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Lecture 19

PSYC 333 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Social Contract, Mental Model, Mental Models

Course Code
PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

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PSYC333 Lecture 19 - Apr. 3
Mental model of self in relation to (significant) others - schema
Attachment models develop in infancy via interactions with caregivers
Bowlby (1944, 1951) maternal separation and delinquency
Characteristics of Attachment Relationships:
Maintaining proximity
Staying near & protesting separation
Secure base
Allows exploration
Safe haven
Source of comfort when threatened
The Strange Situation:
Caregiver sensitive and responsive to infants signals
Infant seeks comfort upon reunion
Caregiver inconsistent (not responsive vs over-bearing)
Infant not reassured; preoccupied with availability of caregiver
Caregiver rejecting
Infant does not display signs of distress upon separation (but internal discomfort?)
Is a coping mechanism?
Mental Models of Attachment:
Formed as a function of repeated interactions with caregiver
Reflecting caregiver’s availability and responsiveness to one’s needs
Secure: 62%
Avoidant: 23%
Anxious/ambivalent: 15%
Child-Caregiver vs Adult-Adult Attachment Relationships:
Attachment models are interpretative filters through which new relationships are meaningfully understood and construed
“Whilst especially evident during early childhood, attachment behaviour is held to characterize human beings from the cradle
to the grave”
Child requires physical contact to feel secure
Adult relationships typically reciprocal
Key: felt-security
Hazen & Shaver, 1987 (Adult Romantic Survey):
Which of the following best describes your feelings?

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“Love Survey”
620 respondents (415 women; age: 14-82)
52% secure
25% avoidant
19% anxious/ambivalent
Results: Similar distribution in adult relationships style compared to child attachment style
Correlates of Insecure Attachment:
Low self-esteem
Indiscriminate self-disclosure
Judged by others as more hostile
Uncommitted sexual relations
Reduce tension with alcohol and other substances (instead of turning to others)
Attachment Model, Gender & Relationship Stability (Kirkpatrick & Davis, 1994):
354 dating couples
No anxious-anxious or avoidant-avoidant couples (makes theoretical sense)
If man avoidant, relationship rated as more negative by both partners
If woman anxious, relationship rated as more negative by then men (but not the women)
Relationship Stability (Kirkpatrick & Davis, 1994):
Under what circumstances do relationships last?
7-14 months later
Avoidant and secure men more stable than anxious men
30-36 months later:
Anxious women more stable than other women
Anxious women and avoidant men remain in negative (but gender stereotypic) relationships
Women are “maintainers and breakers of relationships”
Anxious women more active and accommodating (even though unhappy)
Anxious & secure women will try hard to hold onto avoidant partner
Distress and Coping Response (Mikulincer et al, 1993):
Attachment style and adaptation to life stress
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