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Lecture 5

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University of Toronto St. George
Geoffrey Mac Donald

Lecture 5: Attachment The attachment system Promote bonding of infant and caregiver: infants seeks PROXIMITY when distressed o Evolutionary perspective: infants depend on moms for nutrition and security o Crying gain attention obtain what you want Separation leads to o Protest: crying and searching to regain contact with attachment figure o Despair: deeper distress such as depression (less agitated negative affect) o Detachment: symptoms of subside (stop relying on attachment figure; disinvesting themselves) Relationship bonds follow similar patterns o Romantic partners seek proximity when distressed Distress primes (ie: term upset) automatically activate attachment concepts (ie: love) Adult pair bonding Humans appears to have evolved to facilitate paternal care of offspring o Not only having children, but raising them to have their own children Attachment theory Working models developed in childhood by the way they are treated as children A) Model of self: am I worthy to be loved? B) Model of others: can you trust others that they are available and responsive Childhood experiences influence, but DO NOT DETERMINE adult attachment o Constantly updated based on new relationships o Working models = just foundation The strange situation experiment o Infants behavior observed when moms left and returned a) Secure: upset seek proximity relieve distress when reunited b) Anxious-ambivalent: VERY upset angry reaction (cant easily soothe) c) Avoidant: DONT CARE outward but emotions may be going on underneath Refined measurement Anxiety (model of self): worry about being loved o High: PREOCCUPIED TYPE & FEARFUL TYPE Avoidance (model of others): o High: DISMISSIVE TYPE (less worry about being loved AND cant trust others)& FEARFUL TYPE Adult attachment interview Assesses HOW childhoodadolescent attachment experiences are PROCESSED (NOT JUST CONTENT) o Secures: coherent, collaborative, discuss positive and negative experience objectively o Preoccupied (high anxious): excessive discourse often straying from original questionsng negative reaction o Dismissive (high avoidant): idealized representations of caregivers, dismiss or normalize negative experiences (having trouble looking back childhood, just suppress and dismiss); best predicted by low coherence (pretend themselves they were never upset) Different behaviors according to attachment styles A) Secure behavior o Most stable and satisfying relationships
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