-Plasticity of the system – the attachment system was not thought to be
hardwired or written in stone, it was thought to be caliberated and
adjusted over the course of development. Based on one’s developmental
experiences, one’s attachement system got finetuned/recaliberated to
fxn particularly well in the developmental context of each particular
child. We all come into the world with the same attachement system
but how the attachment systems get fine tuned and how they get
adjusted/caliberated depend on our unique developmental experiences.
If our developmental experiences, are diff then our attachement
systems will be caliberated differently, and the way we behave in
attachment situations will be different.
-Internal working model – it doesn’t only regulate behavior but it
generates internal mental representations of the infant in relation to
significant others. Inside the psychological architecture of each of us,
there is a representation we have of ourselves and of caregivers, and of
whether or not we are worthy of the attention, care and protection that
caregivers provide and whether or not caregivers are trustworthy in
terms of the care and protection that they offer. There is
representation of our self (how good/worthy we are), representation of
caregiver (how trustworthy, reliable, dependable they are of sources of
care). Working models may change b/w people depending upon the
early developmental experiences.
-The primary fxn of the attachment system was to monitor proximity
and distance from caregivers. There is a very specific sequence of
responses that a child goes through when they are separated from a
caregiver. When the child is separated from a mother the 1st response
is PROTEST. Ex: cry, yell, scream in order to get the mother’s
attention – serves an adaptive fxn. The protest of the child
disturbs/distresses the mother so that she reduces the distance b/w the
mother and the child. This is relevant to survival
-If the mother does not respond to the child’s protest, the 2nd response Is
despair. Rather than being angry and vocal the child now softens its
vocal behavior and instead moves into a solemn sad despairing mood.
Angry/frustrated sad forlorn.
-In the time that the child is despairing, the mother does not return,
the 3rd stage is detachment – where the child shuts down its protesting
and despairing behaviors. The child feels at peace with the mother’s
absence. This can be considered to be an adaptive feature. Ex: if this is
a child in the Pleistocene era and the mother cannot return for some
reason, then the longer the child shouts and uses vocal cues the more it
signals to its environment that the child is alone and is vulnerable.