Attachment system o attachment system emotional bond

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attachment system o Attachment system – emotional bond btwn infant & caregiver Maternal care is result of mechanism played out in our psychology – how we feel about others Attachment system is psychological mechanism to keep parent and baby together o John Bowlby – spend lot of time watching mothers and their kids playing in 1950s Noticed that the mother served as a secure base for exploration Child would go off and play, come back, and go out and explore from this secure base Being with the mother seemed to be intrinsically rewarding for the child Harlow’s experiment – newborn rhesus monkeys were raised in a controlled environment in a laboratory
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o Infant monkeys are removed from the mother at birth & raised in semi- isolation Other monkeys can be seen and hear, but there is no physical contact & no interaction o Mother is a doll made of plastic and shaggy cloth that is not alive Monkey depends upon the doll for nourishment and psychological need for comfort & security Primate infants have instinctive need to cling to another body that is soft and warm o Wire doll that provided only food was set up next to doll that only provided warmth and comfort Experiment wanted to see if monkey switched its affection to wire mother that offered food Monkey only yields its grip when it gets hungry – when hungry, it goes to wire mother After feeding from the wire mother, monkey spends about 22 hours from cloth doll o Monkey can grow into a normal well-adjusted adult if exposed early to other young Early on, thinking about mother-child relationship was based on classical conditioning notion o Your mom fed you, so you began to associate mom w/ reward and became attached to her Harlow showed that desire for connection was just as basic a need as need for food o Harlow did experiment w/ abusive mother – spikes would come out from cloth mother o Monkey would go back to hugging cloth mother after the spikes went away Children are capable of attaching to multiple close adult & equally likely to attach to a father or a mother o Whoever is most available and consistent in meeting child’s emotional needs can be an attachment figure Importance of attachment system for normal human development comes from study of Romanian orphans o Romania was separated from rest of the world by brutal communist dictatorship (mid 1960s – late 1990s) o Abortion and contraception were outlawed – women were encouraged to have as many kids as possible Country was in deep poverty, so women gave up kids to the state to be raised in orphanages o World was appalled by conditions inside orphanages after the dictatorship fell Children were housed in iron cribs w/ bars where they spent up to 23 hours a day o Children has many of the basic needs met (food, water, bathed) – they never had anyone take care of them Studying Romanian orphanages taught you about effect of being deprived of attachment on later development
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