PSYC 332 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Trait Theory, Big5, Longitudinal Study

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20 Jul 2016
Attachment From Infancy to Adulthood: 21:13
-Attachment Style: Another personality construct, individual diff. measure,
that would fall in second level of mcadams 3 level model.
It is a imp. Phenomenon in studying young children and the relationship with
their mother in particular.
Social psychology and developmental psychology.
It is something you can look at and code and think about between a mother
and child, and you can think about it in terms of the relationship between
two romantic partners, husband and wife.
You can even think about attachment in friendships and whether you have a
secure and anxious friendship with someone else- less common to think
Examining the security of an attachment- something you can apply to very
young children, or later in life.
Personality perspective- natural to wonder whether there is links between
our attachment of or mother when we were young and our current
attachments in relationships in particular.
-Measuring attachment in children- they use a formal paradigm called the
strange situation.
-Impact of attachment on later development.
-Our current relationships influenced by the kind of attachment we had with
our mother as infants.
-Attachment theory grew out of psychoanalytic theory- which places an
influence on early family experiencing and how we develop patterns as
infants that influence as later in our lives- so attachment theory has always
proposed that their showed be be connections from infancy to adulthood.
-The way we attached with our mothers will influence the way we attach to
our children.
About your romantic relationships….. Hazen&Shaver, 1987:
-Measure developed in 1980s, sparked an interest in studying attachment-
the worst personality measure you will ever come across, it is a single item
with 3 chocies.
-Normally you want multiple items to have reliability, or indirect itmes.
-This is a single item with 3 categories- your asked about your current
relationship, if you do not have one, you are asked to remember your most
recent relationship.
If you are 20 and have never had a relationship, you cannot participate in
the study.
Asked to think about the romantic relationship and you have 3 descriptions
of the way a relationship can be and you have to pick the one that fits it
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Secure: I find it relatively easy to get close to my partner am comfortable
depending on them and having him depend on me- I don’t worry about
being abaondoned or about him getting close to me. – most of us say this is
our category, 60% of older adults describe their relationship in this way-
reciprocal caring, not a lot of anxiety and fear of the person leaving them.
40% of us will select one of two insecure options- two diff. ways of being
insecure in a romantic relationship.
EX. Of secure- the office, focus on Jim and Pam- they get together in the
second or third year, and the show went on for several years, and unlike
other T.V comedies, it did not get uninteresting after, Jim and Pam had a
secure, good relationship- even after they got together.
Avoidant insecure attachment: more common- endorsed by 25% of people-
I am somewhat uncomfortable with my partner- difficult to trust them or
allow myself to depend on them- nervous when they get too close and often
the partner wants them to be more intimate than I am comfortable with-
uncertainty, and avoidance- pushing the relationship.
EX. Of avoidant- Sheldon in big bang theory- introverted, he is most likely
autism spectrum- not very comfortable being intimate, does not make
connections very easily.- Suggest that sheldon’s behaviour and his
relationship with amy would be classified as avoidant- 25% would categorize
our current romantic relatiosnhop as avoidant.
Insecure anxious or insecure dependent: I find that my partner is reluctant
to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t really
love me/won’y want to stay with me- I want to merge completely with my
partner and this desomtimes scares them away- worry that your partner
doesn’t love you as much as you love them, a merger want.- Penny’s
relationship with Leonard- insecure point of view for leonard- he was always
worried that he cared more than her,- 15% of people.
Leonard- always worried she might find someone else.
15% of people only describe this.
-The problem is, this is just a single item, it is not a full scale- one of the
critics is that, it is too simplistic of a measure and it has been replaced bya
dimensional measure with 40 items, 20 items measuring avoidance, 20
measuring anxiety.
This measure is easy to relate to and understand and research with those
holds up with the dimensional scale.
Measuring in infants- easy to move from the infant attachment measure to
this one, because they are very closely related.
They are thought to be highly stable, but there is potential for c hange.
If you have more than one romantic relationship, you may categoroize diff.
relationships differently.- Some variability for your relationship with one
partner vs another.
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-You can measure this about an individual, find out what their current
relationship is like, which tells you something about how they behave and
feel in the context of a close/intimate relationship- which adds to other info.
We would have gathered by looking at other levels.
What do we know when we know a person??????????????
-Level 1: Big 5 traits(plus a couple of facets).
-Level 2: Personal Concerns- Contextualized by time, place or domain.
Personal projects, strivings, goals.
Status of psychosocial stage resolution.
Attachment style.************
-Level 3: Identity as life narrative.
The big 5 traits are things we process very quickly- social, emotional
consistencies in behavior- about strangers, when we get to know a person
we tune our analysis to big 5 traits, but we use that to predict behaviour and
our interactions.
We probably want to move on to level 2- personal concerns- this refers to a
messier collection of individual difference variables that have to do more
with motivation and development- contextualized by time, place or domain.
The big 3 motives- besides knowing big5- you want to know if they are
power/achievement or intimacy motivated.
Personal goals and strivings- that is something we would definitely find out
about when we get to know someone better- what they care about/want to
do with their lives.
Stages- 20 years old, your likely to be wrestling with questions about
identity and intimacy and the people you meet as well- to some extent, you
could make a judgement as to whether people ate getting their identity
together, are they exploring, making commitments, or are they at sea.
Last personal concern to focus on- attachment style of someone you meet,
and someone you are going to make friends with- and the attachment style
of someone you are going to starta romantic relationship with.
This may help you predict how the relationship will unfold- if you have
someone you are starting a relationship with and they have a history of
secure attachments, it will be easier to predict how the relationship will go.
If they are avoidant or dependent, that will be important to know.
Key thing to point out- conceptually, attachment style is thought to be
independent of the big 5 traits, and independent of motives and
developmental stage.
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