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1. Aston Manor School Department of Psychology AS MODULE ONE REVISION GUIDE Memory and Attachment This is a bare bones revision summary. If you know all this stuff,…
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  • 1. Aston Manor School Department of Psychology AS MODULE ONE REVISION GUIDE Memory and Attachment This is a bare bones revision summary. If you know all this stuff, understand it and can discuss it in an essay, then you can probably handle pretty much anything that the exam can throw at you. Be warned though, having notes is not the same as understanding them and knowing what to do with them in an exam! The words in bold italics are lifted straight from the specification. Please make sure you’ve got everything covered though. Good Luck! 1
  • 2. DEVELOPMENTAL (ATTACHMENT) Explanations of attachment, including learning theory and evolutionary perspective (Bowlby) Explain what is meant by the term attachment Attachment is a reciprocal emotional bond between two people for example a mother and child. Maccoby identifies attachment behaviour as seeking proximity, joy on being reunited, upset when separated. Learning theory of attachment (Description AO1) Operant conditioning How it relates to attachment Learning occurs when we are rewarded for something • A reward which makes a good situation even Dollard and Miller better is called a POSITIVE REINFORCER. The mother rewards the infant by feeding him, so the • A reward which takes away an unpleasant infant associates the mother with the reward, and situation is called a NEGATIVE repeats any action that brings her close. REINFORCER. This happens because food brings a feeling of pleasure • A REWARD you do something that results in (= reward) to the baby. Food is a primary reinforcer: by pleasant consequence EG DOING removing discomfort, it reinforces the behaviour that HOMEWORK GETS CHOCOLATE led to its arrival. • A PUNISHMENT if you do something that But food never comes without the mother bringing it, so results in an unpleasant consequence eg NOT the mother becomes the secondary reinforcer – even DOING HOMEWORK RESULTS IN A without bringing food, the presence of the caregiver DETENTION reduces discomfort and brings a feeling of pleasure. The baby will therefore repeat any action, e.g. crying, which brings the caregiver close. Classical conditioning involves learning through association eg dog learns to associated bell with food and so will salivate when it hears a bell even if food is Baby feels pleasure = UCR not present Food = UCS (unconditioned response to food) (unconditioned stimulus) STIMULUS = an event that causes a response RESPONSE = an action made because a stimulus is detected CONDITIONED = learned Mother = NS + Food = UCS Baby feels pleasure = UCR (neutral stimulus) (unconditioned stimulus) (unconditioned response to UNCONDITIONED = not learned food) NEUTRAL STIMULUS = does not cause an instinctive response Mother = CS Baby feels pleasure = CR (conditioned stimulus) • The classical conditioning theory involves the Association with food. Food produces a sense of pleasure and the person feeding the infant then becomes Associated with the food. 2
  • 3. Evaluation of learning theory of attachment Strengths It has good face validity, we do learn many things through association and reinforcement. However food may not be the main reinforcer; it may be attention and responsiveness from a caregiver that are the rewards. Weaknesses There is strong psychological evidence that feeding has nothing to do with attachment- Harlows monkeys – the infant monkey spent more time 17out of 18 hours on the soft monkey and only went to the wire monkey for feeding. Fox - Israel kibbutz children still had their mother has their primary attachment even though they were not fed and looked after by them during the day Scaffer and Emmerson – found that primary attachment figure was the person who was most responsive to them not necessarily the person who fed them. Validity A lot of learning theory studies have been done on animals can we really apply these findings to us 3
  • 4. BOWLBY’S THEORY OF ATTACHMENT MISS SIC THEORY (Description AO1) EVALUATION According to Bowlby attachment is innate, this + One study that supports the ideas that attachment means that it is instinctive we are born with the is innate is by Lorenz. Lorenz showed that ducklings genes that drive us to attach. We attach due to the took to him as their as their primary care giver even need to survive – behaviours that increase the though he was human. He called this imprinting and likelihood of survival and reproduction continue shows support for the idea that attachment is innate because the ducklings instinctly attached. + Care giving and attachment is found in all cultures which provides evidence for the fact that it evolved. - However despite the rapid advances in genetics there is not direct evidence of genes for attachment, which should be the case if attachment is innate. Sensitive period (critical