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PSYCH 3JJ3 (18)

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Louis A Schmidt

PSYCH 3JJ3 – October 1, 2013 Chapter 4 – Attachment: Learning to love Attachment - A strong emotional bong that forms between infant and caregiver in the second half of the child’s first year - A development of attachment relationships is a major achievement in the infant’s early social life - Measured with Ainsworth’s Strange-situation paradigm Theories of Attachment - Psychoanalytic theory : infants become attached to their mother because they associate her with gratification of their instinctual drive to obtain pleasure through sucking and oral stimulation - Learning theory: drive-reduction learning theorists suggested that the mother becomes an attachment object because she is associated with the reduction of the baby’s primary drive for hunger - Harlow’s research : baby monkeys preferred to cling to the cloth mother – especially in moments of stress – even though it dispensed no food o Similar findings in human research o Thus oral gratification and drive reduction are inadequate explanations for attachment Learning Theories - Operant conditioning o Attachment development based on visual, auditory and tactile stimulation that infants receive from their caregivers o Parents are the most reliable sources of this type of stimulation - Central point: attachment is not automatic, it develops over time as a result of satisfying interactions with responsive adults Ethological Theory – Bowlby - Theory influenced by Lorenz’s demonstration of imprinting o Birds and other nonhuman animals develop a preference for the person or object to which they are first exposed during a brief, critical period after birth - Focused on signalling behaviours in human infant attachment o Crying, smiling, vocalizing, sucking, clinging - Evolutionary biases make it likely child will use the parents as a secure base o A safety zone that the infant can retreat to for comfort and reassurance when stressed or frightened while exploring environment - Three important features of this theory: o Emphasis on active role played by the infant’s early social signalling systems o Stress on the developments of mutual attachments o Attachment is a dyadic relationship, not simply a behaviour of either the infant or parents How attachment develops - Formation and early development of attachment o 1) Preattachment – 0-2 months- indiscriminate social responsiveness o 2) Attachment in the making – 2-7 months – recognition of familiar people o 3) Clear-cut attachment – 7-24 months – separation protest, wariness of strangers, intentional communication o 4) Goal-corrected partnership – 24 months on – relationships more two sided: children understands parent’s needs (mutual dyadic relationship)  Emergence of self-conscious emoti
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