AS psychology Unit 1 revision

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  • Created on: 22-01-14 10:13

Multi-store model

Model: Theories based in information-processing systems.

Short Term Memory: STM: A temporary store where small amounts of information can be kept for a brief amount of time. It is a fragile store and information can be easily lost. Information is stored here while another operation is performed. Once information is processed there is no record.

Long Term Memory: LTM: A relatively permanent store where limitless amounts of information can be stored for long periods of time. Once processed through the input buffer information is stored here. This is permanent unless there is damage or disruption to the system.

Capacity: The amount of information that can be held in memory at any one time.

Duration: The length of time that memories can be held.

 Encoding: The way in which information is represented in the memory store e.g. by sound, image or meaning.

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ATKINSON AND SHIFFRIN (1968)-Envisaged memory as a flow of information through an information-processing system. •Proposed the structural model of the multi-store model of memory. It is structural as it focuses on the components of the memory system.Series of stages as information passes from one store to another in a fixed sequence.

  • Capacity •Duration Encoding

•Proposed that information enters from environmental stimulus and first registers in the sensory memory, the first store, where it either decays or passes to the STM store. Described the control processes that manipulate and transform the information as it flows through the system.

• Encoding

• Retrieval strategies

• Rehearsal

 The model arose out of research studies that provide evidence to underpin this theory.Proposed the three separate sensory stores:

• Iconic store for visual input (what we see)

• Echoic store for auditory input (what we hear)

• Haptic store for tactile input (what we feel/touch)

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Evaluations of Atkinson and Shifferon

  • Hugely over simplified; the model does not provide insight into the three separate sensory stores, iconic, echoic and haptic.
  • The model is simplified to such an extent that, although being a strong basis for future important work, is not representative of the complexity of the human memory.
  • Does not take into account the different types of things we must remember, puts massive emphasis on the amount of information but disregards how the nature of that information will affect our recollection.
  •  Craik and Lockhart criticised its claim over rehearsal, arguing that semantic processing was more valuable.
  • Kulik and Brown suggested ‘flashbulb memory’ to describe the remembrance of minute and insignificant details when recalling moments of strong emotion/shock.
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Rehearsal:  One of the most important processes of the multi-store memories whereby information can be circulated within the STM store and passed on to the LTM store.

 Sensory Memory: SM: A set of limited capacity, modality-specified stores that hold information for a very brief period of time. If information is not attended to during this fraction of a second of being stored here it can be easily lost.

 Sensory Memory : It is in the sensory memory that the massive amount of external, environmental stimulus is first registered.

Hold information for fractional seconds after the physical stimulus is no longer available.

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The purpose of the iconic sensory store is to allow is to integrate visual information so that, at a conscious level, we experience a smooth, continuous visual experience instead of a jumbled set of images. –Fixed object in space being rotated with a rope.

·      The sensory memory is taking in the information, i.e. in a cartoon and holding it for a few milliseconds as the next image is presented to give a convincing illusion of continuous motion.

  • Provides evidence for the idea of a third sensory store.
  • Focus of auditory attention on particular stimulus whilst filtering oit “background noise”.
  •   Hearing something that drags your attention such as your name in another conversation is a busy room or someone screaming **** or fire provides evidence to suggest that we were “tuned in” but choosing not to process the information unconsciously.
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SPERLING (1960)- Disproved Miller (1956)

  •  3 rows of letters  each row with 4 letters flashed at ppts and then they’re asked to recall as many as possible which lends evidence to Miller when they recall 5-9 letter.
  •  However Sperling picks up on many ppts saying things such as “they’re gone now” but they express awareness of the other letters but simply cannot recall them.
  •  He conditions three tones into ppts each corresponding with a designated row, the card was flashed and a tone was played and ppts gave the corresponding letter with an extremely high rate of success.
  • This forces us to conclude that ppts did see and store all 12 letters, disproving Millers magic number 7 theory.
  • Lead the basis for future breakthroughs in this area, namely the multi-store memory model of Atkinson and Shiffrin in (1968) and the discovery of the sensory store.
  • Real world explanations include picture flick-books or cartoons.
  • Methodological: Unable to exceed Miller without the conditioned tone, so although we conclude that the letters were seen and processed, Sperling does not explain why the ppts were unable to recall.
  •  Lab exp gave high levels of control and experimental realism but low value of mundane realism. The stimulus was artificial and does not reflect memory in everyday circumstance.
  •  Ethical: Small levels of frustration of panic at being “tested”
  • This could lead to ppt cheating as they attempt to either disappoint or aid the researcher and in a bid to “do well” in the “exam”.
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·      Information is passively registered in sensory store and then we actively select certain items to process into out STM and LTM, the rest of the stimulus is lost.

Short-Term and Long-Term Memory

  • Displacement:  A type of forgetting where the items currently in the limited capacity STM are pushed out before being transferred to LTM to make room for incoming information.
  • Interference: A type of forgetting where information stored in the LTM is confused with similar information.
  • The STM and LTM are fundamentally different in their duration, capacity, coding and forgetting.
  • The investigations into STM and LTM often involve free-recall tasks and their correlations.
  • Unrelated words produces a characteristic serial position curve, the words at the end recalled best, reasonable recall in the beginning and middle words the lowest recall rate.
  • The last few words are remembered (recency effect) because they are still circulating the STM and can be easily retrieved
  • The first few words have been rehearsed and so have passed into LTM (primacy effect).
  • Words in the middle (asymptote_ are poorly recalled due to little time for processing and displacement
  • The serial curve does not prove the distinction of STM and LTM, it was argued if this is rue we should be able to find way of influencing parts of the curve but not others.
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Free Recall: A way of testing memory where participants can recall items from a list in any order.


  •  Ppts given a list of words one at a time and then tested for free recall.
  •  Condition 1: ppts asked to recall words immediately 
  • Condition2: ppts given distractor task and counted back in 3’s for 30secs before the recalled.
  •  Condition 1 gave the expected serial curve.
  • Condition 2 found that the distractor task has disrupted the recency effect. 
  • The last few words had been displaced from the fragile STM but primacy was unaffected as the words had passed into the LTM. 
  • Methodological: Lab, low mundane realism, artificial situation however this can be co-evaluated in that it is similar to situations such as introduction to multiple new names and our inability to maintain these new names however the experiment does not offer any consideration of how environmental factors would affect these findings in real life. Similarly in real life lists of words often have a connection such as shopping lists etc that would be absent in the experiment and thus makes the study not representative of real life. 
  •  The familiarity of the words to ppt would also have been a subject needing consideration as described in Glanzer (1972) 
  •  Furthermore the pressure exerted on ppts to “pass” or “do-well” in the “test”, this could lead to small levels of frustration that would not be as prominent in a real life situation.
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GLANZER (1972)


·      Other factors that affect singular parts of the serial curve.

o   Rate of presentation

o   Age of ppt

o   Familiarity o words

·      These are all examples of functional dissociation and provide good evidence for two separate stores in LTM and STM.


·      Some of the strongest evidence for two separate stores STM and LTM comes from brain damage case studies as the loss of memory is usually selective.

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  • Retrograde and anterograde amnesia as a result of a Herpes virus that attacked the nervous system and was unable to store or create new memories.
  • He also has very little information over his younger life and his hippocampus, responsible for transferring information from the STM to the LTM is destroyed.
  •  Has only moment to moment consciousness yet remembers how to play piano and conduct a choir suggesting again that these stores are totally separate

MILNER (1966)

  •  Sever epilepsy resulting in brain surgery to remove parts of his temporal lobe and hippocampus. Alleviated epilepsy but left server memory deficits, early life intact but 10years prior to surgery gone. Inability to learn or retain new information. Could recall 6 numbers in orderso STM was intact, unable to recognise psychologists and re-read mags without meaning to suggesting damages LTM


  •  Motorcycle accident resulting in brain injury. Intact LTM but his STM was unable to recall even just one item of information.


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Investigated Alzheimer’s impact on memory. Patients have low level of neurotransmitters-acetylcholine.

·      Administered the drug to a small group of ppts that blocks acetylcholine activity in the brain and gave them STM and/or LTM tasks.

·      The experimental group, when compared with the control group, performed normal levels at STM but significantly more poorly in LTM tasks suggesting again that these stores are different.

      SQUIRE ET AL (1992) :The hippocampus is active in LTM tasks whereas areas associated with LTM trigger the prefrontal cortex.

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Capacity :It is extremely difficult to measure the capacity of the STM memory as it is so fragile and small.

JACOBS (1887) : Suggested the digital span technique. Ppts can recall about 7 digits in this immediate serial recall

Digital Span Technique: A way of measuring the capacity of the STM. Participants repeat back strings of digits in order of presentation. The number of digits is slowly increased until the ppt can no longer recall the series.

 Serial Recall: A way of testing STM where participants are required to recall items in the order of presentation.

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·      Chunking, giving the sequence a semantic processing ability or making the syllables flow easily can increase memory span.

  • SIMON (1974): Span measured in chunks in dependant on the amount of information contained in a “chunk”

 GLANZER AND RAZEL (1974) : Used recency effect rather than digit span as a measure for STM capacity. Recency effect was 2.2 items when the stimulus was single, unrelated words but was 1.5 sentences when unfamiliar sentences and 2.2 proverbs that were used.

 There is no way of defining the basic unit of measurement when measuring capacity which makes it extremely difficult to measure.

COWAN (2000):  Miller overestimated the number of chunks that can be held in STM .Performance is affected by rehearsal and LTM does not reflect the capacity of pure STM.

BOWER AND WINZENZ (1969) :Digit strings are repeated within a series of immediate memory span trials that become easier for ppts to recall.Gradual rehearsal an procession into LTM which temporarily increases capacity of STM.

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BADDELEY (1999) :When things are read out loud digit span increases as they are stored briefly in the echoic memory.

NAVEH-BENJAMIN AND AYRES (1986) : Compared memory spans of English speakers with non English speakers and found a direct correlation between size of digit span and pronunciation time.

HITCH, HALLIDAY AND LITTLER (1984)   Found the immediate memory span of young children is related to the length of time it took them to articulate words.

  • Individual differences also affect STM capacity, anxious people appear to have shorter spans.
  • We can draw on the LTM to aid the STM recall i.e. cooking dinner; someone else can do the veggies.
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Duration if STM

·       Very short duration (temporary hold) anything that needs to remember longer must be transferred by to the LTM by repetition or rehearsal.

