayed facial or hand gestures to an infant, and the child's expression was filmed.
They found that infants as young as 2-3 weeks could imitate hand and facial expressions.


Evaluation of reciprocity (pros)

- Practical Applictions (Klaus and Kennell's research found babies placed with their mothers after birth helped form attachments)
- Abravanel and DeYoung, found infants aged 5-12 weeks made little response to inanimate objects. Meaning their actions in studies ARE intentional.


Evaluation of reciprocity (cons)

- Lacks validity as infant's mouths are in fairly constant motion


Bowlby's perspective on attachment?

One primary attachment, with other minor ones


Rutter's perspective on attachment?

Multiple attachments of equal importance


Schaffer and Emerson (stages of attachment study)
What was it?

60 working-class newborns, studied each month for the first 12 months of their life, and again at 18 months. They then measured:
-Seperation Protest (left in a room alone, outside a shop, with others but not care, in their cot at night)
-Stranger Anxiety (a stranger immediately approaching the infant upon meeting one another)


Schaffer and Emerson (stages of attachment study)
What did they find?

-Stranger anxiety lasted up to 9 months old
- At 18 months the majority had 2 attachments
-39% of the infants' prime attachment was not main carer


Evaluation of stages of attachment (Schaffer and Emmerson) PROS

-Separation protest was shown at 7-8 months
-Most infants went on to develop multiple attachments


Evaluation of stages of attachment (Schaffer and Emmerson) CONS

-The reports of infant's behavior could be biased as they were submitted by mothers
-Biased sample as it was only working-class children from Glasgow


What are the 4 main factors for the role of the father?

-Degree of sensitivity
-Attachment with own parents
-Marital intimacy
-Supportive co-parenting


What did Frodi et al. find out about the role of the father?

Men showed the same response that women did when asked to watch videos of infants crying


KEY STUDY: Lorenz (1935)
What was it?

Lorenz split a large clutch of goose eggs between himself and their biological mother. He made sure to be the first thing his eggs see when hatched and marked his goslings so he could distinguish them from those raised by the mother. Later on, Lorenz would reunite his goslings with the mother's to see how they would react.


KEY STUDY: Lorenz (1935)
What did he find?

-The mother's goslings returned to her, and Lorenz' returned to him when reunited
-The imprinting time for the goslings is 4-25 hours after hatching
-Lorenz' goslings would attempt to mate with humans later on in life


KEY STUDY: Harlow (1959)
What was it?

Rhesus monkeys were placed in cages with imitation mothers, one being a 'harsh wire' mother and the other, a 'soft towel mother'. 16 monkeys were used, and 4 cages with different mothers:
-wire mother with milk + towel mother without milk
-wire mother without milk + towel mother with milk
-wire mother with milk
-towel mother with milk

This was to test time spent with mothers, feeding, emotional comfort and the affects this would cause.


KEY STUDY: Harlow (1959)
What did he find?

-Monkeys preferred the towel mother, and would only stretched to the wire mother for milk
-Monkeys with only the wire mother experienced stress, diarrhea and explored less than others


Evaluation of animal studies of attachment (pros)

-Supported by Guiton, who found feeding chicks with yellow gloves for the first few weeks caused them to become imprinted


Evaluation of animal studies of attachment (cons)

-Ethical; some monkeys were damaged permanently
-Confounding variable; the wire looked less like a monkey than the towel mother
-Cannot apply directly to humans as geese develop quicker and have different thought processes


Learning Theory suggests that attachment is learned through what?

Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning


Use Classical Conditioning as an explanation of attachment





Use Operant Conditioning as an explanation of attachment

1. hungry infant
2. infant drives to reduce discomfort (e.g. crying)
3. infant is fed
4. drive is reduced
5. produces a sense of comfort


Through the example of feeding, what is the primary reinforcer and secondary reinforcer in the situation?

Primary Reinforcer: Food
Secondary Reinforcer: The person who supplies the food


Evaluation of The Learning Theory explanation of attachment (pros)

-Dollard and Miller; in an infant's first year they are fed 2000 times meaning the child will learn that the carer will take the unpleasant hunger away


Evaluation of The Learning Theory explanation of attachment (cons)

-Harlow; Monkeys preferred the comfort of towel mother over the lactating wire mother
-Behaviorism is often criticized for being reductionist


Outline Bowlby's theory of attachment

- Social Releases (crying/smiling)
- Monotropy (one primary carer)
- Innatism (Born with a drive to form attachment)
- Critical Period (2.5 years)
- Internal Working Model (schema/idea of how to conduct relationships)
- Continuity Hypothesis (view of relationships based on their own)


Evaluation of Bowlby's monotropic theory of attachment (pros)

-Tronick et al; A study of 12 month olds in Africa found that mother and child still had a preference to each other (despite being a collectivist culture)
-Minnesota Longitudinal Study; those with secure attachments as infants were more socially competent


Evaluation of Bowlby's monotropic theory of attachment (cons)

-Temperant Hypothesis; 'easier' children usually had more secure attachments
-'Sensetive Period' is 2.5 years, but can still take place at other times up to age five