Communication and Affect. A Comparative Approach by Thomas Alloway, Lester Krames, Patrica Pliner

By Thomas Alloway, Lester Krames, Patrica Pliner

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Thus, in the standard (and perhaps artificial) setting in which assessments are made, child A might be (misleadingly) scored higher on nearness behaviors and lower on behaviors connoting deviations for attention than child B, simply because the first response of child A to stimuli early in an attention-seeking chain pattern might be moving near while that of child B might be crying. Furthermore, at later phases in the learning process there may be a "short-circuiting" of the chain as it becomes more efficient, in that fewer behavior steps may come to be required for the child to attain attention, approval, or some other stimulus consequence.

Because such abstractions have tended not to focus on the sequential details of interaction, they have by their nature limited the analyses of both the stimulus conditions and the behaviors of the child: They have tended to index only some average characteristics of the behaviors and/or stimulus conditions through extended time spans, and have precluded the necessary articulation between the stimuli provided by the environment and the relevant behaviors of the child. That is, by dealing with the environmental stimuli and the child's behaviors under such generalizations, researchers have tended to neglect the sequential and contingent relationships of the discrete stimuli and the discrete responses.

This discrepancy may be more than simply an outcome of the questionable tactic of using chronological age as the key independent variable in psychological research on developmental processes, as I have noted elsewhere (Gewirtz, 1969c, particularly pp. 105—119). ) What may be more pertinent here is the fact that different Jacob L. Gewirtz 30 criterion indices were used by Ainsworth and by Schaffer and Emerson (Maccoby & Masters, 1970). Whereas Schaffer and Emerson measured attachment primarily in terms of separation reactions, Ainsworth employed a wider range of behavioral criteria.

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