·       Repetition keeps reinserting the info into the STM loop

·       Rehearsal strengthens the memory trace so that it can be lodged permanently into the LTM store.


Key term:

Proactive interference: when things that have already been learnt make it harder to learn new things.

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Peterson and Peterson (1959) STM Duration

  • Aim: to investigate how long info would remain in the STM without rehearsal
  •   Procedure: PPt were presented with a consonant trigram (CDX) and then asked to count backwards in 3’s from a specified no. in order to prevent rehearsal. After intervals of 3,6,9,12,15 or 18 seconds ppts asked to stop counting and repeat the trigram. Procedure repeated several times using different trigrams for each presentation
  • Findings: PPts able to recall about 80% of trigrams were recalled correctly after a 3 second interval, this became progressively worse as the time intervals lengthened, until after 18 seconds they could recall fewer then 10% correctly
  • Conclusion: P and P concluded that inof disappears or decays very rapidly from the stm when rehearsal is prevented
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Evaluation of Peterson and Peterson

  • Consonant trigrams are artificial things to remember and we are not normally asked to remember information that has no meaning and therefore it may not accurately represent the use of memory in everyday life
  •  The use of consonants removes the ability to chunk and make meaning of the information received.
  • Participants may be unable to count back in 3 well or from a relatively large no. Such as 451 this can be considered artificial, as we are not normally asked to count backwards after being given information. However it does accurately represent how in real, everyday situations information that was presented earlier was displaced by new information such as when meeting new people –you hear all their names but by the time you have got to the last person you have forgotten all their names because each piece of new information has displaced the previous.
  •  Counting back in 3’s from a large starting no. can place an added pressure on the participant and may therefore feel more anxious or overwhelmed then normally which may affect the recall rate
  •   It can also be argued that trigram presented on earlier trials may have caused confusion due to proactive interference and so later trigrams are incorrectly recalled.
  • Conducted on psychology students who therefore may have an understanding of what the study requires which may lead to demand characteristics and therefore falsify results. Moreover as they were only psychology students the results cannot be generalized to the rest of the population as it can be speculated that younger individuals have a better memory and also the general population will not actually know what the study entails or what it means.
  • Lab setting – lacks ecological validity, as it does not accurately portray the use of memory in real life circumstances.
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Factors affecting the duration in STM

  • Rehearsal: able to extent the duration of STM through rehearsal of info e.g. when looking up a number in a telephone directory we tend to rehearse it in order to hold it long enough in the STM so that it is dialed coreectly.
  • Intention to recall: Sebrechts et al ( 1989) – investigated the serial recall of 3 familiar English nouns- ppts were not aware they were going to be asked to remember  the words – correct recall fell to 1 % after 4 seconds
  •  Amount of info to be recalled:  Murdock  (1961)
  •  Aim: to investigate if the amount of info would affect the duration of STM
  •  Procedure: Adopted P and P technique but used either a single , 3 letter word or 3 unrelated words.
  • Findings: When he used 3 words he found the same pattern of decline in recall as P and P . However when the 3 lettered word was presented recall was remarkable resistant to decay, even though rehearsal had been prevented – correct recall rate of 90% after 18 seconds.
  • Conclusion:  The important factor is the no. Chunks rather than the no. of individual terms that affect duration in STM.
  •  Evaluation: similar to P an P
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LTM :Able to hold limitless amounts of info from a few minutes to a life time.

Bahrick et al ( 1975)

  • Aim: attempted to explore the length of time memories can be retained in the LTM
  •   Procedure: Tested 392 graduates of an American high school for their former class mates. Various memory tests used – recognition of class mates picyures/matching names to pictures/recalling names without any picture cue.
  • Findings: Ppts performed very well up to 34 years later –performance better or recognition tasks then recall tasks. Dip in performance on all memeory tasks after 47 years- may be due to passage of time or the aging effects in the brain of older ppts
  •   Evaluation:  Only used American PPTS- cannot be generalized to the rest of the populatioN
  • Only American graduates – cannot be generalized to rest of populatioN
  • Pictures and names may have an emotional significance and therefore the experiment does not take into account how well the ppts knew their class mates or whether their was an emotional connection to them that may have made recall easier.
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Factors affecting duration in LTM:

  • Experimental techniques:  able to better remember things from distant past if given certain cues instead of being asked to just recall –Bahrick ( 1975)
  •  Depth of learning:  will likely remember things for longer if they have learnt it very well I the first place 
  • Bahrick and Hall ( 1991)- tested long term memory for algebra and geometry. People who had only taken math until secondary school saw a steady decline in their recall accuracy compared to students who had taken a higher course in math ,who showed high levels of accurate recall as much a 55 years later.
  • Pattern of learning: Bahrick ( 1987) looked at people how had learned Spanish and found that vocab items were better retained when learnt in spaced session and not an intensive session
  • Nature of material to be learned:  Conway et al (1991) : tested Open Univesity psychology studenst and found that certain topics were recalled better over time such as statistic – perhaps because it requires acquisition of skill and not facts .
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A and S saw the STM as a unitary store

Encoding types:

  • Acoustic coding
  • Visual coding
  • Semantic codition
  • Main way of coding for STM is acoustically

Conrad  (1966) Encoding STMAim: To investigate who we encoding info in our STM Procedure:  showe dppts a random sequence of 6 consonants-projected very rapidly on the screen

  • Condition 1: letters were acoustically similar
  • Condition 2: letters were acoustically dissimilar.
  • Immediately after ppts asked to recall in serial order.
  • Findings: Ppt frequently made mistakes – involved the substitution of similar sounding letters. Ppts found it more difficult to remember strings of letters that sounded the same than letters that sounded different. It must be remembered the letters were presented visually
  • Conclusion: We must convert visually presented information to an acoustic code in STM and that we then find it difficult to distinguish between words that’s ounds the same
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  •   How big the font size is – bigger fonts sizes tend to have a bigger impact.
  • Low mundane realism –due to rapid presentation that may cause a stressful environment for the ppt and therefore would not accurately portray the use of memory in real life.
  • Being anxious may affect the recall of the participants as seen  Mcloed and Donnellan who found that when people are highly anxious –memory span tends to be shorter.
  • Chunking may have been a problem with this experiment – counter criticism.
  •   The use of consonants eliminates the possibility of chunking as the use of vowels could have resulted in chunking by making words. 
  •  However this is unrealistic and artificial as we are not normally asked to remember words that have no vowels and that are nonsense this may have an effect of memory.
  • Unrealistic situation as you can speculate that in real life situations all we are not normally faced with strings of letters with all capital or lower case to memorize.
  • Cannot be generalized to the rest of the population out of the outside of the English speaking language as seen in naveh –benjiman found that digit span was less for English speakers than Arabic speakers. With some languages it may take longer to pronounce then other languages.
  •  Cannot be generalized to the rest of the population, as the ppts was only students. It can also be speculated that the students may have recalled more consonants, as they are younger.
  • Due the experiment being lab based it may have resulted in a feeling of anxiousness  as it may be seen as official by the pppts who believe that they need to perform well and therefore the experiment places pressure on the ppt
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Idea supported by Posner and Keele (1967)-

Procedure: showed ppt pairs of letters for very brief amounts of time e.g. BB ,B-b. PPts asked to say whether the letters had the same name or not. If we code sound it should take the same amount of time to say B-B as it would B-b. However if we code visually it should take slightly longer as translation into correct names needs to be done.

Findings: Found that people did take longer to respond to B-b the B-B if the delay was 1.5 seconds but took the same amount of time if it was longer.

Conclusion: visual code had been stored in STM for very brief amount of time soon converted into acoustic code.

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Baddeley (1966) Encoding STM and LTM

  • Aim: Investigate encoding in the STM and LTM
  • Procedure:
  •  Acoustically similar words
  • Acoustically dissimilar words
  •  Semantically similar words
  •  Semantically dissimilar words.
  • From each category, he presented random sequences of 5 words and asked ppts to write them down immediately after being shown to them in serial order. Modified exp. To test LTM : extended length  of list of words from 5  to 10 and prevented rehearsing. Each lsit presented 4 times and then recall was tested after 20-minute interval.
  • Findings: found that words that sounded the same were harder t remember then words in the other 3. Modified exp. To test LTM- acoustic similarity had no effect but words that had similar meaning was recalled poorly.
  • Conclusion: Concluded STM codes acoustically. Concluded LTM encodes semantically.
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Evaluations: of Baddely

  •  Lab setting, therefore lacks ecological validity an, however the use of the familiar words instead of consonants makes the experiment slightly more realistic as in real life situation s we are asked to remember familiar words and not meaningless strings of letters.
  •  Low mundane realism as we are not usually asked to remember lists of meaningless words in everyday life expect, for example, remembering a shopping list but normally the list is written down.
  • Participants may have felt anxious or stressed as they are asked to remember words and if they don’t some may feel as if they have failed.
  •  Being anxious may affect the recall of the participants as seen  Mcloed and Donnellan who found that when people are highly anxious –memory span tends to be shorter.
  • Particpants may try to use memeory strategy
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Strengths and weaknesses of the multi -store mode of memory

  •  Important contribution to research – has allowed many psychologists to use the model as the basis of their research.
  •  Provided the foundation for later important work.
  •  Researchers agree that there is a distinction between the different store-plenty evidence to support this.
  • Over simplified-does not take into account the different types of information we have to remember.
  •  Fails to reflect the complexity of the human memeory.
  •  Places great emphasis on the amount of info but not on the nature of info
  •  Evidence that simple rehersal is not the mos effective way to remebr information ( Craik and Lockhart found that ino better recalled when processed semantically)
  •  Kulik and Brown – Flashbulb memory we remember insignificant details from highly emotional or shocking event- MM does not account for this.
  • A and S believed in the sequential floq of info from one store to another – it is clear it does not work like this. Info flow in interactive
  • Clinical evidence supports the idea that the store are separate-KF
  •  Much of supporting evidence comes from lab/artificial settings and may not reflect how memory works in real life situations./Possible to interpret results of studies in different ways.
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·       Case study of KF- undermines the unitary workings of multi-store memory. KF had a digit span of 2 but still able to transfer new info into his LTM-suggested selective disruption of his ST M i.e.e other parts of his short-term memory must have been working

