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Emotional development

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Introduction

What are the underlying psychological assumptions raised by the source? The article 'don't let robots be child minders' from the source 'Metro dated Thursday June 5th 2008' raises a number of assumptions in relation to development, emotion and the effects of attachment towards children. One assumption which can be inferred from the source could be 'parents are leaving robots to look after their children' which may be related to Maslow's theory of hierarchy of needs. Maslow's hierarchy of needs consists of 5 levels which are physiological (necessities of life), safety (security of employment, family and health), love (of friends and family), esteem (having confidence, self esteem and respect). The last level being self actualization in which people accept facts and lack prejudice. It is suggested that once a level has been fulfilled it no longer becomes a priority to an individual and that comfort is more important than physical needs as these are higher in the hierarchy of needs. Therefore, would leaving children with robots be sensible? Robots aren't human and are unable to cater to higher levels in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. ...read more.

Middle

This relates back to the assumption that having an emotionless robot as a primary caregiver 'creates a generation of social misfits'? Bandura investigated how role models and imitation affected children's behaviour. It was found that children who observed an aggressive model were more likely to replicate aggressive physical and verbal behaviour made by their role model. However, children who were placed in the non-aggressive condition were less likely to behave aggressively. Relating this back to the third assumption 'what kind of role model is a robot' and the social learning theory, Bandura suggests that we will learn behaviour by imitating role models around us. A robot could be seen as a poor role model as it will be unemotional and not model appropriate for a human. This means children cared for by robots will then learn this behaviour and act in similar ways. How can psychological evidence be used to affect the issues raised in the source? In relation to the first assumption that 'parents are leaving robots to look after their children' relating to Maslow's theory of hierarchy of need. ...read more.

Conclusion

This then results in the parent providing the essential needs that the child needs and prevents children from becoming 'a generation of social misfits'. Parents will not need to use a robot which can allow the child to lack the correct social development and allowing them to turn delinquency and depression as previously mentioned. Lastly, is the third assumption, which is 'what kind of role model is a robot?'. This relates to the social learning theory from Bandura et al. They suggested that from observing behaviour of others this may cause imitation though imitation is not wanted. Therefore a child's imitation of a robot can cause a lack of emotional development and social relationships as the robot is unable to interact emotionally which human individuals. To then prevent this, parents should not use robots to look after children and either parents should take care of their children or those from a profession. If then this is the case, parents should take care to watch their behaviour around children as unwanted behaviour may not be wanted. ...read more.

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