Psychology attachment research and evaluations

Note by , created almost 5 years ago

A2 level Psychology (Attachment) Note on Psychology attachment research and evaluations, created by eharveyhudl on 02/06/2015.

Created by eharveyhudl almost 5 years ago
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Classical conditioning (Pavlov)Procedure: Recorded how much dogs salivated each time they were fed.Results: They started to salivate before they were fed; as soon as they heard the door. They had begun to associate the sound of the door with food.How does this explain attachment? Food (UCS) produces a sense of pleasure (UCR). The person who feeds (CS) the infant becomes associated with food. The feeder eventually produces the pleasure associated with food, and now becomes a conditioned response (CR) which forms the attachment bond.

Operant conditioning (Dollard and Miller)Operant conditioning says that we learn by being rewarded for doing something. Hunger makes an infant uncomfortable and they have a drive to reduce it, which happens when they are fed, and the discomfort is replaced by pleasure. The pleasure produced by food is rewarding. The food becomes a primary reinforcer as it reduces discomfort and the feeder is a secondary reinforcer and becomes a source of reward. Attachment forms because the infant seeks the person who can supply the reward.

Comfort is more important than food - disproves attachment (Harlow)Procedure: Created two wire mothers; one providing comfort in the form of a soft cloth, and one with a feeding bottle. According to learning theory, they should have become attached to the mother providing food. Results: The monkeys became attached to the comfort mother, and would cling to it especially when frightened.Evaluation: This is good evidence against learning theory Like many other studies into attachment, this is an animal study so it lacks validity because it is an oversimplified version of human behaviour

Evolutionary theory of attachment (Bowlby) Sensitive period - If children do not form attachments before the age of 2, they would struggle to form any attachment at all Care giving is adaptive - Infants have social releasers such as smiling which makes us want to care for them Secure base - Children want to explore and need somewhere safe to return to when frightened Monotropy - bias towards the primary attachment Internal working model - creates expectations about what all relationships will be like Continuity hypothesis - consistency between early emotional experiences and later relationships Evaluation: Individual differences is an issue because some infants form a secure attachment and others form an insecure attachment, it depends on the responsiveness of the care giver Attachments vary between cultures e.g Japan encourage dependence whereas Western countries encourage independence Research has concluded that fathers play a significant role in social development

Types of attachment (Ainsworth)Procedure: Ainsworth studies 106 middle-class infants. Stress is created in the Strange Situation by the absence of a caregiver and the presence of a stranger. Data is collected by observers who record what the infant is doing every 15 seconds and scores behaviour on an intensity scale of 1 - 7.Results: Found similarities and differences in the way that infants behaved, and identified three attachment types: Secure attachment - 62% of infants, they had high willingness to explore, some were easy to soothe when the caregiver left, and had high stranger anxiety Insecure-avoidant - Show little response to separation, but avoids contact on reunion and low stranger anxiety Insecure-resistant - Distressed on separation, high stranger anxiety and seek and reject proximity on reunion Evaluation: Ethics is an issue because the baby is distressed, and 20% of infants were reported to cry 'desperately', but it was intended not to be any more distressing than everyday life experiences Lacks validity because it only tests one parent, and Main and Weston found that children behaved different based on what parent they were with However, the Strange Situation was high on inter-rater reliability with a score .94 on agreement

Effects of attachment type (Hazan and Shaver)Procedure: Love Quiz in a newspaper with questions about early experiencesResults: Found that patterns of later romantic behaviour was associated with early attachment type, which supports Bowlby's internal working model

Cultural variations in attachment (Grossman and Grossman)Procedure: Studied German infants in the Strange SituationResults: Germans tend to be insecurely attached. German culture involves keeping distance between the parent and infant, so they do not seek proximity in the Strange Situation and therefore appear to be insecurely attached

Cultural variations in attachment (Takahashi)Procedure: Studied 60 middle-class Japanese infantResults: Found similar rates or secure attachments as Ainsworth, but found no insecure-avoidant but high insecure-resistant

Cultural variations in attachment (Van Ijzendoorn)Procedure: Meta-analysis of 32 studies on attachment, in eight different countries.Results: Secure attachment was most common in every country. Insecure-avoidant was next most common, except in Israel and Japan.

Disruption of attachment (Robertson)Procedure: Used cine camera to observe John who was in a residential nursery for nine days while his mum was having a baby Results: Makes effort to get attention from the nurses, but they fail to respond to him so he seeks comfort in a large teddy bear. Gradually refuses food and drink and on reunion with his mother, he seeks and rejects comfort and for many months after, he has outbursts of anger towards her.Evaluation: The observation increased validity because John was not aware he was being watched Individual differences is an issue because not all children react the same way to disruption of attachment