  • Key words:
  • Dual task method: where ppt asked to carry out a primary task while engaging in a secondary task. Performance is compared to each task when done individually
  •  Sub vocal repetition: repeating something mentally-not said out loud
  •  Articulatory suppression: task given that would make use of the articulatory loop but the ppt asked to repeat aloud a meaningless chant.
  •  Interference task: task that gets in the way of the processing needed to te task being tested
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Baddeley and Hitch (1974)-

  •  Aim: To investigate if participants can use different parts of working memory at the same time.
  • Method: Conducted an experiment in which participants were asked to perform two tasks at the same time (dual task technique) - a digit span task which required them to repeat a list of numbers, and a verbal reasoning task which required them to answer true or false to various questions (e.g. B is followed by A?).Expected to see impaired performance on the reasoning tasks as the STM should have been full due to the retaining the 6-digit string
  •   Results:  Very few errors found on both tasks however the speed of verifying the sentences was slightly slower then when the taks was done alone
  • Conclusion: STM must have more than one component and must be involved in other processes other than simple storage. Concluded that the 2 tasks could be carried simultaneously provided that that they are being dealt with by different parts of the memory system
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·       Evaluations Baddely and Hitch:

  • artificial/lab setting/Anxious feelings- Mcloed and Donnellen 
  • Does not take into account the speed of repetition- could led to the visou-spatial sketchpad being able to function better
  • Individuals may feel frustrated or overwhelmed and simply give up/Unfamiliar words or sentence structure may make ppts slower at checking accuracy or may lead to overwhelming of one of the stores
  • Cannot be generalized to non-English speaking languages as it may take them longer to under go the task and if was to be completed in their language it may lead to a considerable difference as some words or digits may take longer to vocally and sub vocally articulate- Naveh and Benjamin 
  • May be a significant difference between the females and males as it can be speculated that females are better at multi-tasking than males/ Could begin to feel self-conscious as they are saying the digits out loud 
  • How does the experimenter control the speed and manner of the digit sequence?/Individuals who are better at articulating themselves, such as people in theatre or debate may be better at this task as the verbal task may only take up a minimal section of their central executive.
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Working Model of Memory

Central Executive :Overall control

  • Responsibility for range of control processes-setting goal task/monitoring and correcting errors/starting rehearsal process/switching attention between tasks/stopping irrelevant info/retrieving info from the LTM/switching retrieval plans/coordinating the activity needed to carry out more than one task at a time-supported by 2 slave systems allowing it to be freed up to complete more demanding tasks
  • Limited capacity but able to process any info from any sensory system

Phonological Loop

  • Holds verbal information in speech based form
  • Consists of a passive storage called the phonological store- linked to active rehearsal known –articulatory control system or loop (ACS) words are maintained by sub vocal repetition
  • limited capacity
  • temporay system-2 seconds

Visio-spatial sketchpad(inner eye) :Holds visual and or spatial information-consists of a passive visual store-visual cache which is linked to the inner scribe –rehearsal mechanism.

  • Same as phonological loop
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Evidence for phonological loop

Baddeley, Thomson and Buchanan ( 1975)

  • Aim:
  • Procedure: presented ppts with list of words for very brief time and then asked to wirte down words in serial order
  • Condition 1: list consisted of 5 words taken from pool of familiar, one syllable        English words.
  • Condition 2: 5 words came from  list of polysyllabic word
  •   Findings: Average recall rate over several trials showed marked superiority f the short words- called this ‘word length effect’
  • Conclusions: the capacity of the loop is determined by length of time it takes to say words rather then no. of items- estimated it to be 1.5 seconds.
  • Further investigated evidence for the articulatory loop by observing the effect of word length under conditions of articulatory suppression- found word length effect disappeared- suggest that the advantages of recalling short over long words depends on having a verbal rehearsals system. So if the loop is filled with irrelevant material e.g. La-la-la then it looks like short and long words are being processed elsewhere.

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·       Evaluations:

  • Cannot be generalized to non-English speaking ppt as it may take longer/ shorter to say the word in their language or if they are unfamiliar with the English word
  •  Lab setting –lacks eco val
  • Artificial stimuli’s- not normally asked to remember lists of meaningless words.
  •  Being anxious may affect the recall of the participants as seen  Mcloed and Donnellan who found that when people are highly anxious –memory span tends to be shorter.
  •   Due the experiment being lab based it may have resulted in a feeling of anxiousness as it may be seen as official by the pppts who believe that they need to perform well and therefore the experiment places pressure on the ppt.
  •    Repeated measure designs- ppt may have began to understand the concept of the exp. And then try to circumvent the trial by using memory strategies to overcome the idea of failing or not doing well.
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Evidence for visuo-spatial sketchpad

 Shepard and Feng ( 1972)

  • Aim - To discover the VSS
  • Procedure - Shepard and Feng used shapes such as the opening of a cube and asked P#s to imagine folding these flat shapes to form a cube with the grey area as the base and then to decide whether in the finished cube, the arrows on the open shape would meet.
  • Findings - Found that visual images work in a very similar was to real life perception.They found hat the time taken to make the decision was systematically related to the no. of folds that would have been required if the ppts were doing it for real. 
  • Conclusion - The VSS is used in tasks like the above for the temporary storage and manipulation of visual patterns and spatial movement. They require concentration. People are likely to find it difficult to do two tasks simultaneously.
  • Visuo-spatial sketchpad is used for temporary storage and manipulation of visual patterns and spatial movement- due to this people may find it difficult to complete 2 tasks simultaneously if both require the use of the VSS.
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Baddeley, Grant, Wight and Thomson (1973) ( Baddeley et al –FH)

  •  Aim: investigated the ability of the visuo-spatial sketchpad.
  •   Procedure: given a tracking task whilst carrying out visual imagery task- imagine looking at a block F T H and E. Ppts asked to hold the image in their heads and starting at the bottom LH corner and respond if the angle touched the bottom or the topline of the letter and no if it didn’t.
  • Findings: Ppts have great difficulty in tracking sopt of light and classifying corners
  • Conclusion: - 2 tasks competing for the same limited capacity of the a VSS supported by the finding the ppt could undergo the same task while performing a verbal task with better results.
  • Evaluation: highly controlled/ppt may have difficulty understanding the instructions- incredibly odd thing to be asked/ cannot be sure ppt are doing what you aksed them to do / eye movemts are sometimes involuntary –easily distacted if we see something in the corner of our eye we may become aware and then distracted./may become frustrated – ethical issue/the speed at which the pointer is moving
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Working Model of Memory

  • Logie (1995) –the visual cache store info about visual form and clour and inner scribe processes spatial and movement information
  • Klauer amd Zhao (2004) supported this idea by giving ppts to primary taks to carry out –Visual taks / Spatial task whilst doing an interference task or no secondary task
  • Found performance of ppts doing he same secondary and primary task –results poor.
  •  PET scans have also shown that there are 2 separate spatial visual systems-left visual working memory/right –spatial.

Evidence for central executive:

  • Baddeley ( 1996) investigated the functions that attributed to the CE of selective attention of switching retrival plans-asked ppts to make random digit strings by pressing no. keys on a keyboard. Carried out whilst reciting alphabet/counting form 1/alternating between no. And letters.
  •   Digit strings become less random in c-3
  • Concluded that both task and c-3 were competing for the same CE resources
  • Bungee et al ( 2000)- dual task conditions involve greater input form the CE and found higher levels of activity in pre-frontal cortex when this happened 
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Working Model of Memory

Strengths and weaknesses

  • More plausible then MSM as it explains the STM with reference to storage and active processing.
  • Does not believe rehearsal to be the sole means of transferring info.
  • Applies ot previous pieces if data and allows for reinterpretation .
  •  Accounts for the findings in KF case study.
  • Found that phonological loop plays a key role in reading and that it may not operate  in some children with dyslexia- also helps the learning of new spleken vocab.
  • Accounts for individual differences –Turner and Engle (1989) –measured capacity of WMM- asked ppts to hold list of words whilst doing mental arthimatic problems called the working memory span-linked to varios cog tasks such as reading comprehension/reasoning/spatial navigation/spelling and note taking/
  •  Shah and Miyake showed that you can score high and spatial but low on verbal
  • Applied to real world: Used in the recruitment of US air force
  • Does not offer complete understanding of how memory works.
  • Exact role of CE not fully understood.
  • Cowna suggested that in order to do some abilities such as text comprehension long term memory would need to be drawn on
  • Berz criticized the model for failing to account for musical memory because we are able to listen to music without impairing performance on other acoustic tasks.


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Eye Witness Testimony

Key words:

  •  Eyewitness testimony: evidence given in court or in police investigations by someone who has witnessed a crime or an accident.
  •  Leading questions: a question phrased in such a way as to prompt a particular kind of answer. e.g. Was the man wearing a hat –open ended but what color was the man’s hat – leading questions it suggests the man was actually wearing a hat.

Effects of incorrect EWT  

  •  Kebbel and Milne (1998) suggest that juries and police officers place a great reliance on EWT
  •  Fuzetti et al .( 1992):suggested that thousands of people are wrongly convicted of a crime due to inaccurate EWT
  •  Wells et al (1998) : reported on 40 cases in which individuals convicted on the basis of EWT were cleared using DNA. 5 of them were in death row
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Eye Witness Testimony

The effects of misleading information on the accuracy of eye witness testimony

  • Misinformation acceptance( absorb info after an event and use it in their actual memeory of event )after an event can affect accuracy of EWT – memories laid down initially are fragile and suspect to distortion by post –event info- leads to serious implications later on.
  • This increases as time from event increases.
  • Important implications for how lawyers and policemen question eyewitnesses.

 Loftus (1975)

  • Aim: Investigated the effect of leading questions on accuracy of recall.
  • Procedure: Ppts shown a film of events leading up to a car accident-ppts divided into control /experimental group. C- group asked questions consistent with what they had seen. E – group asked questions that contained misleading info(how fast was the white sports car going when it passed the barn on the country road.
  • Findings: 17%- in E group reported seeing a barn even though no barn was present in original film. 3 % in control group made this error.
  • Conclusion: Some ppts absorb the info into their actual original memory for event and now believed they had seen a barn.
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Eye Witness Testimony

Evaluation: of Loftus

  • Controlled lab exp.
  • Lack eco- val/shown on a tv
  •  however this may be proportionate having seen it in real life
  •  studying the film would not do this in reall life
  • demand characteristics – may say they have seen a barn just to please experimenter.
  •  Ppts unaware they were being deceived to –informal consent needed/ may be distressing for ppts to watch a car accident- acsue psychological trauma
  •  Good because they used videos that reduced amounts of distress caused by the experiment on the participants
  • no real change in memory simply alter what they say perhaps due to demand characteristics
  • unrealistic.
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Eye Witness Testimony

To prevent demand characteristics Loftus (1980) offered a sum of money if they accurately recalled details.

