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Lecture 9

PSYB20 - Lecture 9.docx

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Mark Schmuckler

PSYB20 – Lecture 9 Prof’s Speech - Purple - Emotional development – the idea that infants and children form emotional attachment was formed by Freud - Today, most psychologists agree that social and emotional development occurs in the first 5 years Slide 2 – Theories of Attachment – Behaviourist Approach - Attachment – term used to describe strong affectionate ties that bind one to another person o Huge focal point of intense debate o Approached from a variety of viewpoints, all of which try to explain how attachments are formed - Both the behaviourist and the psychoanalytic approach have provided explanations for attachment, and both emphasize the importance of feeding behaviour - The importance of feeding and drive reduction o Feeding is important because it Elicits positive responses from the infant which are likely to increase the caregiver’s affection for the child  However, attachment doesn’t depend on hunger satisfaction o Mothers provide infants with additional comforts, such as warmth, vocalizations  Because mothers are able to relax and provide all sorts of comforts to their child (i.e. food, warmth), the child associates these pleasurable feelings with mom and mom becomes the primary source of reinforcement o All occur in single setting o Mom becomes source of reinforcement Slide 3 – Theories of Attachment – Behaviourist Approach - Harlow & Zimmerman (1959) o Contact Comfort o Harlow studied baby Rhesus monkeys who were separated from their mothers and raised by either a wire-mother (with bottle/food) or a cloth mom  The monkey preferred the cuddly soft mom (providing warmth), until it got hungry  The mom they got attached to was not the one just providing food Slide 4 – Blanket Attachment and Play - Infants can become attached to other inanimate objects, especially in stressful situations o i.e. blankets, teddy bears o occurs in about 50% of children, the objects help the child manage stress - experiment with 2-3 year olds o Half of the children were attached to an object, half were not attached o A number of different conditions: with mom, with blanket, with toy, with nothing o The child would go into a room with mom, explore the room, not much difference if child had blanket or did not have blanket o In the next condition, those who were attached to the blanket were in the room without mom, and were okay without mom (but only in mildly stressful situations, not in high stress situations (i.e. noises in the room)) Slide 5 – Theories of Attachment – Behaviourist Approach - Operant Conditioning model o Infants look, smile, and seek proximity because mom reciprocates with smiles, hugs o The greater number of behaviors that get reinforced by particular person, the more one is attached to that person  Attachment occurs even in situations of serious maltreatment  Harlow took mother monkeys who were socially deprived as children who essentially abused their children  They behaved violently towards their child, but the child monkey still showed attachment features - In general, there are major deficiencies with the behaviourist approach o It doesn’t explain why attachment relationships persist when the attached figure is not actually present o According to the behaviourist approach, not seeing a person for a long time, means they are not being enforced, and the attachment should disappear Slide 6 – Theories of Attachment – Psychoanalytic Approach - In nature, this approach is the same as the behaviourist o Child is passive in the process  The focus is on what is done for the child - Freudian approach o Similar to drive reduction  When biological drives are satisfied, attachment occurs o Become attached to person who satisfies basic biological drives (typically Mom)  The child becomes attached to the person who reduces their drives, i.e. hunger/thirst o Relationship with Mom then prototype for romantic relationships throughout life - Erikson’s approach o Starts with mom fulfilling needs, but includes mom’s responsiveness o 1 developmental stage: birth – 1 yr: Trust vs. mistrust  Will mom be there when I need her?  Child becomes attached to an individual they can trust  The way in which mom fosters trust is important  i.e. is it accompanied with caring behaviours, sensitive care  overall responsiveness o Children become attached to people who minister to needs o Importance of mother’s overall responsiveness - Problem with the psychoanalytic approach o Begins with the notion of drive reduction, therefore it has the same problem as the behaviourist approach o Stresses the idea that the baby is passive in relation – problems that arise would be mom’s fault Slide 7 – Theories of Attachment – Cognitive- Development Approach - This approach doesn’t have a downside in terms of its primary prediction – attachment depends on cognitive growth - Little to say about which people to whom one becomes attached; which adults appeal to the infant o Suggests that attachment depends, in part, on level of cognitive development  The ability to form attachment depends on the intellectual functioning of infant o Must be able to discriminate familiar persons from strangers o Must recognize that familiar persons have permanence – object permanence abilities, as discussed earlier  Must know that mom exists even when she cannot be seen  Can’t be attached to something that doesn’t exist o Approach claims that the nature of the child’s attachment is related to the timing of cognitive development o Thus, timing of attachment related to timing of development of cognitive ability  However, that timing is related is all that this approach says (problem) Slide 8 – Theories of Attachment – Ethological Approach - Most generally accounted theory for the process of attachment - All 3 theories have something to offer, but they are lacking in 1-2 aspects - Work on imprinting inspired work on ethological development - John Bowlby o Provided modern perspective on attachment o Saw infant’s attachment to mom as adaptive o Attachment ultimately increases chances of survival o Talked about the importance of the attachment figure in providing emotional support o Cognitive group – fundamental feature of attachment - Central feature of theory o Babies born with in-born set of behaviors  In-born behaviours increase parent care, and therefore increase chances of survival for the child o Behaviors elicit parent care, thus increase change of survival  Young of species are endowed with behaviours that keep parents in close proximity – i.e. smiling, sucking, clinging, following, all bring the child in close proximity with mom, which helps to form an affectionate bond  Parents provide protection, provide means for supporting the child in exploration of the environment  Parents increase their young’s chance of survival – including feeding behaviours - The developmental course of attachment o The preattachment phase (birth – 6 wks)  Behavior a matter of genetically determined reflexive responses with