Lecture 7 PSYA02 Notes
Bolwby’s Attachment Theory
• The Infant’s Ties to its Mother
o Mother as “secure base” — exploratory behavior
o Mother as “safe haven” — proximity-seeking
• The Attachment System
o An evolved, goal-directed, behavioral system
o i.e., a “mommy-stat” or “proximity-stat”
• Working Models
o Internal representations of infants’ early experiences of parental support
or parental neglect
• Attachment system
o emotional, social links; children link with primary caregiver (mom)
o Use mom as secure base to explore; as long as she is around, they are
encouraged to explore (secure based behaviour)
o If too far from mom—enfant will return to mom to ensure safety
Evolutionary adaptation where if infant feels stress, then mother
feels stress designates a safe, proper and acceptable distance.
More dangerous and threatening the environment = closer
proximity to mom
o Working: children building expectations internal representation of
whether or not you will receive care or support if requested
Ainsworth’s Strange Situation
• Separation anxiety – separation from mother = upset child
• Stranger anxiety – presence of stranger = upset child
1. Infant explores.
2. Introduction of a stranger.
3. Parent leaves infant with stranger — first separation.
4. Parent returns, stranger leaves quietly — first reunion.
5. Parent leaves infant alone in the room — second separation.
6. Stranger retu