  •   Group 1- saw a pedestrian being knocked over after car stopped at stop sign.
  • Group 2- same event but car stopped at yield sign
  •  2 days later ppts given set of questions – one of which included misleading questions ppts that had seen stop sign misled to with yield sign and vice versus. The showed ppt slides and asked them to pick out the differences from the original film.
  •  Divided ppts into 4 groups
  • 1.     no money reward.
  • 2.     1 $ for each correct answer.
  • 3.     5 $ for correct answers.
  • 4.     25 $ tp person in group who answered the most correct answers
  •  stressed importance of correct answers.
  •    Findings: Despite the money incentive 70 % of ppts made error on crucial questions in line with misleading info.
  •  Conclusion: suggests original memory had been altered due to mis-leading post event info and not demand characteristics.
  •  Shrooler et al .(1986) carried out similar study using pairs of slides-asked to identify the slide that was in the original + greater detail. People who had seen the stop sign were able to give more descriptive details than those who had been misled. Concludes that real events are associated with much richer perceptual detail than imagined events.
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Eye Witness Testimony

Loftus and Palmer (1974)

  • Aim: Show that minor differnces in language can cause  accuracy of recall.
  • Procedure: Forty-five American students formed an opportunity sample.  five conditions (an independent measures design).Participants were shown slides of a car accident involving a number of cars and asked to describe what had happened .They were then asked questions, including the question “About how fast were the cars going when they (hit/smashed/collided/bumped/contacted ) each other?” A week after the participants saw the slides they were asked “Did you see any broken glass?” There was no broken glass shown in the slides.
  • Findings: The estimated speed was affected by the verb used. The verb implied information about the speed, which systematically affected the participants’ memory of the accident. Participants who were asked the “smashed” question thought the cars were going faster than those who were asked the “hit” question. The participants in the “smashed” condition reported the highest speeds, followed by “collided”, “bumped”, “hit”, and “contacted” in descending order. 
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Eye Witness Testimony

Loftus and Palmer

  • Results :When people were asked a week after viewing the film whether they saw any broken glass at the scene (there was none), people in the smashed group were more likely to say yes. Therefore, a leading question that encouraged them to remember the vehicles going faster also encouraged them to remember that they saw non-existent broken glass. The question appears to have modified the memory itself.
  • Conclusions: This research suggests that memory is easily distorted by questioning technique and information acquired after the event can merge with original memory causing inaccurate recall or reconstructive memory.
  • Evaluations:The research lacks mundane realism, as the video clip does not have the same emotional impact as witnessing a real-life accident and so the research lacks ecological validity.
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Eye Witness Testimony

·       Loftus and Zanni (1975) showed ppt as clip of car accident –asked if they saw ‘a’ broken headlight or ‘the’ broken headlight even though there was no broken headkight. 17% aksed about ‘the’ broken headlight compared to 7% about ‘a’ broken headlight

Factors that affect accuracy of EWT

  • Schemas ( Bralett)
  • List ( 1986)
  • Aim: to investigate the effect of schemas on accuracy of eye witness testimony
  •  Procedure: Asked ppts to rate the probability of events happening during a shoplifting. Then complied a clip showing 8 diff. shoplifting incidents with elements of high and low probability. Showed video to new set of ppts and asked a week later to recall events.
  •  Findings: ppts were more likely to recall high probability than low probability and they often reported these even if they were not present.
  • Evaluations: video- artificial/ ppts expecting something to happen/ artificial –takes away the emotional connection which may affect memory/ Piolot study allows the exp. To be slightly more valid ecologically wise/ may be traumatic or cause distress/ looking for certain details/ does not take into account individual differences between people?
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Eye Witness Testimony

Schemas:*Tuckey and Brewer (2003)-bank robbers

  •   Asked people what comes to mind when they think of a bank robbery (schema)
  •   Found people think :
  •   Bank robbers are male
  • Wear some kind of disguise.
  • Dark clothing
  • Demand money from cashiers.
  • Have a getaway car waiting outside
  • Getaway driver has a driver in it
  • When shown a film of a bank robbery ppt.s had better recall for elements that fit their schema than elements that didn’t

Lindsay et al ( 2004)

  • Read accounts of a palace burglary or school field trip. Next day shown museum burglary and asked to recall events. PPts who had heard the palace burglary made more errors than those who had heard the field trip one.
  •  Memory for events can be distorted by previous knowledge of a similar topic.
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Eye Witness Testimony


  • Loftus and Burns:  Tested recall in ppts who had witnessed a boy being shot in the face.-ppts have signif. Impaired recall for events running up to the event-extremely unethical / traumatizing
  • Loftus (1979)
  • Studied weapon focus in EWT.  Using an independent groups design, participants heard a discussion in a nearby room.  In condition 1, a man came out of the room with pen and grease on his hands after having an amicable conversation.  In the second condition the man came out carrying a knife covered in blood after a heated argument.  Participants were asked to identify the man from 50 photographs. Ppts when heard the peaceful conversation accurately identified the man compared to the ppts who had witnesses the violent event. . This concludes that when anxious and aroused, witnesses focus on a weapon more than other details.  The study has high ecological validity, as the participants weren’t aware that the experiment was staged.  This means there were lots of ethical issues as the participants could have been very stressed at the sight of a man with a bloody knife
  • Christianson and Hubinette :They interviewed 110 witnesses of bank robberies; the witnesses that were directly threatened remembered more about the robbers than those who were just onlookers

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Eye Witness Testimony

Age of witness

  • Poole and Lindsay (2001)
  • Procedure: Children 3-8 were asked to watch a science demo and then read a story by their parents.  The story involved some information about the science demo they witnessed, but some new information.  The children were then asked questions about the science demo.  It was found that the children added information from the story.  In another phase of the exp. Children asked to think carefully about wher they had got heri info from (source monitoring)
  • Results: When asked where the information was from, the older children managed to recognize it was from the story, yet the younger children were less able to distinguish the source.
  • Conclusion: this has important implications for measuring the accuracy of children’s testimony since they seem very poor at source monitoring
  • Evaluation: The children were quite young, so it could be argued that they didn’t understand the experiment.  The experiment was also low controlled so extraneous variables were hard to control and could’ve damaged the experiment making it unreliable/ story told form parents –high eco val as children are always with aprents- huge influence but this may corrupt the results but less likely to succumb to investigator effects. / Some ethical issues using young children.
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Eye Witness Testimony


·       Gordon et al (2001): concluded that children are able to provide accurate and detailed witness statements but are very susceptible to suggestions- accounts shoud be treated with caution

·        Flin et al. (1992): EWT becomes less accurate as time passes- asked children and adults after an incident then 5 months later. Recall accuracy after the event was high , dropped significantly after 5 months in children – implications : could affect the testimony as there is large time delay between the incident and court proceedings.

·       Davies (1994): HW Davies believes that children’s accounts are overlooked and  children  can provide very accurate testimonies provided care is taken in the interviews.

Yarmey (1984): found that elderly people are more prone to errors in recall than young people. 80% OF elderly people forgot to mention the attacker had a knife compared to 20% of young adults about a staged event

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Eye Witness Testimony


Foster et al. (1994)

  • Aim: to see if witnesses are more likely to be accurate if they believe that their evidence would be used in a conviction.
  •  Procedure: ppts watched a video of a bank robbery and asked to pick out the robbers from an identity parade. Half ppts told that it was a genuine robbery and their information would be used in trial.
  • Findings: ppts in these conditions provided more accurate testimonies, as they believed it would be used and would have real consequences.
  • Evaluation: artificial –hard to make people believe

Individual Differences :Thomes and katz  (1997) suggested characteristic that make people more susceptible to misinformation absorbing.

  • Generally poor recall for the event.
  •  Highly imaginative
  •   High scores on measure of empathy.
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Eye Witness Testimony

Loftus (1979):

Cognitive interview technique

Fisher et al : observed the way in which witnesses were interviewed/ questioned about an even by Florida police officers and found their method to be diminishing the recall of witnesses.

This led to Geiselman et a (1985) to develop the CIT

The cognitive interview

Instructions to witness

  • Context reinstatement (CR) :Recall the scene, the weather, what you felt at the time and what you were feeling.
  • Report everything (RE) :Report every detail you can, even if it sounds stupid.
  • Recall from a changed perspective (CP) :Describe episode as from someone else's viewpoint.
  • Recall in reverse order (RO) :Report the episode in several different temporal orders moving backwards and forwards in time.
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Eye Witness Testimony

  •  Fisher et al (1987) – felt that minor tweaks were needed – interviewer should minimize distraction/actively listen to witness/pause after each response/avoid interruption/ encourage the use of imagery/adapt language to suit the witness/ avoid judgmental comments
  • Geiselman (1985): tested ppt after watching a stimulated crime videos –tested using the CIT and normal police interview or interview under hypnosis. Found the CIT elicited more info than the other 2.
  • Koehnken et al. (1999): found ppt questioned CIT recalled more incorrect info than using standard police interview- due to the fact that the CIT elicits more info overall than any other techniques.
  •  Fisher et al. (1990): trained Miami detectives using the CIT with real crime witnesses and found the use resulted in significant increase in amount of info recalled
  •   Kebbel et al. (1999): survey of police officers and found that there was some concern expressed about the length of time it took to complete the CIT and the amount of incorrect info recalled. In practice officers seemed to be using  the RE and CR instructions more .
  •  Milne and Bull. (2002): tested all cog. Interview procedures either alone or in combination. Found all the techniques produced more info than standard info- most effective combo seemed to be CR and RE.
  • Geiselman (1999): reviewed a no. of studies and found that children under the age of 6 reported event slightly less accurately in response to CIT –instructions difficult to understand.
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Memory Improvement Strategies

Key terms:

  • Concrete nouns: nouns that can be easily visualize
  •  Abstract nouns: words that cannot be perceived by the senses

Mnemonics: Visual imagery

  •   Peg word system: A Peg system is a technique for memorizing lists. It works by pre-memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent
  •  Method of loci : the memory pegs are places rather than rhymes e.g associating things to remember with the route to school
  • Pavio(1965)
  • Recollection of concrete nouns is better than recall of abstract nouns.
  • Explained in terms of dual processing: the concrete nouns are encoded twice once as a verbal cue and then as a visual image.
  • De Beni and Moe (2003)
  • Visual imagery is more helpful when applied to items that have been presented verbally rather than visually – if presented visually the visual item and the visual image would be competing for the same storage resources (visuo spatial sketchpad) whereas a verbally presented item would be stored in a different loop.
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Memory Improvement Strategies

Organization and understanding

Bransford and Johnson (1972) : ‘Doing the laundry’ passage

  •  1 group given the title of passage /other not given the title.
  •  1st group performed much better than 2nd group,
  •  Supports idea that understanding material to be remembered is important for later retrieval.


