CFT 412 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Mental Model, Mary Ainsworth, John Bowlby

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Class 2: April 4
Attachments
One of the most empirically supported theories in developmental
literature
Springs from biologically-based necessity of infant to be
close to caregiver for sake of survival, evolutionary
Developers: Rene Spitz, John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth
Spitz observed young children in orphanage who got food
health but no affection which took tool on development
Bowlby studied infant monkeys and their preferences to
wire mothers with food vs cloth mothers without
Attachments have been studied in non-human animals, children
and adults
Several phases in emotional reaction from separation:
protest to crying, despair to passive, detachment
Sensitive responding by the parent to the infants’ needs result in
infant who demonstrates secure attachment
Lack of sensitive responding can result in insecure
attachment
Bowlby’s Theory: Four characteristics of attachment
Proximity Maintenance: desire to be near the people we are
attached to
Safe Haven: returning to the attachment figure for comfort and
safety in the face of fear or threat
Secure Base: attachment figure acts as a base of security from
which child can explore surrounding environment
Separation Distress: anxiety that occurs in absence of attachment
figure
Four Assumptions of Attachment Theory
A child must form an emotional bond with a caregiver in order to
develop optimally
How a child is cared for during their earliest years has a strong
effect on their personality and future relationships
Early attachment bond with caregivers form internal working
model that guides future behavior and expectations in relationships
Although attachment bonds and patterns that are formed in infancy
are fairly stable, they can be changed later in life
Internal Working Model
Cognitive construction about workings of a relationship
Set of conscious and/or unconscious rules and expectation about
our relationships with others
Expectations of support
Expectations of affection
Leads to your self-scheme
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