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PSYC 3520 (1)

PSYC3520 Infancy - Final Exam - Chapter 7.doc

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York University
PSYC 3520
Maria Legerstee

Chapter 7 – Social influences on Infants’ Sense of Self How do infants become attached to people? Two Key Theoretical Orientations - Social Interactionists o Emphasizes the role of parents in being attuned to infants’ emotions o Bowlby, Bruner, Fogel, Stern, Trevarthen, Tronick, Vygotsky Propose that infants have: o Animate/Inanimate (Innate ability to distinguish between the social and the non-social) o Intersubjectivity (Innate sense of emotions, self, and people) o Behaviours that point to initial social nature (smiling, cooing, eye movements)  These behaviours are used to call people, share emotions; through these interactions, infant eventually becomes attached - Learning Theorist o At birth, infants not aware of emotions, they react to parents contingent responses o At 3 months, infants become aware of not only parents contingent acts, but their emotions as well o Contingency and imitation = procedures that are highlighted in getting to know people Other Theoretical Orientations - Constraint Constructivism Infants are born: o Self-inferential (Aware of their own emotions) o Interpersonal Awareness (Aware of the emotions of others) o With an innate sense of attunement o Quality, over quantity, of affective feedback is important for infants  It confirms inferences about the emotions felt, observed, and attuned o These are the tools that allow infants be begin to assess relationships and develop real dialogues with others - Learning or Secondary Drive Theory o Infant is attached to person who fulfills needs by providing reinforcement such as food - Psychoanalytic theory (Bowlby) o Infants desires and primary organic drives (food, love, etc.) are satisfied by mothers  Alleviates frustration of infant  Prototype for future attachments o Problems with Psychoanalytic and Learning theories  Questioned by Harry Harlow Harry Harlow - Harlow’s Macques o Raised infant rhesus monkeys in isolation o Infant monkeys had two artificial mothers  Wire mother, provided nourishment  Cloth mother, provided comfort o When monkeys were put under stress (mechanical monster), they sought out the cloth mother o When monkeys were exploring a frightening object, stayed close to cloth mother o Willing to jump over plexi-glass to reach cloth mother(even with a frightening prey in monkeys’ path) - Validity of Harlow’s Experiment o Experiment elicited the natural clinging response when monkeys were not hungry o The clinging response in humans and apes are not similar  Human infants emit social signals when fearful  Human infants grow up in interaction, not isolation o Rhesus monkeys were separated from their mothers at birth  Raised in cages with artificial mothers  Consequently, behaviours of monkeys were severely impaired • Increase in behaviours showing emotional strain • When exposed to other infant macaques, they froze up • When they became mothers themselves, they displayed poor, punitive parenting - Harlows’ Experiment does not challenge Drive Theory o Health of subject if important when conducting research o Clearly, from their impaired behaviours, the monkeys has poor health o The only conclusion of Harlows’ experiment is that when reared in Harlows’ conditions, rhesus monkeys drink when hungry and cling to soft cloth when frightened Attachment Theorists (Ainsworth, Bowlby) - Infants are born with an innate drive to be social and seek attachment - Through attachment with caretaker, infant is able to become sociable (preprogrammed) - Attachment maintains balance between infant exploration and proximity to parented based on information about environmental threat - Quality of parent-infant relationship determines formation of different attachment patterns o Presence of contact not as important as quality of the contact John Bowlby - Accepted Freudian position that early experience has formative role for later personality - Early parent-infant interactions basis for adult personality and development - Based his theory on 1-to-1 contact upbringing - Deprivation most harmful in first two years of life (sensitive period for social development – unproven) - Bowlby concluded that a child’s emotional development requires nourishment from maternal love – just as a child’s physical growth requires nourishment from vitamins - Drew together findings from psychoanalysis, ethology, and child development to set out a new theory of emotional and social development o Ethology  Example with goslings, preprogrammed to the first figure that they see o Psychoanalysis  Infant becomes attached to mother because she satisfies infants’ desire for food and love o Psychology/Attachment Theory  Infant born with behaviours and signals that make it highly probable that caretaker will respond to infants signals • Initially, signals to all potential caregivers • With experience, infant becomes selective and forms attachment to just one person - Attachment Theory o The Attachment Repertoire  Behaviours and signals (smiling, crying, vocalizing) used to make sure that caretaker is not too far away from infant  Repertoire used depending on the infants’ state; upset/fearful, repertoire more likely to be activated (clingy) - Attachment Theory II o Homeostasis Psycho-Analytic Concept  Attachment viewed as a system fitting into a larger feedback system  If infants expected degree of proximity to attachment figure is not met, attachment system is activated • Infant cries, vocalizes, or crawls to get closer to the attachment figure • Withdrawal, odd behaviours, depression  If all requirements met, homeostasis is restore and attachment system is deactivated - Ethology o Accepts importance of early experience - Psychoanalysis o Unlearned behavioural repertoire o Assumes adaptive function - Psychology o Rejects Secondary Drive Theory o Incorporates experimental studies on early experience Mary Ainsworth - The Secure Base o Consists of a ‘set’ or expected level of attachment o Infant’s primary motive was for emotional security  Mothers provide a secure base for exploration and learning of the world  Attachment thus, influences cognitive and emotional development o Individual differences exist in attachment relationship o More or less relationship stability o Mothers more or less sensitive and responsive o Infant feels more or less secure depending on how sensitive and responsive mothers are - Four Criteria for Secure Attachment 1) Active play and exploration while in caregivers’ presence  Mother serves as a secure base 2) Enthusiastic greeting upon reunion with caregivers after separation 3) Effectiveness of contact with caregiver in calming infant when distressed 4) Absence of anger, petulance, or withdrawal from contact - The Strange Situation o Examines  Extent infants seek proximity with mothers before separation and on reunion after separation  Extent infants seek proximity with a stranger the infant is left with for a moment  Infants protests at separation from mother o Procedure 1) Mother and infant taken to a room 2) Mother and infant left to play in room for 3 minutes 3) Stranger enters room; after 3 minutes mother leaves room 4) Stranger and infant together in room for 3 minutes 5) Mother returns and then leaves 6) Infant alone for 3 minutes 7) Stranger enters room, interacts with infant for 3 minute 8) Mother enters and stranger leaves; mother greets and picks up infant o Depending on Infants reactions; fall into three groups  Avoidant • Infant does not approach mother • Does not appear to prefer mother to stranger • May be upset when she leaves  Securely Attached • Infant approaches mother • Secure and plays well when mother is there • Sometimes upset when mother leaves but is reassured once she returns  Resistant (Anxious-ambivalent) • Infant approaches mother • Upset when mother leaves • Shows Resistance (approach and avoidance) when mother returns o Explanation of infants strategies for deal with stress  Avoidant • Expects that caretaker is unavailable • Will not provide reassurance and avoids her  Securely Attached • Expects that caretaker is available • Will provide reassurance, approaches her  Resistant (Anxious-ambivalent) • Expects that caretaker is sometimes unavailable
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