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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 Developmental Psychology Excellent lecture notes from Richard Ennis's Class


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH101
Professor
Richard Ennis
Lecture
2

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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

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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
Variables
Infants fed by
cloth mother
Infants fed by
wire mother
Contact time
with wire vs.
cloth mother
Cloth
~18hr/day
Wire ~2hr/day
Cloth
~18hr/day
Wire ~2hr/day
Reaction to
frightening
object
Ran and clang
to the cloth
mother
Ran and clang
to cloth mother
Reaction to
being in a
strange
environment
with both
mothers
Ran and clang
to cloth mother,
then gradually
explored using
the clothe
mother as a
security base.
Ran and clang
to cloth mother,
then gradually
explored using
the clothe
mother as a
security base.
Reaction to
being placed in
a strange
environment
with neither
mother
Immobilized,
crouching,
crying, thumb-
sucking.
Immobilized,
crouching,
crying, thumb-
sucking.
Reaction to
being placed in
a strange
environment
with wire
mother only
Immobilized,
crouching,
crying, thumb-
sucking.
Immobilized,
crouching,
crying, thumb-
sucking.
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
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