PSYCH101 Lecture Notes - Attachment Theory

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
University of Waterloo
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH101
Professor
Psychology 101; Lecture 2
TA: Adam Palanica
PAS 2261 Tuesdays 10-11am
apalanic@uwaterloo.ca
September-21-10
6:21 PM
Child Psychology
Background:
The industrial revolution was 1800-1900 in western society when technology was advancing a lot. In
England it was not unless for a child to start working at the age of 12, in the mines as young as 6 years
old. The children were used to plant the dynamite in the mines. Textile factories, the children would
clean under the machines while they were still on and running. In Great Britain the child labour law
became enacted to stop children from working at such a young age, and soon North America followed.
General perception of using children for work is called the sapling theory, the sapling looks like a tree
and does the same thing but the size is different, and the view was the same for children. Caterpillar
theory, a child butterfly, but doesn't look like the adult it's going to become. Children may look like us
(as adults) but they have different needs. 2 people changed the view to the caterpillar theory are
Sigmeod Freud and Jean Piaget. They said that a child's growth is not a straight line (linear line) but
rather a series of developmental steps, like stairs.
Affective Development:
Attachment theory-
how we attach feelings to other people (i.e. love). 1960s and 1950s behaviourists were a large group.
They didn't like anyone who contradicted their knowledge/theories. Harry Harlow was a big behaviourist
and had established his reputation as such. He was using monkeys in his experiments instead of rats
which were more common. They would take newborn babies away from their mother when the
monkeys were bred because wild animals in captivity do not make good parents, so they would take the
baby monkeys into their own separate cages. They had diapers in their cages to catch their poop, and
when the lab assistants would come around to collect the spoiled diapers the monkeys would fight them
for the diaper, dig their claws into it and crying. Harry Harlow was at a convention and were talking
about their lab stories and about this phenomenon of the monkeys, when Harry had a thought about
this; it occurs to him, that it could be love.
Freud's Theory
Love is really a secondary emotion, the primary one being sex. For children, sexual pleasure is all about
the mouth, getting it touched, being breastfed, etc. Love is a by product, the child is showing affection
to an individual because she's giving him/her what he wants, sex.
Behaviourist Theory
Love is still a secondary emotion, whereas the primary need is need, if a child needs something this big
person (parent) gives them what they need or want so they start showing affection for this person.
Harry was thinking that the monkeys may have fallen in love with their diapers. But how? They have
removed them from their mother, their source of sex. The monkeys show attachment to the diapers so
in absence of a real love they settle for the best they have, which for them was the diaper. Harlow came
up with a new theory, that love in the sense of attachment could be a primary need or instinct. To test
his theory he performed one of the most well known experiments ever, he takes these monkeys and
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gives them two surrogate mothers, one cloth and one wire. The cloth one looks like a monkey and is
covered in cloth, but the wire mother is fitted with the bottle. Because the monkey is being fed by the
wire mother Freud and the behaviourists would argue that the monkey would become attached to the
wire mother, but that's not what Harlow found. He found that even if the wire mother was the one
giving the food/sex the monkey still spent more time with the cloth mother. He began other
experiments to see if the monkeys would run to the cloth mother when frightened, and they did. When
placed in a new, strange environment with both mothers, the monkeys did the same thing, they run and
cling to cloth mother. When the cloth mother is removed the monkeys would just sit in a corner crying,
and crouching, same reaction when both mothers were removed.
Material Love is the first kind of love felt was the theory in this research now. Next in this stage was to
do experiments with human children. Mary Ainsworth was the one who started these experiences. She
had to come up with a more ethical way to complete these experiments. It was called "The Strange
Situation". There's a set routine of events that happens in this room, mother + baby gets introduced to
strange environment (babies get scared and cling onto mother, eventually when they calm down and
notice the toys they start to go to the toys but not right away, always looking at mother, and when they
get there they either play with the toys while watching their mothers or bring the toys back to their
mom, sharing with her), then mother and baby and a stranger get put in one room (the babies go right
back to their mom and look right at the stranger when they are safe in their mother's arms, but if mom
and stranger start to talk and become friendly, the baby will eventually go back to the toys, but still
sharing with their mom), then stranger and baby are left alone in the room (when mother leaves the
baby is very upset and they will go back to where their mother was, crying, sniffling), then just mother
and baby in the room alone again (warm connection, hugs, holds baby, baby returns to normal again
and may go back to the toys), then the mother leaves and the baby is all alone (the baby will go back to
the seat the mother was sitting in and show some discomfort, crying, upset, but most of them go back
to the toys after a little bit, adapting to the scenario, as if there was trust in the primary love giver that
they have not abandoned them and will protect them if need be), then stranger and baby in the room
together (baby somewhat upset but most of the children will stay at the toys, maybe go back to their
mother's chair, but now they will look at the stranger, and some will start to warm to them, not as much
as mom though), then finally mother and baby are reunited in the room.