  •   Increases the capacity of the STM
  • Katona ( 60 years ago): ppts given a list of digits
  • 1 4 9 1 6 2 5 3 6 4 8 1
  • ppts found task impossible
  •  then a pattern is observed and a meaning is given to the seemingly meaningless string of numbers ( square numbers)
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Memory Improvement Strategies

Encoding and Retrieval strategies

Retrieval is greater when the retrieval context is similar to the encoding context (encoding specificity principle)

  • Geiselman and Glenny ( 1977) Investigated this effect by asking ppt to imagine a list of words said by a familiar person
  •  Same were told to imagine a familiar female voice /or male voice
  • After a delay ppt were read a list of previous words and some new words if the list was read out by the same gender as the imagined voice there was a higher recall rate

Jerabek and Standing (1992)

  •   Recall of information can be more successful if tested in the same room where it is learned.
  • If not possible than clearly imagining the environment or replicating a similar environment can help later recall.

Ucros (1989)   Physical and emotional state can also affect recall.

  • Reviewed some Mood state dependent studies and found that recall is better id mood during recall is the same as when encoded.
  • However the effect is only slight and can be over ruled if the content is well learnt and understood.
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Memory Improvement Strategies

Active processing

Craik and lockhart(1975)

  • Suggested that memory is dependent on a deep understanding and meaningful processing at the point of learning.
  •   Tested this by testing recall under various condition-presneted a list of words to 4 different groups + asked them to carry out different tasks.
  •  Group 1:Answer structural question( is the word written in capital letters?)
  •    Group 2: acoustic task(does the word rhyme with dog?)
  • Group 3: semantic task ( is it the name of a living thing?)
  •  Group 4:no task

·       Group3 performed significantly better than the other groups but the same as group 4 –suggests that meaningful engagement with the stimulus leads to better retention and also shows that learning is incidental-you do not need to making a deliberate effort to remember.

·       Sematic memory more useful as it activates numerous associations within the LTM-more retrieval routes set up

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Memory Improvement Strategies

The role of attention and practice

Ericsson and chase (1981): studied an individual, SF, able to memorize a list of up to 80 digits- to be able to do this he had to practice for an hour everyday over a 2 year period . Skill was not transferable to other list and memory span for words and letters was no better than average.

·       Concluded that practice is important for other types of learning aswell as revision for exams.


  • Hermann (1991) :Multi-modal approach-developing a whole range of strategies including maintaining mind and body in optimum condition
  • Matlin (1998) :   Importance of Meta memory-knowledge and awareness of one’s own memory and how it works best.
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Memory Improvement Strategies

Verbal Mnemonics

Acronym :a word or phrase is formed from the initial letters of whatever we’re attempting to commit to memory.

  • OILRIG (oxidation is loss, reduction is gain)

Acrostic :A poem or sentence where the first letter of each word or line helps us recall sequence etc

  • My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets
  • Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

Rhymes :Pretty obvious really, but rhymes are easier to remember

  • 30 days have September, April June and November etc…
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Theories of Attachment

Key words:

  • Positive reinforcement: something that increases the likelihood of the behavior being repeated -reward
  • Negative reinforcement: when a behavior or a response removes something unpleasant
  • Unconditioned stimulus: aspect of the environment which produces an automatic, unlearned response- food produces salivation
  •  Unconditioned response: an unlearned reflex response to the unconditioned stimulus –dilated pupil due to dim light
  • Monotropy: the tendency of babies to form a primary attachment to one caregiver.
  • Internal working model: a template for future relationships including a model of how you and other people are likely to behave

Learning theory

·       Argues that attachment are based on the principles of classical and operant conditioning

Proposed by Dollard and Miller (1950

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Theories of Attachment

Operant Conditioning

  • Skinner’s box
  • Cat in the box and the electric shocks to the rat
  •  Behaviors are repeated or lost through the use of a positive reinforce, negative reinforce or a punishment.
  • Application to attachment:
  •  Sound of baby crying due to discomfort of hunger ---- sound is uncomfortable to the caregiver and feeds and cuddles the baby in order to stop noise (negative reinforcement to due to removing the sound for the parent but positive reinforcement due to food for the baby).

Classical Conditioning

  •  Based on Pavlov’s association theory- dog learnt to associate the sound of the bells with food
  • Application to attachment:
  •   Milk (unconditioned stimulus)----pleasure at relief of hunger (unconditioned response)
  • Milk + caregiver (neutral stimulus)----pleasure
  • Caregiver (conditioned stimulus)----pleasure (conditioned response)
  • Known as the cupboard love hypothesis
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Theories of Attachment

Evidence contradicting the learning theory of attachment

  • Shaffer and Emerson (1964): 1st attachment formed in 39% of the babies not to person who carried out physical care –attachments more likely formed to those who are sensitive and rewarding tot the baby

Harlow and Harlow (1958): Primate studies Harlow and Zimmerman (1959):

  • Aim to disprove the cupboard love thypothesis
  • Method: carried out studies on 8 young rhesus monkeys raised in isolation who were deprived of real mother until 2 months. Placed in a cage with 2 “surrogate mothers’ a wire mother that provided food and a soft mother that provide comfort and Z observed how much time was spent with each ‘mother’
  • To check to see if an attachment had formed they paced a mechanical toy that made a loud noise in the cage to frighten the monkey and see which mother they clung to.
  • Findings: Monkeys used the soft mother as their base of comfort, only using the wire mother to feed
  • Conclusion: The formation of a bond is not based on the need for food but rather the comfort and care a caregiver gives
  • Evaluations:Unable to generalize to the human population however as we are closely related it does provide strong evidence to suggest that there is more to attachment than food and rewards/Unethical to use animals to test a human theory- the monkeys were unable to return back to their natural behaviors and were isolated from their families/Ignores Bowlby’s theory of evolution 
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Theories of Attachment

Social Learning explanations-Bandura (1977) children learn behavior through observation and imitation of adults (role models)

 Hay and Vespo (1988) support Bandura’s theory – state that the parents act as role models for infants, teaching them how to understand and carry out their own relationships through observing the role model ( parent)

  • Role Modeling: parents shows child range of affectionate behaviors-shows them what to do
  • Direct instruction: teaches child to reciprocate affection –Tells them what to do
  •  Social Facilitation: watch and help child- aids and directs them when needed ENCOURAGE


  • Hay and Vespo does not explain why attachments are so intense for both people involve
  • Does not disregard the innate theory of attachment but place more value on social factors and the importance of them.
  • Does not highlight the most important component in social learning 
  • Durkin (1995) does not believe that SLT can explain the intensity of emotion that the attachment produces
  • Ignores learning theory
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Theories of Attachment

Evolutionary explanation: Bowlby’s theory of attachment Also offered the maternal deprivation hypothesis

Attachment is an innate/instinctive-evolved mechanism that ensures the survival of the child.

  •  Argued that the attachment behaviors in both infants and caregivers has evolved through natural selection to ensure the baby reaches maturity and continues the gene pool
  •  Crying/smiling of babies is a natural instinct in order to draw attention from caregiver when in hunger/ discomfort/danger/happiness – mother possess instinct that are aware of these behaviors and understand the babies needs due to them-Those that do not have this instinct die from the gene pool
  • 2nd Key idea- Monotropy- a single attachment to one person most important to baby-do not deny the formation of multiple bonds but placed importance on one sole bond that is more important than the rest (mother).
  • Internal working model: the initial bond between infant and caregiver sets up the infant for future relationships-provides a template for the baby of what a relationship looks like and what to base it one.
  •  Continuity Hypothesis:  suggests there is consistency between early emotional experiences and later relationships. Proposes that indiviuals who were securely attached continue to be securely attached in later relationships and infants were had been insecurely attached continued to be insecurely attached in all their relationships in later life
  •   Believed attachment took place during the sensitive period (first 3 years) believed that attachment should not be broken in this 3 years or serious effects would to en sue 
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Theories of Attachment

Evaluation: against

Zimmerman et al. (2000)

  • Aim:to investigate whether attachment types as an adult relies on the attachment type as a child
  • Procedure: londidtudinal-44 children in Germany/attachment type assessed 12-18 months by using strange situation/reassessed at age 16 using interviews focusing on relationship to parents/recorded major life events
  • Findings/conclusion: childhood attachment type is not a good indicator of adolescent attachments. Impact of serious life events are more important
  • Evaluation:
  • Retrospective- unreliable
  •  Social desirability- may lie about previous experiences
  • Only done on young adults-cannot be generalized to the older population
  •  Doesn’t take into account that later life events may have and impact on future relationships.

Main and Goldwyn (1984)

Argued that even if a child experiences a difficult childhood + insecure attachments- may still go on to form a healthy positive adult relationships (earned security) – which may be due to a positive school experience or strong adult attachment.

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Theories of Attachment


Rutter and Quinton (1988) :Found that women who had difficult childhoods but with a positive school experience and strong adult relationships still developed security.Only done on women cannot be generalized to male population.

