Card Set Information
What is attachment theory?
Infants must develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver
Infants seek proximity when distressed
Separation leads to protest (crying and searching) despair (deeper issues such as depression) then detachment (symptoms subside)
Supported by Harlow (1958) monkeys show these traits when separated from comforting objects and mothers
This is echoed in romantic partners
We seek them when distressed
Similar processes occur when separation occurs (Parkes, 1972)
What effects does attachment theory have on development?
Self concepts and beliefs such as self worth and our perception of others develop in childhood
These influence but do not determine adult attachments
What does secure attachment lead to?
Brennan et al (1995)
More stable and satisfying relationships
Knowledge that proximity seeking leads to support and comfort (turn to others when distressed)
The belief that distress is manageable
Distress is acknowledged and events are seen as less stressful
What does attachment anxiety lead to?
Strong need to be close to people, accepted and reassured
Hyperactivity of negative thought and emotion
Hyper-vigilant focus on attachment figures
Distance from attachment figures minimised
Clinging and controlling
More likely to hold on to feelings for an ex (Spielmann et al., 2010)
Try harder when meeting new potential dates (Brumbaugh & Fraley, 2010)
Less selective at speed dating (McClure et al., 2010)
Fear of being single (Spielmann et al., 2013)
What does attachment avoidance lead to?
Feelings of independence, low desire for social bonds
Uncomfortable with closeness, self disclosure and feeling and expressing intimacy
Deactivation of attachment systems (avoid intimacy by not acknowledging distress and suppressing distressing thoughts and memories)
Expect relationship failure (Birnie et al, 2009)
Lower commitment (Gere et al, 2013)
More infidelity (DeWalle et al, 2011)
Separation doesn't lead to attachment worries unless under cognitive load (Rholes et al, 2007)
Avoid attention to attachment words unless under cognitive load (Edelstein & Gillath, 2008)
Low accuracy in reading the emotions of their partner (Simpson et al, 2011)
How does childhood experience affect adult attachment?
Sensitive maternal caregiving at 18 months
predicted less anxiety and avoidance with
romantic partners at 22 years (Zayas et al., 2011)
Secure infants had higher quality conflict
discussions & more relationship satisfaction as adults (Roisman et al., 2005)
40% environment, 60% genetic (Donnellan et al., 2008; Picardi et al, 2010)
How can relationship closeness be built?
Provide opportunities for people to help and co-operate
Experiment in trust (trust falls)
Promote self disclosure with increasing intimacy
Share new experience and create shared memories
Mutually share personal experiences
How can you make someone fall in love?
Aron et al 2013
: the experimental generation of interpersonal closeness
36 questions requiring increasing levels of trust, disclosure and intimacy
E.g, if you could wake up tomorrow having gained any quality or ability what would it be?
What is the investment model?
Composed of 3 levels that are positively correlated with commitment:
Quality of alternatives
How do satisfaction levels affect investments?
To what extent are your needs met?
All relationships experience levels of low satisfaction
How do alternatives affect investments?
The quality of alternatives is the attractiveness of the best available alternative to a relationship
Can my needs be met elsewhere?
How does investment size affect investments?
The amount of resources that are tied up in a relationship and, should it end, would decline in value
How does the investment model relate to abusive relationships?
Desire to leave and level of abuse is the satisfaction
The levels of education and income are the alternatives
The duration of the relationship and marital status is the investment (Rusbult & Martz, 1995)
What have studies found about relarionship dissolution?
Most first marriages will end in divorce or
permanent separation (Bramlett & Mosher, 2002)
Even in marriages that remain in tact, newlyweds’ initially high levels of marital satisfaction declines over time (Van Laningham et al. 2001).
What are positive illusions?
Essential to relarionships (Murray, Holmes, &
Perceptual bias towards the positive
When the negative cannot be ignored, shift what is important to you in a relationship (Neff & Karney, 2003)
Why are positive illusions hard to maintain?
Making allowances for a spouses inevitable
shortcomings is difficult. It is cognitively demanding and requires attention and motivation
Ability to maintain positive illusions is undermined by:
Cognitive styles, personality traits, childhood
: work load, financial stress, health
What do implications do findings about separations raise?
Public policy that improves family and individual
well-being and welfare should reduce strain and
increase capacity for maintaining positive illusions
Norway: After the government began offering cash incentives to parents that elected to stay home with children, divorce rates fell significantly (Hardoy & Schone, 2008)