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AQA A-Level Psychology Paper 1 > Attatchment - Animal Studies > Flashcards

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What was the aim of Lorenz's study?

He wanted to study mother-infant attatchment in birds.


Describe the procedure of Lorenz's study.

- Randomly divided a clutch of 24 eggs into 2 conditions.
- Placed 12 in an incubator and 12 were given back to the biological mother.
- When the incubator condition hatched, the first moving thing they saw was Lorenz.


Define imprinting.

A rapid learning process in which a newborn animal establishes an attraction towards its own kind.


How did Lorenz test imprinting?

Placed both groups together, both the biological mother and Lorenz were present. He observed which figure the birds went to.


What were Lorenz's findings?

The experimental group had imprinted on Lorenz and followed him closely.


When is the critical period that Lorenz mentioned?

First hour of life.


Lorenz suggested that imprinting was reversable. True or false?

False. Imprinting is irreversable. He also found that it affected future mating preferances.


Give an advantage of Lorenz's study.

Supported by Guiton - chicks imprinted on the glove that fed them.


Give a disadvantage to Lorenz's study.

Impinting is reverable - Guiton found that as more social contact with the natural species was achieved, the chicks engaged in normal mating behaviour.


What did Harlow aim to study?

Whether attatchment was based upon the feeding bond between the mother and the infant.


Describe the procedure of Harlow's study.

- Separated monkeys into two conditions - cloth monkey gave food and wire monkey gave food and vice versa.


What did Harlow find?

- Monkeys spent most time with the cloth monkey, only leaving to get food from the wire monkey.
- When they were fightened, all monkeys clung to the cloth mother.
- When in a strange environment, monkeys retained physical contact with the 'mother'.


How did the monkeys develop later in life?

They became more agressive and less sociable. They neglected and sometimes attacked their young.


When was the critical period proposed by Harlow?

90 days after birth.


Give an advantage to Harlow's study.

- Practical validity - helping social workers undrestand the risks of child neglect.
- Practical validity - findings are relevant in the care of captive monkeys.
- Monkeys share over 90% of DNA with humans - best animal to choose to have the most valid results - Though human bahaviour is mainly goverened by conscious decisions.
- Benefits of the research outweight the limitations?


Give a disadvanatge of Harlow's study and animal studies in general.

- Ethically questionable - long term emotional harm - mental trauma when the monkeys were purposefully frightened by the metal teddy bear.
- Difficulty extrapolating findings to human population - mammalian mothers show more emotional care than birds do.