Montropy-Shaffer and Emerson

  • Glasgow babies-multiple attachments were normal rather than the exception.
  • By 7 months 29% had multiple attachments
  • 10 months: 59% “”
  • 18 months: 89%  “”
  • Found that the strongest bond not to mother as Bolwby implied- only half by 18 months were attached to others
  • A third were strongly attached to fathers
  • * Previous evaluations of Shaffer and Emerson

 Attachments to fathers and siblings :Ross et al.(1975)

  • Clear positive correlation between the no. of nappies father changes and the strengths of the child’s attachment
  • Because of time spent with child?
  • Because of skin-to-skin contact?
  • Act of caring and love?
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Theories of Attachment


  • Lamb (1983) :Fathers often preferred as playmates to mothers-play more physical and unpredictable
  • Shaffer (1996) distinguishes between vertical and horizontal relationships/attachments (usually to someone with the same level of power) normally very long lasting

  • Bee (1995)

    Different kinds of attachment between “buddies” and “caregivers” in siblings

    This would have be ignored in Bowlby’s theory of montropy

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Theories of Attachment


Continuity Hypothesis/internal working model:

  • Hazan and Shaver (1987) ‘Love quiz’
  • Aim: is love in adulthood related to the attachment type as a child
  • Procedure: Love quiz in local newspaper asking ppt to write in about
  •  Three descriptions that best described their previous feeling/experiences about romantic relationships
  • Adjective check list describing their childhood relationships with their parent
  • Tested 2 groups (215men/415 women) selected form newspaper response –had 108 undergraduates
  • Findings: strong relationship between childhood attachment types and adult attachment types/ Secure-believed in lasting love/found others trustworthy and themselves lovable./Anxious avoidant-doubted long lasting love existed/don’t need to be in a happy relationship to get lots out of life/ Anxious ambivalent-fell in love easily/rarely found true love/insecure + self doubt in love
  • Conclusions: there is a correlation between the attachment type as a child and the attachment type as an adult
  • Evaluations:Demand characteristics- may want to please the researcher/Retrospective- unreliable/Social desirability- may lie about previous experiences/Done on undergraduate students/Large amount of women –more readily express the feelings/The sampling method ensures that only people who read that newspaper or who want to take part in a ‘love quiz’ will take part-acquires a certain type of a person
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Theories of Attachment


Black and Shutte (2006)

  • 205 young adults asked to complete:
  • Adult attachment interview
  •  List of adjectives describing their relationship with parents
  • Description of childhood events and incident
  • Findings: link between types of childhood and adult relationships-supports Bowlby’s theory Good relationship with mother- more trusting and open to partners+ seek comfort from. Positive relationship with father-rely more on partners

Evaluation:Retrospective- unreliable/ Social desirability- may lie about previous experiences/Only done on young adults-cannot be generalized to the older population /Doesn’t take into account that later life events may have and impact on future relationships.

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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

Ainsworth (1970)

  • Aim:  to investigate the individual differences in attachment.
  • Procedure: The experiment is set up in a small room with one-way glass so the behavior of the child can be observed.  Children were aged between 12 and 18 months.  Each phase of the procedure lasts 3 minutes and a session progresses as follows:
  • Parent (or caregiver) enters room with child, child explores for 3 minutes
  •   A Stranger enters and joins the parent and infant, talks to mother
  •  Parent leaves the infant with the stranger
  • Parent returns and the stranger leaves.  Parent settles the infant.
  •  Parent leaves again
  • Stranger returns
  •   Parent returns and stranger leave
  • In all the stranger enters on average eight times, more if the child is okay, less if it is showing signs of distress.
  • Throughout the procedure a team of researchers who make notes observes the child every 15 seconds about the following behaviors: Maccoby’s checklist
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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari


Attachment type

Behavior patterns

Secure infants: Type B

Happy to explore when mother present/showed signs of distress when mother left/welcomed her back/very wary of stranger +treated differently

Insecure avoidant: Type A

Some distress at departure/did not seek her comfort when she returned/rejected stranger distress to comfort/keeping distance +avoiding closeness

Insecure –ambivalent: type C

Very upset when mother left/not easily comforted when mother returned/angry and rejected attempts to comfort/alternated between seeking closeness and wanting distance

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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

  • Main and Soloman (1986) Not all babies fit into the 3 categories –there is a 4th types Type D ‘Disorganized Attachment’ – inconsistent behaviour
  • Conclusion: There are individual differences in attachment types of young children
  • Evaluation:
  •  Easy to replicate- many variations and repetitions of the exp. All finding the similar results, supporting Ainsworth’s conclusion,
  • Lacks validity- lab stetting due to it being an unnatural and unfamiliar environment which may lead to the child behaving in a way that is not reflective of how they behave normally in everyday circumstances
  • Counter criticisms: children are introduced into unfamiliar situation sall the time- nurseries- playgroups providing a valid measure of separation anxiety
  • Ethically- the child and the mother must be protect from distress- being away from each other my be traumatizing /consent needed to use a child.
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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

Evaluation of Ainsworth

  • Strange situation only measures the relationship between the child and one other person (usually the mother) so rather than measuring attachment type it is simple measuring relationship.  However, Bowlby argued the case for montropy, the idea that there is only one primary attachment figure (the mum) and all others are of lesser importance anyway.
  • The test was devised by Ainsworth in the USA using American children.  The test is therefore culturally biased.  Desirable attachments in the USA may not be seen as desirable elsewhere.  Nevertheless the test has been used worldwide and used to judge infants in other cultures.  This is an example ofimposed etic when we create a theory, test or construct in one culture (usually Western) and impose it on the rest of the world! 
  •  The strange situation also seems to exaggerate behaviours.  Children over-react when placed in the strange situation so do not behave as they would normally in the real world. 
  • Finally Ainsworth is criticised for over-simplification in her belief that children can be categorised into only three groups.  Other studies have suggested that there big individual differences between children within in attachment group
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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

Sensitivity hypothesis :Ainsworth believed that it was the mother’s sensitivity to the baby’s needs will produce a baby who is securely attached.

De wolff and Ijzendoorn(1997)

  • Aim: Investigate the relationship between parental sensitivity and the security of the babies’ attachment
  • Procedure:  Meta analysis – 66 studies on over 4,000 families
  • Findings: weak positive correlation between sensitivity and attachment.
  • Conclusion: Although not a very strong correlation it does support the view that security of babies’ attachment type is some what related to sensitivity of caregiver
  • Evaluation:
  • Researcher bias- use only studies that support their view and look for results that do this
  • Different methods of research – may not be able to clump all results together
  • Findings may be vary from each other
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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

Kagan- thought that Ainsworth’s theory placed to much emphasis on role of mother + ignores basic temperament of infant

  • Different aspects to temperament (differences in babies that seem to be in-built and visible from birth)
  •  Activity: time spent awake and alert
  •    Emotionality: level of arousal or upset by events
  • Sociability seeks human company

 Thomas Chess and Birch(1989) Studies 138 American babies- found 3 basic temperament types

  • Easy babies:  ½ - ate+ slept regularly + easily accepted new experiences
  • Slow to warm up: 1/10 – did not actively reject new experiences but took time to adjust and accept
  • Difficult: 15% ate+ slept irregularity + actively rejected new experiences
  • Evaluations: only done on American babies- variations in cultures – cant generalize/Too simple – cannot simply place an infant in a neat little box – emotions and personality types vary drastically.
  • Temperament hypothesis: states that the attachment types formed by baby reflect their own basic temperament rather than how sensitive their caregiver is.
  • Fox (1991) Found there to be a strong relationship between the attachment types of a child to both parents which supports the claim that attachments may well relate to inbuilt temperaments
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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

Individual Differences Belsky and Rovine (1987)

  • Argued it was individual differences in attachment types may relate to both temperament and sensitivity of caregiver.
  • Different temperament babies present different challenges – that determines how the caregiver react to the infant
  • E.g. A slow to warm up baby may need more encouragement that an easy baby and a difficult baby may need more soothing than a easy baby

Cultural Variations:Van IJzendoorn and Kroonberg (1988)

  • Aim: investigate the differences in attachment types both between and within cultures
  • Procedure: Meta-analysis –results of 32 separate studies over 8 countries using Ainsworth’s strange situation. Over 2,000 babies were studied
  • Findings: Secure attachments (type B): most common- lowest in China – highest in GB +Sweden
  • Avoidant attachments (Type A): most common in West Germany – very rare in Israel and Japan
  • Ambivalent attachments (Type C): common in Israel /china and Japan – Scandinavian countries had the lowest.
  • Also found difference within couture- 3 studies carried out in West Germany showed different finding ins
  • Japan: 1 had no Type A /2nd had 20% type A
  • Variation within cultures are ½ times the cross cultural variation – proves that Ainsworth’s theory is oversimplified and that not all children are brought up in the same way
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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

Evaluations of Cross Cultural research

  • Large database make the study reliable.
  • Over half (18 of the 32) were still US.  Only five of the 32 were carried out in *collectivist cultures. 
  •  issue of imposed etic.  The strange situation was designed by an American, using American children for use on other Americans.  Many researchers have therefore questioned whether it can possibly be suitable for testing the children of other cultures.  Mary Ainsworth assumed that separation anxiety was an indication of secure attachment and this may be the case in some countries such as Britain and the USA.  However, separation anxiety in other societies and cultures may represent other factors.  The strange situation may therefore not always be a suitable measure of attachment and may in fact be culturally specific. 
  • Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg report that differences in attachment within a culture are far greater than those found between cultures.  They conclude that it is wrong to think of everyone in a culture having the same practices.  Within a culture there are many sub-cultures, all with their own way of rearing children.  These may be ethnically or racially based but also may be class specific, for example in the UK the so called ‘middle classes’ having different child-rearing techniques to the ‘working classes.’  The upper classes traditionally have left child rearing to nannies!
  • Goldberg (2002) argued that valid interpretations of the ‘strange situation’ can only be made in cross cultural studies if the attitudes to child rearing in those cultures are understood.
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Developmental 3: Strange situation +Cultural Vari

Key terms:

Individualistic cultures: where personal independence and achievement are valued- North America/ western societies

Collectivist cultures: high degree of interdependence between people – japan /Israel and China

  • Relating to child rearing
  • Japan – babies very rarely separated form mother –react excessively when mother leaves leading to them being classified as ambivalent
  •  Israeli babies brought up in communal surrounding with little interaction with strangers reacts violently when introduced to one- classed as ambivalent
  • West Germany: taught to be independent from a young age –little distress at separation leading them to be classified as avoidant
  • Israeli children were reared in a Kibbutz so were used to being separated from their mother-do not show anxiety when their mother leaves.  However, they are not used to strangers so get distressed when left alone with the stranger.  This explains the high percentage of resistant behaviour. 
  • Japanese children show similar patterns of attachment to the Israeli children but for different reasons.  Japanese children are very rarely left by their mother.   So the distress they show when she leaves is probably more due to shock than it is to insecure attachment.  The distress they show when left alone with the stranger is also more likely to be due to absence of the mother.
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Key words:

  • Separation: takes place when the child spends some time away from their primary attachment figure. Separation may be for short or long periods of time
  • Separation anxiety: a longer term effect of separation in which the child alternates between clinginess and detachment
  •  Privation:  the failure to form an attachment
  •  Institutionalization: refers to children who have been raised in a institution –orphanages/children’s homes. May not have one-one contact but rather are exposed to a variety of staff relationships
  • Disinhibited attachment: behavior pattern shown by some children who were raised in an institution
  • Key features include: attention seeking behavior/making inappropriate physical contact with adults/ not checking with parents in stressful situations
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Short-term effects of separation: this occurs ta 8/9 months after first attachment has been made (many months/long period if time/depends on pervious experiences and child)

  •  Protest: cry/scream/cling/angry protest
  • Despair: anger subsides and appears to be calm –still upset though. Withdrawn and refusal of others to comport
  • Detachment: is separation continues they may begin to integrate with other people but are still wary. If caregiver return they are likely to reject the caregiver and show signs of anger
  • *Robertson: John  -17 month child placed in residential nursery for 9 days while mom in hospital to have new baby.