survival value  Oriented towards other human beings (i.e. sucking, clinging)  Babies are biased to respond to signals from others  In this phase, the most disturbing things for babies is being put down (not lifted/held)  Child begins to distinguish mom from others  Promote physical contact o Attachment in the making (6 wks – 6/8 mos)  Orient and respond with preference towards mom  Infant is focused on responding with preference to mom – i.e. smiling when see mom, give infant to mom when crying)  No specific attachment has yet formed  When the child is not with mom, he/she doesn’t necessarily protest  It is not separation from mom that is critical, but just from other people (at this stage)  There is a steady rise in how upset the child gets when mom leaves the room o The phase of clearcut attachment (6/8 mos – 18/24 mos)  Shows separation anxiety  Mom as a “safe haven”  Attention to mom is the strongest  See behaviours that indicate that the child is fundamentally attached to mom  By 18 months, the infant is most upset when mom leaves  Growth of independent locomotion  Infants are becoming mobile in this phase  Introduce additional behaviours that the child can do (i.e. follow mom)  Infants can now control their behaviour to keep proximity with mom  They use mom as a safe haven for exploring the world  Period with significant cognitive development  Child is developing object permanence o Formation of a reciprocal relationship (18/24 mos – )  Decrease in separation anxiety because at this age, there is rapid cognitive development and growth of linguistic abilities  Child is better at producing linguistic information – additional means to influence mom’s behaviour – child can try to persuade mom with language  Child cognitively understands mom’s behaviour (i.e. mom will come back)  Language brings new way of interacting with mom, so they don’t have to cling/cry, but they can try persuading Slide 10 – Theories of Attachment – Ethological Approach - Four phases enable child to produce enduring affectionate tie to caregiver that lasts for their entire life o Use as a secure base in parent’s absence o Used as an internal working model  nature of tie becomes an internal working model for the child of how relationships will develop throughout the child’s life o Produces attachment-related expectations for parental comfort and support  At 2 years, there is evidence for toddlers forming expectations of nature of attachment relations o Johnson, Dweck, & Chen (2007)  Habituated toddlers to display of small and large ovals  Tested with 2 videos – one where a large oval was unresponsive to a little oval, and another where a little oval moves towards a responsive oval  Securely attached children looked at the unresponsive oval more because he/she expected the oval to go provide support to the little oval  The securely attached child found the unresponsive behaviour unexpected  For insecurely attached children, they had no preference  Tested with responsive and unresponsive caregiver o seems to focus on a primary caregiver  With a prominent dad in the relation – attachment was not as strong to dad  Attachment relations form more easily with mom seemingly  Huge chunk of the literature focuses on mom as the primary caregiver o Quality of attachment differs from child to child in attachment to the primary caregiver Slide 11 – Measure of Attachment – The Strange Situation - Mary Ainsworth (nee Salter) - The Strange Situation o 8 episodes – mom and baby interact, mom leaves, stranger enters, etc. o Child with secure attachment uses mom as secure base o Interactions with stranger varies depending on if mom is present o May/may not show separation anxiety – but if they do, it is clearly because mom has left o Display a clear preference for mom over the stranger o When mom and the stranger are together in the room, baby is okay o Ainsworth et al. identified 3 insecure attachment relations - Situation is a strong tool that provides clear relation to a role of attachment in child’s life o Has ecological validity o Major upheaval in child’s life may result in change of attachment class (i.e. may change from secure to insecure), but is able to move back when the situation stabilizes - Experiment criticized on ethical grounds – introducing child to a stranger - Main focus was on 1-2 year olds Slide 13 – Patterns of Attachment - Securely Attached o Distressed during separation o Seeks out mother during reunion o About 60% of North-American infants are securely attached o Infant uses mom as a secure base/safe haven o May/may not show separation anxiety – but if they do, it is clearly because mom has left - Insecure – Avoidant o Unresponsive to mom when she is present o When mom leaves, child is not really distressed, react to mom almost the same as a stranger o Avoids parent during reunion o About 15% of North-American infants - Insecure – Resistant/ambivalent o Seeks closeness to mom, fails to explore o When parent leaves, baby is very distressed o Combines clinginess and resistant behavior upon return, may continue to cry when mom comes back o About 10% of North-American infants - Insecure – Disorganized/Disoriented o Greatest level of insecurity o Combination of avoidant and ambivalent/resistant o Confusion over whether to approach or avoid mom upon reunion, contradictory behaviour o During reunion may act dazed or freeze, even after having calmed down o About 5-15% of North-American infants Slide 14 – Measurement of Attachment – Attachment Q-sort - Assess attachment for 1-4 year olds but also for adults – i.e. through home observation - Researchers look for - Observation of 90 behaviors o “The child greets the mother with a big smile when entering the room” o “When the mother moves far away, the child follows along” o “The child uses the mother’s facial expression as a good source of information about something risky” - Sorted the behaviours into 9 categories, score the nature of the child’s behaviour o Not at all descriptive – Highly descriptive - Q-sort can potentially better reflect parent-child relation in everyday life Slide 15 – Factors Affecting the Development of Attachment - Rene Spitz - Early availability of a consistent caregiver o Work with institutionalized infants (Spitz, 1946) o Work with infants in institution with good infant-caregiver ratio, but high staff turnover – with high staff turnover, staff left often and babies faired poorly o If there were consistent caregivers in the institution for adopted children, the babies were given a chance to form relations; which lead to better outcomes  Babies truly formed relations with caregivers o Research on adoption of European orphans  Most children were still able to develop deep ties with their adoptive parents  Even though they didn’t have the early availability, they were still able to form that attachment  Indiscriminate friendliness  Child might be overly friendly to strangers  ERP differences in the processing of emotional information  Children at 7 months have different in-brain processes compared to emoti
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