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Lecture 4

Psy311 Lecture 4 Jan28.docx

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Stuart Kamenetsky

Lecture 4: Attachment - January 28 2013 Test #1: Chapters 1,2,3,4 and 5 (not chapter 6) 40 Multiple choice (Knowledge, Understanding) – 1 point each 10 Definition questions (1.5 marks each) from each lecture (10 out of 12 or 13) What are the key points from each lecture? 3 written questions (3 out of 4) – multiple parts (DIRECTLY from lecture material) May ask certain behaviours and ask which stage it belongs to Describe methods (maybe twin studies) Describe certain patterns Not an opinion piece, make sure you show your knowledge Attachment:  Referred to the child’s first relationship o Long and emotional relationship (in healthy family lasts a lifetime) o meaningful to child and parent o Very particular relationship to particular other  Relationship is usually very strong and reciprocal  Distinction between attachment and attachment behaviour o Attachment: internal and cognitive system that organizes the child’s feelings o Attachment behaviour: clinging, crying (which we can observe)  Distinction between attachment as a biologically based system within an individual and a dyadic relationship between individuals o Can only infer relationships based on observations o From attachment behaviours we infer that there is an attachment between two individuals Attachment is Characterized by:  Selectivity – focus on specific individuals o Within the entire circle, we talk about selectivity  Seeking of physical proximity o Look at the attachment as purposeful behaviour to ensure that this attachment behaviour remains in close proximity  Provision of comfort and security  Production of separation distress Bowlby’s Theory:  Psychoanalytical concepts – importance of satisfaction of children’s drives with an emphasis on physical rather than emotional needs o For example: if a child gets hurt, physically being there will be very important o By fulfilling the physical needs, the emotional need fulfillment will follow o Rhesus monkey: tended to go to cloth mother over food/water wire mother in times of distress  Ethology – emphasizing the evolutionary purposes of behavior – the child is “biologically based” to develop attachment behavior in order to ensure survival o In the past, babies staying with their mother will be more likely to survive over babies that are left alone (very vulnerable period when this develops) o Both biological and psychological purposes o Infants and moms prewired to provide close proximity (not dads)  Infants do this through signaling behaviour (crying, smiling, babbling), approach behaviour (clinging, following, reaching) Stages in Development of attachment (Bowlby):  0-2 months: Pre-attachment – Indiscriminate social behaviour o Child behaves the same way with everyone that is around and who is able to fulfill their basic needs  2-7 months: Attachment in the making – Recognition of familiar people o Where they start to develop particular attachments and a preference for certain people o Behaviour is still very variable and not very consistent  7-24 months: Clear cut attachment – Separation protest, fear of strangers, intentionality o Perceptually the child can tell the difference between people and shows memory development (very healthy to see this)  If we do not see this, there may be an underlying problem  Rather than this being a fixed pattern, the child is intentionally doing this  24 months and on: Goal corrected partnership – Think of this as a goal that both the child and parent try to maintain o Two-sided relationship (both play a role) o Understanding of parental needs  Mom starts expecting the child to understand that she cannot always be there physically for the child and offering other options o Control system mechanism  Increasing and decreasing physical proximity to the child  In “normal” family, the set point may be low when the child and parent are at home and the child may not need the parents right next to them  However, in a novel situation and setting the set point may be high and the child will display more proximity seeking behaviours, after some time this set point may lower but if something changes again the set point may rise once more o Internal working model (symbolic mental representations to guide child’s behaviour which includes emotional and cognitive components)  Need some predictability and understanding of our emotional world  Use these models to guide their internal behaviour  Child learns not to seek proximity behaviour if it is not going to happen  Important to note that some children may develop untrusting relationships with people close to them that may affect them later in life Onset of First Attachment:  Key criteria: what happens when the child is separated from mother  Early attachment – little tolerance, especially in unfamiliar situations: typically begins around 7-8 months along with fear of strangers  Why does this occur during third quarter of first year? The development of cognition: o Recognition memory – ability to differentiate the attachment figure from other people  Child has memory of what the individual looks like, feels life, sounds like o Object (and person) permanence – child remains aware of an object during its absence To whom do infants become attached?  Bowlby: to only a single individual o Mainly mother because the mother will always be there for the child from birth  This is a prototypical relationship with which all others will follow  It does not make sense from an evolutionary view: if mother dies at child birth, the child psychological well being would
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