Long-term effects of separation-separation anxiety

May persist long after the separation is over

  •  Extreme clinginess: may cling to parent when leaving or in preparation for departure- when baby sitter is due to arrive
  • Alternation between detachment and clinginess- unpredictable to parents
  •    Detachment: may refuse to be cuddled and hugged- perhaps designed in order to prevent them from getting hurt again of they are left
  • More Demanding of attachment figure
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Factors affecting response to separation

  • Age of child-strongest response to STS is 12-18 months

Studied by Shaffer and Callender(1959) :

  • Studied 76 babies 3-51 weeks/admitted to hospital.  Found that children younger than 7 months –minimal upset/adjusted to hospital well and showed little clinginess. After this stage strength of response increased until 18 months- most severe between 12-18 – may be related to the child’s language ad ability to understand the attachment figure will return (Maccoby 1980)
  • Type of attachment between child and caregiver: securely attached less likely to react to being separated – may be because of the belief that the mother will return (Barrett 1997)
  • Sex of child: boys respond more strongly than girls to separation- however there were wide differences between and within sexes (Gross and McIlveen 1997)
  • Whom the child is left with +quality of care received: after 10 months there are multiple attachments so if the child is placed with another attachment figure –effects may be minimal
  • Experience of previous separations: child accustomed to being briefly separated likely to respond less strongly than child not very often separated
  • Barrett (1977) argued that the child does not protests but is an effort to try and cope with feeling of separation
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Factors affecting response to separation

  • Age of child-strongest response to STS is 12-18 months

Studied by Shaffer and Callender(1959) :

  • Studied 76 babies 3-51 weeks/admitted to hospital.  Found that children younger than 7 months –minimal upset/adjusted to hospital well and showed little clinginess. After this stage strength of response increased until 18 months- most severe between 12-18 – may be related to the child’s language ad ability to understand the attachment figure will return (Maccoby 1980)
  • Type of attachment between child and caregiver: securely attached less likely to react to being separated – may be because of the belief that the mother will return (Barrett 1997)
  • Sex of child: boys respond more strongly than girls to separation- however there were wide differences between and within sexes (Gross and McIlveen 1997)
  • Whom the child is left with +quality of care received: after 10 months there are multiple attachments so if the child is placed with another attachment figure –effects may be minimal
  • Experience of previous separations: child accustomed to being briefly separated likely to respond less strongly than child not very often separated
  • Barrett (1977) argued that the child does not protests but is an effort to try and cope with feeling of separation
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Case Study: Koluchova (1972,1977,1991)

  • Twin boys born 1960 Czechoslovakia –brought up in care after mothers death
  • 18 months returned to live with father  + stepmother -suffered serous privation until age 7 when discovered and taken into car
  •   Locked in unheated basement/starved /beaten/away from human company
  • When discovered they had no speech/ serious health problems from early malnutrition/terrified of people
  •   Attended school for children with learning disabilities and underwent intensive rehab – fostered and then adopted by 2 sisters.
  •  In new environment they developed average intelligence + formed strong emotional bonds with new family
  • 1977 follow up –attained average intelligence/developed into happy sociable boys/attended mainstream school
  • 1991 follow up- found that early damaged had totally been repaired + no signs of psych problems.
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Skuse (1984)

  • 2 sisters suffered extreme social and emotional privation in early childhood
  • Mother had severe learning disabilities and may have had a mental illness.
  • Children kept in small room, tied to bed to keep the flat clean and stop hem falling off the balcony. When noisy they were covered with blankets
  • Found at 3 ½ (Louise) and 2 ½ (Mary)- placed into children’s hospital
  • No real speech + showed little evidence of play
  • After speech therapy Louise developed speech + attended normal school at 5 –Mary did not develop language skill and was moved to an autistic unit at 7 ½
  • However a brother found with them was raised in a different family remained autistic + had severe learning disabilities
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Evaluations of case studies

  •  Children sometimes unable to give full consent due to being seriously affected.
  •  Foster parents/carers may feel under pressure to let study continue
  • Follow ups may be traumatic and intrusive- said to be actively damaging
  • Often researchers forget the needs of the individual in order to further their study- mistreated – basic human rights
  • Children received physical maltreatment and abuse – difficult to tell if it was privation that causes the attachment issue/development.
  • Difficult to assess these factors on development
  • Case studies are retrospective: difficult to establish accuracy and difficult to draw a conclusion
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Research study: Tizard and Hodges (1984 + 1989)

  •  Natural, longitudinal experiment looking at the long-term effects of emotional privation in 65 children brought up in children’s homes until the age of 4.
  • Children unable to form an attachment to an adult- staff discouraged form forming relationships
  • Age 2 -24 carers/age 4 -50 carers.
  •  Showed no cognitive deficits- given intellectual stimulation
  • Physically well looked after
  • 2- range of unusual attachment behaviors- when meeting a stranger they would demand their attention/cry when adult left, despite no attachment being formed- contradicts normal attachment behaviors   -DISINHIBITED ATTCHEMNT
  • Age 4 change took place –some were placed back in biological home /some were adopted/remaining were left in foster homes-naturally occurring independent variable
  • Visited families and children at 8 years.
  • Age 16 they took part in an interview with a guardian present
  • If bale to gain consent from school-teachers and same sex peers were asked to complete a questionnaire to assess attachment behavior-dependent variable


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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

  • Restored had worse relationship with siblings and peers than adopted children
  • All 3 groups raised in the institution were less likely to fit into a group and showed more attention seeking behavior as mentioned by the teacher
  • Both groups seemed more orientated to please adults 


Close attachment age 8

Rejecting or hostile

Close attachment age 16

Rejecting or hostile

Adopted children





Restored children





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·       Hodges and Tizard believed that their findings demonstrate that children who are deprived of close and lasting attachments to adults in their first years of life can make such attachments later, although this does depend on the adults concerned and how much they nurture such attachments.  

·       Hodges and Tizard offer an explanation for why the adopted children were more likely to overcome some of the problems of early institutional upbringing better than the restored children.  The financial situation of the adoptive families was often better, they had on average fewer children to provide for, and the adoptive parents were particularly highly motivated to have a child and to develop a relationship with that child.

·       The biological parents in Hodges and Tizard's sample seemed to have been 'more ambivalent about their child living with them'.

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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment


  •  Being a natural experiment this is very high in ecological validity. 
  •  However, being a natural experiment the researchers would have had little control over confounding variables. 
  •  It is most likely that the more personable children with the better social skills would have been fostered.  The ones with the most problems are likely to have remained in care.  As a result it is difficult to be certain that the resulting behaviours at the age of sixteen were down to type of care.  They could have been due to temperament of the child.
  • Multiple research methods used-interviews/questionnaires/self report
  •  Participant attrition –participants drop out at each stage of study- 65 dropped to 51 at 8 years – people who continued ot participate may not be representative
  • May be traumatic to self analyze
  • May place pressure on family
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Effects of institutionalization

Rutter et al. (2007)

  • This is an on-going longitudinal study which began in 1998. 
  • 111 Romanian orphans were adopted into British families.  Rutter wanted to see if good care could compensate for the privation the children
  • Again this has been run as a natural experiment with age of adoption being the naturally occurring independent variable (IV).  Rutter is studying three groups:
  • Adopted before the age of 6 months
  • Adopted between 6 months and 2 years
  • Adopted after the age of two (late adoptees).
  • By the age of six years children were making very good recoveries, however, those adopted later (older than two years) had a much higher level of disinhibited attachment.  In 2007 Rutter returned to the children (then aged eleven years) and found that some had made recoveries but about half of those diagnosed with the condition at the age of six still had it at the age of eleven.
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

No disinhibition

Mild disinhibition

Marked disinhibition

UK adoptees




Romanian (younger than 5 mths)




Romanian (6-24 mths)




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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment


  • Difficult of determine the quality of care –therefore difficult to determine the extent of privation
  • Being a natural experiment this is very high in ecological validity. 
  • However, being a natural experiment the researchers would have had little control over confounding variables.
  •  Multiple research methods used-interviews/questionnaires/self report
  • Participant attrition –participants drop out at each stage of study- 65 dropped to 51 at 8 years – people who continued ot participate may not be representative

 Chisholm (2000)

  •  In depth case study 2 Romanian children adopted into a Canadian family- 3 and 5 years of age after being in an extremely deprived orphanage
  •  Interviews adoptive parent first 8 months/11 months then 3 years
  •  Children also observed –reunion and separation situation
  • Found children have adopted quite different attachments with their adoptive family- there are likely to be individual differences in the children’s responses to early deprivation
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Is recovery possible?

