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PSYC 100

Week Six: Social Development What factors influence our social development? Being a Role Model How do factors like role models, parent-child interactions, sex, gender, and friendship influence social development?  Initially our parents/caregivers are our biggest (if not only) models, but as we get older our social spheres expand and we are influenced by our peers much more  Social Brain Hypothesis: reason certain species (e.g. humans, chimps, dolphins) have brains so large and metabolically demanding is to meet the cognitive demands of social living Rules and Discipline  One of the first ways we learn about appropriate and inappropriate behaviour is by caregivers enforcing rules on us – the way they define and enforce rules is also important  Methods of behaviour modification: o Positive Punishment (e.g. spanking) – may cause immediate behaviour change, but is not the most effective and does not necessarily teach children to behave appropriately in the long term o Negative Punishment (e.g. time out) o Positive Reinforcement (e.g. praise, treat) – most effective o Negative Reinforcement (e.g. relaxing other restrictions) – can be effective, however it can be hard to implement in parenting – parent can’t follow child around making an annoying noise until the child acts appropriately (like a car busser that sounds until you put on your seat belt)  Hoffman suggested caregivers could employ several styles of discipline, but the one called ‘induction’ was most responsible for empathetic moral development o Inductive Discipline: guiding behaviour by introducing appropriate limits and setting up reasonable consequences while also explaining why o Involves highlighting to the child the consequences of their actions on others o Encourages the development of feelings of empathy and guilt, and to increase levels of prosocial behaviour in children Teaching and Learning  While young creatures are clearly observing and learning, modeling behaviours that older animals exhibit does not necessarily constitute teaching  To qualify as teaching, the model (or teacher) must engage in behaviour that provides benefit to the learner (but not themself), must engage in the behaviour only in the presence of naïve individuals, and the observing individual must gain mastery of the skill being modeled faster than would happen otherwise  E.g. meerkat parents remove stingers from scorpions to allow the young to practice killing it without risk of serious injury or death – young learn skills faster with this training than without Parenting Styles (Baumrind) Level of Interaction Parenting Style Demandingness (discipline) Responsiveness (love) Authoritative High High Authoritarian High Low Permissive Low High Rejecting-Neglectful Low Low (Dismissive/Indifferent) Authoritative:  Highly demanding of their children and highly responsive to the them; unlikely to use physical discipline and will more often explain the reasons behind their rules  Reason with children, hearing arguments but not always giving in to them  Firm rules consistently upheld, but grant high degree of freedom within set boundaries  Children tend to be socially competent, be self-confident, and have the best overall outcomes  Often do well in school, feel good about themselves, and report feeling supported by parents  Have better self regulation and are quicker to adapt to new situations Authoritarian:  Highly demanding of their children, inflexible about deviates from expected behaviour, and less responsive to their children’s needs; tend to discipline using threats and punishment and are much more likely to use physical discipline  May praise obedience as a virtue and expect children to follow rules without explanation  May be unhappy and lack social competence, conforming well to standards and expectations of adults but lacking in self-confidence  May be unsure of themselves in social situations and look for guidance from authority figures when faced with moral issues  Use of physical discipline is associated with anxiety and increased aggression in children Permissive:  Place very few demands on their children but are highly responsive to them; they believe children learn best on their own, without structure imposed on them by adults  Allow children a great degree of freedom in regulating their own lives and place few demands on them to achieve or to behave appropriately  Often have difficulty with controlling impulses and acting responsibly  Report high self-confidence but do not perform well in school, higher rates of substance abuse  May react more intensely than other children to conflict situations Rejecting-Neglectful:  Disengaged from their children and are neither demanding nor responsive; they do not set limits for, or monitor the activities, of child, and may actively discourage them  More engaged in meeting their own needs than those of their children  Lower perceptions of themselves and are less competent  May be antisocial and lack self-regulation, and are prone to substance abuse  More likely to internalize their problems, leading to depression and social difficulties, and are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour Attachment How does the parent-child bond influence our social development Imprinting: form of rapid learning through which the newborn will remain close to its main source of safety and nourishment – its mother (e.g. geese imprint upon the first moving object they see that meets certain criteria; Lorenz got a gaggle of geese to imprint on him) Attachment: social and emotional bond between infant and caregiver that spans both time and space  John Bowlby proposed that infants to do not imprint at birth, but do later form an evolutionarily specified and important bond with their caregivers  Through attachment, infants come to view their primary caregivers as a secure base from which they can safely venture out to explore their environment Bowlby’s Attachment Phases Pre-Attachment (birth – 6 weeks)  Infants remain in close contact with caregiver, reliant on them for food, protection, and comfort  Do not display signs of stress when left in the care of a secondary caregiver Attachment-in-the-Making (6 weeks – 6-8 months)  Begin to treat people differently, showing more preferential treatment to familiar people  May become wary of or nervous around unfamiliar people, animals, or objects  Infants form expectations for their parent-child relationship Clear-Cut Attachment (6-8 months – 18 months)  Actively seek comfort from their caregivers, who truly become a secure base for them  May start to display separation anxiety, showing signs of extreme distress when separated Reciprocal Relationship Phase (18 months – 24 months)  As infants become more mobile and competent, they will begin to become comfortable spending increasing amounts of time separated from their caregivers  Child-caregiver relationship becomes more reciprocal, relying on all parties to take an active role in maintaining it (e.g. both parties engage in separate activities but may spontaneously interrupt those activities to check in with each other) Harlow’s Monkeys  Competing theory to Attachment at the time was Drive Reduction Theory, which theorized that infants cried for their caregivers to satisfy their physiological drives, like hunger  To test this, Harlow raised orphaned monkeys with two mothers, a bare wire one which provided milk, and a soft cloth one which did not  The monkeys spend all of their time with the cloth mother, only going to the wire one to feed, proving that Contact Comfort (close physical contact with something soft and warm), rather than just food, is important in the development of the infant’s affection for the mother  When scared by a mechanized creature, the monkeys immediately ran to the cloth mothers, but shortly after re-establishing their bond, would leave and begin to inspect the machine  This provides evidence for Bowlby’s idea of the caregiver as a secure base for exploration  Because the monkeys received no response from the ‘mothers’, they grew up unusually, and were either extremely aggressive or indifferent towards other monkeys, and non exhibited typical sexual behaviour Ainsworth’s Attachment Types Mary Ainsworth, a student of Bowlby, developed a method to examine the nature of the attachment bond called the Strange Situation Test: 1. Caregiver and infant enter unfamiliar room, and the infant’s level of exploration is noted 2. Stranger enters and tries to interact with the infant, infant’s reaction is noted 3. Caregiver exits room, and infant’s anxiety and willingness to be comforted by stranger is noted 4. Caregiver enters room and stranger exits, tries to comfort infant, reaction to the return is noted 5. Caregiver exits again, infants distress at being left alone is noted 6. Stranger re-enters, infants willingness to be comforted by the stranger (if distressed) is noted 7. Caregiver returns, again tries to comfort infant (if distressed), and the reaction is noted Secure Attachment (authoritative)  Infants react positively to the stranger while their caregiver is present, but will become unhappy when the caregiver leaves  Unlikely to be comforted by the stranger but become calm when the caregiver returns  Demonstrate ‘secure base’ behaviour, freely exploring when caregiver is there as a base Insecure-Resistant Attachment (permissive)  Infants are uncomfortable in the strange situati
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