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Introduction to Psychology II - Lecture 007

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

28 January 2013 CHAPTER 11: DEVELOPMENT [CONT’D] Humans have gotten as far as we have because we are intensely social animals, we want relationships, we need to feel like we are loved, and we gain power through connections. This desire for social relations is present at birth, and is bi-directional, as represented both by “maternal instincts” and via specific behaviours emitted by the infant. Sucking is both for food and for comfort, cuddling is comfort and seems to signal security (Harlow’s work), looking is eye to eye contact to initiate interactions, smiling is the best reward of parenting (5 weeks) and crying is teaching parents through negative reinforcement. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Psychologist Harry Harlow discovered that when socially isolated monkeys were put in a cage with two artificial mothers, one that was made of wire and dispensed food and one that was made of cloth and dispensed no food, they spent most of their time clinging to the soft cloth mother despite the fact that the wire mother was the source of their nourishment. BEING ATTACHED Konrad Lorenz discovered newly hatched gosling will faithfully follow the first moving object to which it is exposed. The first moving object a hatchling saw was somehow imprinted on its bird brain as “the thing I must always stay near.” Psychiatrist John Bowlby sought to understand how human infants form attachments to their caregivers. He noted that from the moment they are born, goslings waddle after their mothers and monkeys cling to their mothers’ furry chests because the newborns of both species must stay close to their caregivers to survive. Human babies have a similar need but use a different strategy; instead, they do things that cause their caregivers to stay close to them. When a baby cries, gurgles, coos, makes eye contact, or smiles, most adults reflexively move toward the baby, and Bowlby claimed that this is why the baby emits these “come hither” signals. Bowlby believed that all of this happens because evolution has equipped human infants with a social reflex that is every bit as basic as the physical reflexes that cause them to suck and to grasp. Human infants are predisposed to form an attachment, an emotional bond, with a primary caregiver. Humans acquire a great deal of social information from the nonverbal cues provided by others. The human face is a major source of non-verbal cues and babies attend preferentially to faces almost from birth. Human faces are very asymmetrical and provide intensive information. Still face experiments dramatically show how important these cues are (IE: Mother keeping a still face with a baby results in the baby crying). Infants who are deprived of the opportunity to become attached suffer a variety of social and emotional deficits. Strange Situation is a behavioral test developed by psychologist Mary Ainsworth that is used to determine a child’s attachment style. The test involves bringing a child and his or her primary caregiver (usually the child’s mother) to a laboratory room and then staging a series of episodes, including ones in which the primary caregiver briefly leaves the room and then returns.  Secure Attachment (about 60%) is when the caregiver returns, infants who had been distressed by the caregiver’s absence go to her and are calmed by her proximity, while those who had not been distressed acknowledge her return with a glance or greeting. Mothers of securely attached infants tend to be especially sensitive to signs of their child’s emotional state, especially good at detecting their infant’s “request” for reassurance, and especially responsive to that request  Avoidant Attachment (about 20%) is when they are generally not distressed when their caregiver leaves the room, and they generally do not acknowledge her when she returns. Mothers of infants with an avoidant attachment style are typically indifferent to their child’s need for reassurance and may even reject their attempts at physical closeness (IE: You left me!)  Ambivalent Attachment (about 15%) is when they are almost always distressed when their caregiver leaves the room, but then they rebuff their caregiver’s attempt to calm them when she returns, arching their backs and squirming to get away. Mothers of infants with an ambivalent attachment style tend to respond inconsistently, only sometimes attending to their infants when they show signs of distress  Disorganized Attachment (about 5% or fewer) is when there is no consistent pattern of responses when their caregiver leaves or returns Aspects of attachment styles vary across cultures. German children (whose parents tend to foster independence) are more likely to have avoidant than ambivalent attachment styles. Japanese children (whose mothers typically stay home and do not leave them in the care of others) are more likely to have ambivalent than avoidant attachment styles. The capacity for attachment may be innate, but the quality of that attachment is influenced by the child, the primary caregiver, and their interaction. Internal Working Model of Relationships is a set of beliefs about the self, the primary caregiver, and the relationship between them. Infants with different attachment styles have different working models of relationships. Infants with a secure attachment style act as though they are certain that their primary caregiver will respond when they feel insecure, infants with an avoidant attachment style act as though they are certain that their primary caregiver will not respond, and infants with an ambivalent attachment style act as though they are uncertain about whether their primary caregiver will respond or not. Infants with a disorganized attachment style seem to be confused about their caregivers, which has led some psychologists to speculate that this style primarily characterizes children who have been abused. Temperaments are characteristic patterns of emotional reactivity. Very young children vary in their tendency toward fearfulness, irritability, activity, positive effect, and other emotional traits (IE: Infants who react fearfully to novel stimuli such as sudden movements, loud sounds, or unfamiliar people, tend to be more subdued, less social, and less positive at 4 years old). Temperament differences emerge from stable differences in biology (IE: Inhibited temperament are the infants who thrash and cry when shown a new toy or a new person; they grow into children who tend to avoid novel people, objects, and situations; and they ultimately become quiet, cautious, and sometimes shy adults). Attachment style causes securely attached infants to become more successful children and adults. Stranger Anxiety are anxious and fearful responses (IE: crying, clinging) in the presence of strangers. Separation Anxiety is anxious and fearful responses that occur when the caregiver leaves the infant. Preoccupied is the adult being busy. Dismissing is not caring about the child (IE: You don’t need me, I don’t need you feeling). MORAL DEVELOPMENT From birth, human beings are able to quickly make the distinction between pleasure and pain. To balance our needs and the needs of others, humans develop a new distinction of right and wrongs. Bad Behavior involves the gratification of our own desires at the expense of someone else’s, and most moral systems are a set of recommendations for balancing different people’s competing needs. Piaget noticed that children’s moral thinking changed systematically over time in three important ways, shifting from:  Realism to Relativism o Young children regard moral rules as real, inviolable truths about the world o Don’t believe that a bad action (IE: Hitting someone) can be good even if everyone agreed to allow it o As they mature, children begin to realize that some moral rules (IE: Wives should obey their husbands) are inventions and not discoveries and that groups of people can therefore agree to adopt them, change them, or abandon them entirely  Prescriptions to Principles o Young children think of moral rules as guidelines for specific actions in specific situations (IE: Children should take turns playing marbles) o As they mature, children come to see that rules are expressions of more general principles (IE: Fairness and equity) which means that specific rules can be abandoned or modified when they fail to uphold the general principle  Outcomes to Intentions o Young children think an unintentional action that causes great harm seems “more wrong” than an intentional action that causes slight harm because young children tend to judge the morality of an action by its outcome rather than by what the actor intended o As they mature, children begin to see that the morality of an action is critically dependent on the actor’s state of mind A MORAL DILEMMA STORY A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer and there was one drug that doctors thought would save her. It was an expensive and special drug that could only be purchased by this one druggist. The husband of the wife tried to gather the money from his friends and family but came up short. He asked the druggist for a discount or if he could pay the rest later and the druggist said no and that he was going to sell it and make money. The husband, desperate to save his wife’s life broke into the shop keeper’s store and stole the drug. Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg offered a more detailed theory of the development of moral reasoning; he believed moral reasoning proceeds through three stages:  Pre-conventional Stage is a stage of moral development in which the morality of an action is primarily determined by its consequences for the actor o Immoral actions are those for which one is punished, and the appropriate resolution to any moral dilemma is to choose the behavior with the least likelihood of punishment o (IE: It would be bad if he
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