  • The quality and care at the institution: Dontas et al (1985)
  • Greek orphanage/15 babies 7-9 months-important age which attachments develop/each child given a member of staff to care for them  + formed attachment to carer/Dontas visited babies 2 weeks into adoptive home- found they had adapted well and by end of 2nd week began to form attachments/ 2nd study looked at 16 babies and their behavior in playing with familiar and unfamiliar people/same attachments as seen in above study/play behavior showed no effects of being institutionalized such as indiscriminate attentions seeking-research shows how important for kid sin intuitions to be able to form attachments to staff between 7-8 months
  • The age of the child when removed from privation: younger adoption (under 6 months) have better progress cognitively and emotionally- especially language development-much less likely after 11/12 years of age
  • The quality od care after privation: children will likely do best if they are placed in a loving, nurturing home/given the opportunity to develop 1-1 attachments Tizard and Hodges found that the attachment was stronger t the new adoptive parents- due to the care 
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

The follow up experience in later life: Quniton and Rutter(1984/1988)

  • Compared 2 groups of women (20 years) half had spent time in children’s home/ matched with group of women from the some area but spent no time in childcare
  • Care group more likely to have breakdowns and criminal record and more parenting difficulties/however there were difference between the women in care- women who had a good schooling often had much better relationships  or marriages
  • Q and R believed that positive experiences in early adulthood led to different developmental pathways for the 2 groups of women –showing it is not just early development that has effects –they can be overcome if there are good experiences later in life
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Developmental 5:Attatchment in everyday life

The effects of day care on social development

Key words: Day care: refers to the care for children under school age, generally at a nursery or by a child minder

  •  Longitudinal: a study that follows the same group of across along period of time, returning to study them at regular intervals
  • Prospective: refers to the future-prospective studies involve following ppts. Over a period of time from the start of the study
  •  Quasi-experiment: an exp. That takes place in the field but the independent variable is already set (natural exp.)

Different types of day care

  •  Nursery based: trained workers/maybe attached to a primary school/inspected by Ofsted/required to plan activities
  • Family based:
  • Registered child minders: child receives care in child minders own home/child minder often has own young kids/inspected and registered by Ofsted e.g. a play group/high sociability for children/ low attention – large child to child minder ratio
  • Nanny/au pair: employee who looks after child at child’s own home /child likely to be with siblings rather than fellow peers/ young, educated students
  • Informal arrangements: childcare by relatives/neighbors /often unpaid and lacks research-most likely to receive a lot of attention – small children to child-minder ratio/ emotions involved –love e.g. Grandparents/ low sociability
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Developmental 5:Attatchment in everyday life

The effects of day care on social development

Key words: Day care: refers to the care for children under school age, generally at a nursery or by a child minder

  •  Longitudinal: a study that follows the same group of across along period of time, returning to study them at regular intervals
  • Prospective: refers to the future-prospective studies involve following ppts. Over a period of time from the start of the study
  •  Quasi-experiment: an exp. That takes place in the field but the independent variable is already set (natural exp.)

Different types of day care

  •  Nursery based: trained workers/maybe attached to a primary school/inspected by Ofsted/required to plan activities
  • Family based:
  • Registered child minders: child receives care in child minders own home/child minder often has own young kids/inspected and registered by Ofsted e.g. a play group/high sociability for children/ low attention – large child to child minder ratio
  • Nanny/au pair: employee who looks after child at child’s own home /child likely to be with siblings rather than fellow peers/ young, educated students
  • Informal arrangements: childcare by relatives/neighbors /often unpaid and lacks research-most likely to receive a lot of attention – small children to child-minder ratio/ emotions involved –love e.g. Grandparents/ low sociability
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  • Positive Effects of Daycare
  • Generally have more contact with other children than kids cared for at home
  • Allows for increased opportunities to improve important social skills-sharing
  • ·       Anderson (1989,1992) Swedish studies :Found that children who attended day care were more sociable /outgoing/play better wit other children than those who did not attend daycare
  • Clark –Stewart (1991)-compared progress of 150 who did/did not attend day cares
  • Found that those who attended nurseries had better social development than those in family care
  •  Shindler :Children in day played more pro-socially-implies children who spend more time in nurserie produce helpful, more cooperative toddlers
  • Field et al. (1988) :Those who attend full time day care take part in more cooperative play than only part time attendees
  •  Clake-Stewart(1990,1992) :Argued against the negative points saying that this aggressiveness and lack of support for authority  is due to the early development of independence/ taking care of themselves /thinking for themselves
  • Borge et al. (2004) :Compared 3,431 home reared and day care children in Canada. Maternal questions asked-“ how does your child react to being accidently hurt by another child”
  • Also took into account the family background- occupations/siblings/education.
  • Found that level of aggression was higher in home reared than day care children- implies that quality of care is an important factor in determining the effects on the child


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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Negative Effects of Daycare

DiLalla(1988) :Negative correlation between the amount of time spent in day care and the amount pro social development/ more time in day care- less cooperative/helpful in relationships with other children

Belsky(2006):Found that whilst daycare allows improved levels of language and cognitive development but they also show higher levels of problem behaviors including aggression/less obedient to authority figures

Maccoby and Lewis(2003):More hours spent in daycare before 4 ½  correlated with a rnage of negative social outcomes-mor behavior problems in school/lower social skills/greater amounts of conflict.

Field(1988):Teachers rated children who had attended daycare as more aggressive and assertive with peers

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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Campell, Lamb and Hwang (2000)

  •  Believe the reason for the contradictions is due t the fact that these studies look at quantity and not quality of care
  • It may be that the studies that report positive effects of day care looked at higher quality daycares
  • Also pointed out that a lot of the studies are retrospective-rely on recall of memoryCampbell e al. addressed this by carrying out a longitudinal study –looking at the quantity and quality of care
  • Campbell,Lamb and Hwang (2000)

    ·       Aim: to investigate the social development of children related to the quantity and quality of fay care

    ·       Procedure: Studies a group of children from Sweden (18 mnths/3 ½ years) all attended some from of day care. 9 attended family based day care/30 attended nursery/9 switched from family based to nursery. Compared with a group of children ho did not attend day care to placement competition

    ·       18 mnths before starting day care the quality of the care at home assessed using Caldwell’s HOME inventory whilst child was playing with familiar peers


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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Campell and Hawng

  •  After starting day care –assessed again playing with other children for 30 mins.
  • These 2 assessments were repeated once at 2 ½ and again at 3 ½
  • At age 6 ½ social competence of child assessed by asking care provider to describe their social skills
  • 8 ½ -teachers asked to give perception of child’s social behavior
  • age 15-visted at home and given 2 self –report measurements od social development 9friendshio quality + social style questionnaire)
  •  Findings/conclusion: children who spent long amounts of time in a day care setting were less socially competent (3 ½) – may be due to frustration and tiredness occurring later in day due to having to share adult attention
  • Those who attended more days per week but within shorter time periods – more socially competent
  • Those attended high quality care before the age of 3 ½ had better social skills.
  •  Social competence was relative stable between 3 ½ and 15 – implies children’s social skills are largely developed at 3 ½ -strongly suggests that good quality, early childcare at least to 3 ½ is key to developing social skills and the persistence of this 
  • Evaluations:Use of range of measurements to assess level of social skills-provides rich and reliable dtat on the child/ Longitudinal, prospective study-allows us to see the long-term effects of day care./Only looks at Sweden –high quality level of children’s care compared to other countries such as the UK were child care is not as important- may be unable to generalize it to other countries/Researcher needed to be very sensitive and had to gain full parental consent/People may drop out along the study-not an accurate representation of the population
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Comparing different types of daycare

  • Melhuish (1990)- quasi experiment
  •  Compared 3 groups of children in London who attended day acre before the agw of 9 months.
  • Included the use of informal day care arrangements such as family help which has little research
  •   Care by child-minder-low child-minder to children ratio –one child minder many children / highest social interaction
  • Care by relative-highest child-minder to children ratio/low contact with other children
  • Private nursery
  • Varied on ratio of child minder to children
  • Assessed children’s language skills and their ability to share with others  at 18 mnths/3 years
  • 18 months- relative care showed the highest development of language skills while nurseries showed the lowest
  • 3 years-nursery group still showed lower language skills than the relative group however they had higher levels of pro-social behavior
  •  shows that there may be different potential gains for children in different settings
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Evaluation of the effects of day care:

  • Variety of day care settings: Child minder to children ratios/ amount of children vary according to each setting –both of which can effect the child’s experience
  • Time spent in ay care: children start day ccare at different ages/the time they sepend at day care varies according to the parents work timings- cannot compare a child who start at 6 months and a child who starts at 3 years
  • Day acre stetting varies in quality: as seen Campbell et al.
  • Children have different temperaments and different attachment styles-some get more out of the day than others
  • Families hwo use nursery based/relative based child care may vary-
  •  Melhhuish et al (1991): compared the attitudes of 225 women- those who returned to work after maternal leave had hih status jobs and believed in believed in the importance if maternal employment. Those who used family care tend to have higher identities as mothers
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment


Affects of attachment research on childcare practices

Bowlby’s theory has suggested

  • Child needs to have a secure attachment with an adul
  •   Child can have multiple attachments
  • The child needs to be able to use the attachment figure as a safe base to explore and to seek security.

 Studies indicating that day cares are a stressful environment

  • Steele (2001) found that young children had increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) up to ½ and hour after the strange situation after the parents have returned.
  • Watamura et al (2006) compared levels of cortisol in babies and toddlers in different days of the week when they attended day care  or stayed at home –found increased levels of cortisol from morning to afternoon when at day care but not at home. Worse for shy/ fearful toddlers and 24-36 months.
  • Led to many nurseries making day care a positive experience and have adopted the key worker approach (Goldschmied and Jackson 1994)- a significant adult who takes into account the child’s needs especially in times of stress such as the morning when parents leave or when they return- must be emotionally available
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Developmental 4: Disruption of attachment

Structural characteristics of a good quality day care

  •  Low adult to child ratio-more one on one attention
  • Small sized group-easier for young children to deal with/ less strangers
  • Mixed age group of children: Clarke- Stewart et al (1994) notes that social development is improved when children are place din mixed groups –allows toddlers to observe the older children’s behavior and social interactions.
  • Well trained staff and low staff turn over: allows children to get to know staff and prevents separation anxiety if the minder leaves/less strangers –prevents stress

 Process characteristics:

  •  A secure attachment: allowed by a key workers system /stable attachment figure
  • A structured day: rather than regimented/free time /structured activates-routines help to allow predictability allows feelings of being safe
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