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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Developmental Psychology

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University of Waterloo
Richard Ennis

Lecture 3: Developmental Psychology Background: The Industrial Revolution • During the industrial revolution, children were seen as mini adults (the sapling theory). • Sigmund Freud developed a different way of thinking about development (stage theory), where children go through different age ranges, and at every age they are a different creature (the caterpillar theory; children look quite different from us, and have the ability to develop into adults). • Jean Piaget examined children and found they were very different from adults. Prior to his research, children were employed at ages as young as six without a second thought. Most children didn’t receive education outside of home and the workplace; only the most privileged received external education. • Alfred Baney suggested the concept of universal education, rather than only certain children being educated. Following this, other laws such as the child labour laws were put in place. Affective Development: Attachment Theory Harry Harlow: A behaviourist during the 1950s; used chimpanzees to further his research rather than the common observation animal in a lab (rats). - When breeding chimps for more research, they would separate the baby from the mother at birth because they had found that captive mothers didn’t make good mothers. When they were kept in their own cages, they would have cloth diapers left on the bottom of the cage for them to do their business on. Every time the lab asst.’s had to clean the cages, the babies would cling to the diapers for dear life and would cry for it until it was replaced. Harlow noted that the babies were falling in love with the diapers in place of their mothers (something to cuddle, warmer than the rest of the cage). Theories about mothers: 1. Freud; believed that babies were highly sexual beings in the area of the mouth. Because breast feeding is common, it was determined that the child felt strongly for their mothers for fulfilling this sexual need. 2. Behavioralist view; basic needs were met, and the baby would associate with the person who brought them the things they needed (usually the mother). Both theories have attachment as a secondary. A theory was developed concerning evolutionary emotion, questioning if we came into this world willing and ready to fall in love with something in our environment. This loving bond would highly increase the survival of the child, as they would have the bigger entity to defend, feed, and care for themselves. Harlow developed a concept about attachment being a primary rather than a secondary process to prove his theory about the chimp and the diaper. (Monkey rearing experiment using a two surrogate mothers, one made of wire and the other of cloth.) The cloth mother was initially preferred. Harlow attaches a bottle to the wire mother; according to old theories, the infant should fall in love with the wire mother because of this. Independent variables Dependant Infants fed by Infants fed by Variables cloth mother wire mother Contact time Cloth Cloth with wire vs. ~18hr/day ~18hr/day cloth mother Wire ~2hr/day Wire ~2hr/day Reaction to Ran and clang Ran and clang frightening to the cloth to cloth mother object mother Reaction to Ran and clang Ran and clang being in a to cloth mother, to cloth mother, strange then gradually then gradually environment explored using explored using with both the clothe the clothe mothers mother as a mother as a security base. security base. Reaction to Immobilized, Immobilized, being placed in crouching, crouching, a strange crying, thumb- crying, thumb- environment sucking. sucking. with neither mother Reaction to Immobilized, Immobilized, being placed in crouching, crouching, a strange crying, thumb- crying, thumb- environment sucking. sucking. with wire mother only This demonstrates that Freud and the Behaviourists’ theories weren’t accurate, and that we have an evolutionary possibility to be born with the ability to love instantaneously, thereby creating a protective place for the child until such time as it is able to care for itself. Mary Ainsworth: a behavioralist who enlisted the help of mothers with children to continue Harlow’s studies around attachment. • Created the experiment called “The Strange Situation”; two chairs were in the room, with toys and other objects further away from the chair. The mother and child were sat on one chair, and a strange woman placed in the chair opposite. The mother was told to behave naturally, except for the catch that she isn’t allowed to leave her chair. The child’s reactions were measured. • It was found that when the children reached the toys, they would have fun with the toys but would situate themselves by sitting facing their mothers; as if the child was trying to share the joy with their mother. • When the strange woman entered the room, the baby would crawl back to their mother and would stay with them while they took time to settle down and assess the situation. The baby would return to the toys after getting the sense that the situation was safe. • At one point, the mother was told to leave the room. The baby would experience separation/stranger anxiety, often crying and pulling themselves onto the chair where their mother had been seated. After a little while, the baby would calm down; it almost seemed like the child calmed down with the thought that their mother wouldn’t leave them alone in a dangerous situation, and that she would come back. The baby would return to the toys, with a more reserved playing experience. • When the mother comes back, the baby would go immediately to the mother for a momentary reunion. The baby would afterwards return to the toys. • Finally, both women left. The baby would experience severe separation anxiety, but would calm down. • The stranger re-enters the room, and the children seemed slightly reassured (though not as excitable as with the reunion with the mother). They would often return to their mother’s chair again. • Then the mother would return, and the reunion would reoccur. 67% of children in this experiment behaved this way. This replication of Harlow’s experiment led Mary to conclude that the evolved love between a mother and a child is a great security/trust component. There were two other reactions noted by Mary outside of the secure attachment pattern (noted above), dubbed the insecure attachment patterns: - Ambivalent/Resistant pattern (15%); cries uncontrollably when the mother leaves, not responding to comforting from the stranger, and takes a little while to calm down when the mother returns. When the mother returns, the baby will seem to be happy she is back, but ticked off that she left period. Mother to child dialogue is different, leaving the infant confused. They want to intervene, rather than allowing the child to figure things out themse
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