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Chapter 13

PSY 302 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: John Bowlby, Harry Harlow, Spitz

Course Code
PSY 302

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Chapter 13: attachment to others and development of the self
Attachment: emotional bond with a specific person that is enduring across space and time.
Usually, attachments are discussed in regard to the relation btwn infants and specific caregivers,
altho they can also occur in adulthood
Caregiver-child attachment relationship
Research conducted by spitz on the orphanages in Romania -- best known of recent studies on the
idea that institutional deprivation in the first years of life hinders optimal social, emotional and
cog dev -- depriving the child of meaningful relationships with any caregivers -- esp thru the link
of breast feeding -- when the infants link mothers to food thru the process of classical
Harry harlow (psychologist) - research on rhesus monkeys -- cloth mother and the mother made
of wire -- providing milk to the infant monkey and watched the amount of time the infant
monkeys spent with each one -- initially, spent more time with the cloth mothers -- the monkeys
fed by the wire mothers increased amt of time spent on the cloth mothers as they got older and
eventually spent same amt of time with the cloth mother as did the infant monkeys that were fed
by cloth mother
o - result show evidence that infant monkeys strongly preferred and thus needed the
comfort provided by cloth mother
o When the infant was scared-- would seek comfort from the cloth mother
o When infant monkeys placed in unknown situation without the surrogate mother, they
could cower and engage in self comforting behaviours including rocking and thumb
sucking -- however once cloth mother was introduced, they would cling to it and
eventually explore the room, periodically returning to the mother -- as a source of
security for the infant -- demonstrating the importance of physical comfort for infant
o Altho his research has been criticized to be cruel and unethical - results yielded= infants
need more than their physical needs( food) met to thrive in the world
Attachment theory: theory based on John Bowlby’s work that posits that children are biologically
predisposed to dev attachments to caregivers as a means of increasing the changes of their own
o John bowlby replaced the idea of needy, dependent infant with the idea of “competence
motivate infant” -- who used primary caregiver as a secure base
o Secure base: the idea that the presence of a trusted caregiver provides an infant or toddler
with a sense of security that makes it possible for the child to explore the env
o Attachment beneficial
Enhance chance of survival
Infant will feel emotionally secure to explore the world
Coregulation -- help children manage their levels of arousal and emotions
o JOHN BOWLBY- proposed that the attachment process btwn infant and caregiver is
rooted in evolution and increases the infant’s change of survival -- like imprinting - dev
the interaction btwn species specifies learning biases and the infants experience with his
or her caregiver
1. Preattachment ( birth-6 weeks)- the infant produces innate signals,most notably crying, that
summon caregivers and the infant is comforted by the ensuing interaction
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