period) – Bowlby said - A case study that undermines the sensitive period is there is a limited period for attachment to develop the Czech twins who were discovered at age of 7 and the period up to 2 ½ years is the most sensitive being locked up and isolated from the outside world. to the development of attachments They were then cared for by two sisters and were able to develop normal social functioning. This undermines Bowlby because according to his theory they would not have been able to develop normal social functioning. + a study to support Sensitive period is Hodges and Tizard of institutionalised children who formed no attachments in the early parts of their lives and had difficulty forming relationships with peers. Social releasers – caregiving is also adaptive and it Some evidence comes from the baby faced is the social releasers like crying smiling, cooing a hypothesis, that we have preferences for baby face baby’s facial features ( most baby animals have features. features that make us go ahh) that cause adults to elicit the care giving and help the infant to survive Monotrophy - although infants form several Schaffer and Emerson study supports Bowlby’s attachments one of these has special importance concept of Monotrophy as they should that most normally bias towards the primary care giver he infants formed their first attachment with one called this monotrophy – infants becomes most particular person. attached to the person who is most sensitive to the However they also found that 1/3 formed multiple infants social releasers attachments which undermines the theory of monotrophy Internal working model – based on the One study that supports the internal working model is relationship that the infant develops with its Sroufe et al who found that early attachment type primary care giver it develops a model for all future predicted later emotional and social behaviour eg relationships – basically it’s a model for what we they were more likely to be rated as more popular. expect from other relationships This shows that they have developed a good internal working model Continuity hypothesis – this is the view that there One study that supports the continuity hypothesis is is a link between the early attachment and later Hazan and Shaver who found that adult romantics 4
  • 5. emotional behaviour – securely attached individuals were closely linked to their infant attachments. This will continue on to be securely attached supports the continuity hypothesis as it supports the ideas that good attachments when young lead to good relationships when you are older Secure base Attachment is important for protection A study that supports the idea of the secure base is and therefore acts as a secure base form which a Erickson et al who observed school children and child can explore the world and have a safe haven found that securely attached children were less to return to when threatened. Thus attachment dependent on the teacher that insecurely attached fosters independence rather than dependence. children. This supports the idea of secure base as it shows that securely attached children are able to explore confidently. Further Evaluation of Bowlby An alternative explanation for attachment comes from the Temperament hypothesis Kagan. It states that we have inborn temperamental differences (personality) such as easy, slow to warm up and difficult. Psychologists who support this hypothesis believe that it is these temperaments that can affect the infant adult relationship and there for affect the development of the internal working model and also the strength of the attachment bond. You could also suggest learning theory as an alternative explanation An application of Bowlby’s theory and further research is changes in adoption procedure. Today if possible most babies are adopted within the first week of birth to enable them to attach to their adoptive family. Another application has been used to improve the quality of parenting classes in children’s centres. To provide even further evaluation you could evaluate the research evidence. So basically how good is the evidence is their any problems with it in terms of validity and reliability, its methodology (see attached sheet on evaluation for help) 5
  • 6. Types of attachment, including insecure and secure attachment and studies by Ainsworth Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’ AIMS  To provide a standardised method for measuring attachment  Compare responses of different babies  Categorise responses and divide babies into different types  i.e. are they securely or insecurely attached ? PROCEDURES 1) Mother /baby /stranger go through strictly defined series of situations 2) Situations involve mother and stranger entering or leaving the room at various points 3) Each of the 8 stages last 3 minutes 4) The following are noted;  Baby’s reaction to mothers departure  Baby’s reaction to stranger  Baby’s reaction to mother’s return RESULTS Type of Attachment SECURE RESISTANT AVOIDANT Willingness to explore High with