[From Rick Marken (2008.12.26.1815)]
Gavin Ritz (2008.12.27.12.27NZT)
But show me specifically how Attachment Theory and Object Relations Theory
are input-output Models of psychology.
How about just Attachment Theory for now. Here are the tenets of the
theory according to Wikipedia:
1. Adaptiveness: Common human attachment behaviours and emotions
Nothing input-put there; just a description of behavior.
2. Critical period: Certain changes in attachment, such as the
infant's coming to prefer a familiar caregiver and avoid strangers,
are most likely to occur within the period between the ages of about
six months and two or three years.
OK, still no input-output. No explanation (theory) yet either.
3. Robustness of development: Attachment to and preferences for
some familiar people are easily developed by most young humans, even
under far less than ideal circumstances.
Again, no input-output; no model either.
4. Experience as essential factor in attachment: Infants in their
first months have no preference for their biological parents over
strangers and are equally friendly to anyone who treats them kindly.
Human beings develop preferences for particular people, and behaviours
which solicit their attention and care, over a considerable period of
More description. This statement does make the assumption that people
enter the world sans attachments (as blank attachment slates). So
that's the start of a model, I suppose.
5. Monotropy: Early steps in attachment take place most easily if
the infant has one caregiver, or the occasional care of a small number
of other people. According to Bowlby, almost from the first many
children have more than one figure towards whom they direct attachment
behaviour; these figures are not treated alike and there is a strong
bias for a child to direct attachment behaviour mainly towards one
And still more description.
6. Social interactions as cause of attachment: Feeding and relief
of an infant's pain do not cause an infant to become attached to a
caregiver. Infants become attached to adults who are sensitive and
responsive in social interactions with the infant, and who remain as
consistent caregivers for some time.
Ah, here we go. Input-output model alert. Infants become attached
(output) to adults who are responsive in social interactions and who
remain as consistent caregivers (input).
7. Internal working model: Early experiences with caregivers
gradually give rise to a system of thoughts, memories, beliefs,
expectations, emotions, and behaviours about the self and others.
More input-output. Early experiences (input) give rise to (cause),
among other things, behaviors (outputs).
8. Transactional processes: As attachment behaviours change with
age, they do so in ways shaped by relationships, not by individual
And still more. Attachment behaviors (outputs) are shaped (caused) by
9. Consequences of disruption: In spite of the robustness of
attachment, significant separation from a familiar caregiver, or
frequent changes of caregiver that prevent development of attachment,
may result in psychopathology at some point in later life.
And still more. Here we have separation from or changes in a caretaker
(input) preventing (causing in a negative sense) attachment.
10. Developmental changes: Specific attachment behaviours begin with
predictable, apparently innate, behaviour in infancy, but change with
age in ways that are partly determined by experiences and by
This one is pretty obvious. Changes in innate attachment behaviors
(outputs) are partly determined (caused) by experiences and
situational factors (inputs).
This input-output model is spiced up with some "controlish" words,
like adaptation, it's the same old input-output model of behavior. The
output (behavior) in this case is attachment and the inputs that cause
variations in this output are things like the responsiveness of
Richard S. Marken PhD