Textbook Notes (367,974)
Canada (161,538)
Psychology (9,695)
PSYC21H3 (41)
Chapter 4

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David Haley

CHAPTER 4ATTACHMENT LEARNING TO LOVEFrom the onset of birth infants yearn for contact with others and those contact develop attachment to familiar participants in their lives parents siblings grandparentsAttachment a strong emotional bond that forms between an infant and caregiver in the second half of the childs first year THEORIES OF ATTACHMENT Psychoanalytic Theory o Freud infants development attachment to the mother because they associate her with gratification of their instinctual drive to obtain pleasure through sucking and oral stimulation from breast feeding o Theory is incorrect because attachment can develop even in the absence of feeding and enjoymentBut the theory drew attention to the notion of attachment in the first place and pointed out the importance of early contact between the mother and infantLearning Theories o Association of motherinfant attachment with motherinfant feeding o Drivereduction learning theorists infant becomes attached to the mother because she reduces the infants drive of hungerWanting the mother present becomes a secondary because she relieves the feeling of hunger o However Harry Harlow showed that monkeys separated from their mother and given the option to be fed by a wire cage with a bottle versus a cloth mother doll choose to spend more time with the cloth mother and only visit the wire mother to get foodThey especially favored the cloth mother in times of stress o Operant conditioning learning theorists development of attachment is not feeding but the visual auditory and tactile stimulation that infants receive from the caregiverBabies are initially attracted to the parent because of these stimulations and over time become attached to these caregiversThis theory shows that attachment is not automatic and it develops over time as a result of satisfying interaction o One problem is that it cannot explain why children form attachments to abusive parentsCognitive Developmental Theory o Point out other important components of child developmentthe ability to differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar people and also their awareness that people continue to exist even when they cannot be seen o Object Permanence Piaget understanding that objects including people have a continuous existence apart from the babys own interaction with themBegins as early as 3 monthso Infants gradual cognitive development helps account for this o As infants grow older physical proximity to attachment figure becomes less importantMaintain contact through talking and smiling o Less upset when parents leave because they are able to cognitively understand that parents may not be present at all timesEthological Theory o The most complete explanation of attachment proposed by John Bowlby o He observed orphans from WWII which led him to develop a theory that suggested the importance of having a strong attachment to a primary caregiver so that the infant feels safe o Bowlby focused on evolutionary biology ethology developmental psychology and cognitive science o Imprinting birds and other infrahuman animals develop a preference for the person or object to which they are first exposed during a brief critical period after birth
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