Chapter 32: Early Experience And Social Development.

I’m going to start writing notes and answering questions in my blog…it’s a good place to keep all my work.


Phases in the development of attachments

Stage one – No attachment – 3 months
Stage two – Recognition – Smiles more to familiar people and less to strangers – 3-7 months
Stage three – Seperation anxiety from mother and ‘fear of strangers’ 7 – 8 months
Stage four – Multiple attachment phase, more accepting of other family members (the mother being the only previous attachment before) and of other children – 9 months +


‘Cupboard love’ theory

(Freud’s theory) The infant only becomes attached to the mother because she provides it’s requirements.

Harlow’s and Zimmerman’s studies challange the ‘cupboard love’ theory. Using monkeys as the subject in their studies to convey that infants (monkeys) have attachments to objects (fake mothers) that don’t provide food.

(Lorenz) Goslings create an attachment to the first moving object that they see (often the mother) This attachment occurrs through perception alone rather than from being provided with food.

How relevant are Harlow’s and Lorenz’s findings, with rhesus monkeys and goslings respectively, to understanding human attachments?

Although an argument could be made that both of the species could be different from human infants regarding the concept that they’re only attached to the mother because she provides food, humans are much more intellectually advanced than monkeys and Goslings. Considering that humans are more advanced than monkeys and require attachments later in life I think this is the first stage of emotional attachment, the infant needs its mother to provide food, but also wants her there for comfort. Harlow’s and Lorenz’s findings help us to understand human attachments because they provide evidence that animals need mothers or mother figures for more than food from the earliest stages of life, thus humans innate desire should be no different.


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