This relationship with your parents, as your first loving relationship, is used as a template for your first
love relationship. Mary Ainsworth found this relationship and called it the secure, attachment style. But
not all mother baby pairs shared this trust bond between them. 2/3s showed trust attachment with
their mothers, but 1/3 showed an insecure attachment; two different types: ambivalent style- uncertain
, it's really hard for the child to leave their mother because they aren't sure if their mother will stay or
not, or leave them and not come back. When the stranger comes in with just the baby these children
are inconsolable. When there is a reunion, there is an element of anger with their mother, happiness
mixed with anger, when the mother picks them up some of the babies will hit/bite their mothers, as if
to say "how could you leave me?". The other insecure attachment style is called the avoid style- the
child quickly separates from mother and goes for the toys. When they get to the toys there is no sharing
with their mothers, some will even sit with their back to their mothers. When the stranger comes in
most children won't go back to their mother, or only go back for a short period of time. The child is
almost as likely to be looking at the stranger as their mother so it's hard for an outside observer to tell
which adult is the child's mother. During the reunion, the child won't really be happy, and when the
mother picks them up the children may go limp. Almost a cool feeling, a strong independence. If there is
a trust the child seems to have more trust in themselves rather than the parent.
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Behavioural Development:
Albert Bandura (Behaviourist) born in 1925, the most widely cited psychologist in history, Stanford
University, Canadian.
Social Learning Theory-
Children can pick up theories by more than just trial and error, but can watch others' actions and learn
from that as well as other ways. Imitating actions done by other people. This theory goes by many
different names; imitative learning, modeling, by carious learning, observational learning.
Processes of Social Learning-
Attention: to actually be watching the person performing the act they want to copy and not be
distracted by anything else. Cognitive maturity of the child has to be developed to the point that they
can attend to what we are showing them. Need to make sure the child has the prerequisite skills
required for the skill they are attempting to imitate.
Retention: all mental, they need to picture it and retain the information they have just seen.
Motoric Reproduction: to try to do the skill or act they have witnessed and may fail a few times, and
realize that they are do something wrong and they want to go over it again or see it again, and try to
figure out what they did wrong. Successful approximation.
Motivation: Only if the child wants to actually do the act is when it may or may not happen. Even though
a child may undergo the first three steps they may not actually complete the skill/act because they don't
want to or aren't motivated to do this act.
All four processes must be attained for the skill/behaviour to actually be learned and performed.
Cognitive Development:
Jean Piaget, born in 1896 and died in 1980, born in Switzerland, well to do family. First article by age 11,
PhD by age 21 in Natural History (Biology). His mother began to suffer from psychological disorders
(depression) and his dad left after mom became sick, after Jean graduated he put his career on hold to
take care of his mother, and decided to learn psychology, and goes to Paris, France to do so.
Even though Piaget's Theory is over 100 years old, it's still the most valid theory for children psychology.
His theory changed parenting, elementary schools, education, etc.
Schema (schemata): The basic cognitive building block, (baby crawling on the floor, and there's another
creature crawling around on the floor, eventually you realize it's a cat, and in your cognitive memory
you remember this is a cat. Then you add on characteristics to the cat, it has fur, it scratches, etc. ).
Equilibration and Disequilibration: we prefer to be in a mental state of equilibration, meaning that when
we're interacting with our environment, we want to think that our schema of the world is in harmony
with the world, (aka. your thoughts of what a cat is is the same as the rest of the worlds thoughts of
what a cat is). We can also encounter information during our reaction with our environment it throws us
into a state of disequilibration.
Assimilation and Accommodation: These are the two ways of taking disequilibration and make it fit with
our existing schema. Assimilation is to just change the world's version of that object or thought and then
it fits into the original schema. Accommodation is to change what we think and change it and mold it to
what the world thinks the object or thought is.
Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development:
Sensorimotor Stage: Children experience the world in a hands on way, sensing things, moving things,
experiments with every new object. (1st test, edible?, 2nd test, etc..)
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Document Summary

The industrial revolution was 1800-1900 in western society when technology was advancing a lot. England it was not unless for a child to start working at the age of 12, in the mines as young as 6 years old. The children were used to plant the dynamite in the mines. Textile factories, the children would clean under the machines while they were still on and running. In great britain the child labour law became enacted to stop children from working at such a young age, and soon north america followed. General perception of using children for work is called the sapling theory, the sapling looks like a tree and does the same thing but the size is different, and the view was the same for children. Caterpillar theory, a child butterfly, but doesn"t look like the adult it"s going to become. Children may look like us (as adults) but they have different needs.