caregiver Low High with or without care giver uses as secure base Reaction to caregiver Distress Very distressed Indifferent leaving Reaction to caregivers Secure – seeks Seeks and rejects Indifferent – avoids contact return contact enthusiastic easily comforted Stranger anxiety High Fairly high Indifferent Explanation of Children given a Children have a Children have a working model behaviour positive working negative self-image of themselves as unacceptable model. and exaggerate their and unworthy emotional responses to gain attention. Behaviour of caregiver Attentive and Attentive and Inattentive and insensitive sensitive insensitive % 70% 10% 20% Conclusions – There are different attachment types, secure type being the most frequent. Ainsworth did suggest that Securely attached children have mothers who are more effective at; soothing them, engaging in face to face interaction having more physical contact. Insecure children have mothers who are: insensitive to signals (eg crying), inept at handling them. This called the care giver sensitivity hypothesis more sensitive the care giver the more secure the attachment bond. Evaluation types of attachment Ethics The experiment could be considered to be unethical due the psychological harm that it may have caused the infants when separated from the mother in a strange situation Validity – the extent at which we are measuring Predictive validity - is demonstrations by studies 6
  • 7. what we intended to measure – the strange situation like Hazan and Shaver who show that early aims to measure the attachment type of the child. attachment types are found to affect later romantic Does it measure this or does it measure the quality attachment types ( there is a correlation between the of a particular relationship two) Some say it is not valid because it only measure one type of relationship- Main and Weston found that children behaved differently with different parents. This suggests that the classification of attachment type may not be valid because what we are measuring is one relationship rather than something lodged in the individual Reliability - a measurement is reliable if it is Waters found 90% reliability of classification when consistent eg you can repeat the experiment and get infants were tested and retested between the ages of the same results every time or someone else can 12 months and 18 months. and will get the same results. Ainsworth also found a high level of inter – rater reliability when rating the behaviour of the children in the Strange situation ( this means that they agreed on the type of behaviour). Alternative explanations The Temperament hypothesis – the personality of the child affects the behaviour in the strange situation research to support this comes from Grossmann et al who found No difference between mothers of securely attached and mothers of insecurely attached children However Belsky found that the weight of evidence seemed to indicate that the caregivers behaviour has more to do with whether an attachment is formed than infant temperament (this supports the care giver sensitivity hypothesis) Cultural variations The strange situation’s culturally biased it cannot be generalised to other cultures as it would impose its own ideas of attachment on to them . 7
  • 8. Cross- Cultural variations in attachment Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg – they did a meta-analysis of the strange situation in different countries this means that they took many different studies findings and analysed them together % % % Childrearing style Explanation? Secur Resista Avoida e nt nt AMERICA 70 10 20 Similar to Japan, but with greater tendency for mother to share childcare. ISRAEL 64 29 7 Collective farming (Kibbutz) – Resistant due to raised in groups by other adults separation anxiety? JAPAN 68 27 5 Mothers hardly ever leave Resistant due to infants alone with strangers. stranger anxiety? GERMANY 57 8 35 Some emotional distance. Ideal child is non-clinging and obedient. CONCLUSIONS 1) U.S. has most ‘secure’ infants – higher rate than other cultures. 2) Israel and Japan both have more resistant infants – but for very different reasons. 3) Germany has far more avoidant infants than any of the other cultures tested. General conclusion – CULTURE affects CHILDREARING STYLE which affects ATTACHMENT type Grossmann et al found that German infants tended to be classified as insecurely rather securely attached Tronick et al studied an African tribe who lived in extended family groups. The infants were looked after and even breastfed by different women. Despite this difference in child rearing practices the infant still showed one primary attachment. Most of these studies suggest that despite the fact that there are cultural variations in infant care the strongest attachments are still formed with the infants mother. This supports Bowlby’s theory that attachment is innate as it is found across all cultures. Evaluating cultural variations in attachment Rothbaum argued that attachment theory and Cross cultural research is important to our research is not relevant to other cultures because it understanding of the attachment process because is so rooted in American culture ( this is called it allows us to see if attachment is universal- cultural bias) Posada and Jacobs found that attachment theory applies to most cultures, The strange situation may not be a valid measure of attachment in all cultures because it is designed in American and based on American culture. The 8
  • 9. result is that for example Japanese children may appear to be insecurely attached according to western criteria whereas the are securely attached by Japanese standards. Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg found little variation in attachment styles between cultures however the did find more variation within cultures. This may have been because some of the studies used one type of subculture. This means it is a mistake to take this behaviour as representative of the whole culture. 9
  • 10. Disruption of attachment Research evidence for the effects of physical separation from the primary caregiver Depression Spitz and Wolf observed that 100 normal children who were placed in an institution became severely depressed within a few months Intelligence Skeels and Dye found that similar children score poorly on intelligence tests Severe distress and Robertson – Laura had stay in hospital no parents very distressed, begs maladjusted to go home behaviour John – placed in residential nursery for nine days no consistency of care from nursery nurses his father visited regularly, stops eating and drinking , just keeps cuddling a teddy bear, rejects his mother on her return and displays anger towards her for many months after. Can we prevent the emotional affects of physical separation from the primary care giver. Jane and siblings – placed in foster care with Robertson’s who endeavoured show a high level of care ,they showed some signs of distress , but not bad and were easily reunited with their mother on her return – this shows the emotional affects can be reduced by showing a good consistency of emotional care. Another study that supports this is Skeels and Dye who found that children in care homes who were transferred to the homes of mentally retarded adults had their IQ increase it was thought that this was due to the emotional care that the adults provided. Evaluation of Disruption of attachment + It could be argued that the research has high validity as the research was very naturalistic eg Robertson’s evidence comes from real life events in real life settings, and Robertson filmed his observations so there could be no observer bias - The conclusion of roberstson studies are case studies based on only a few children so can they be generalised to the rest of the population. + An application of Roberstons research is that it change hospital policy now children parents can visit for as long and as often as they want they even have places where they can stay over. 10
  • 11. Failure to form attachment (privation) Case study Nature of privation Extent of recovery Freud &  -born in concentration camp, then  Became attached to adult carers Dann moved to deportation camp  Rapidly developed language and Concentrati  -distressing early experiences (e.g. social skills on camp viewed hanging)  One received psychiatric orphans  -hostile to adults, underfed, very assistance, another reported feeling limited speech alone and isolated  Taken into care at 3 Koluchova’  -locked in cellar  Fostered at 9 to two loving sisters s study of  -treated badly, beaten  By 14, behaviour essentially identical  -little spoken language, mostly normal. twins gestures  By 20, they had above average  Taken into care at 9 intelligence and excellent relationships with foster parents Curtiss  -locked in room  Given lots of care and attention “Genie”  -could not stand erect  Did well on tasks that did not  -badly fed require language.  -no language or social skills  Language and social skills  Taken into care at 13 remained limited  Again these are case studies are therefore are difficult to generalise to the rest of the population. Also how do we know that genie was not retarded from birth. Or the Czech twins may have formed an attachment with each other. Therefore it is very difficult to form any conclusions from these case studies. 11
  • 12. The effects of institutionalisation HODGES & TIZARD AIMS  To support theory that lack of attachment in early life (‘cos kid is in institution) can affect later development.  To look at effect of joining family later on – can this repair earlier damage ? PROCEDURES Studied children who had been placed in institutions before the age of 4months so had not been able to form attachments. Children were assessed regularly up and till the age of 16 some to of the children had been adopted or restored to their original family FINDINGS Most children had formed attachments with adopted family Restored children were less likely to have formed attachments so,
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