Essay on the learning theory of attachment

This leads to a conditioned response of relief from hunger and the formation of an attachment, as the child learns to associate the mother with feelings of relief and happiness. The primary caregiver is now the conditioned stimulus and pleasure is now the conditioned response.

psychology a level learning theories

Over time, as an association is formed, the food-giver becomes a source of pleasure regardless of whether they provide food or not. Operant conditioning was first investigated by Skinner and then further investigated by Dollard and Miller in regard of attachment and drive reduction theory which describes something that motivates behaviour.

The case of Little Albert shows that classical conditioning is the process by which we learn a variety of behaviours. Classical conditioning was firstly investigated by Pavlov in This creates an opportunity for the carer to become associated with the removal of unpleasant feeling of hunger.

The main assumption is that behaviour is learnt through association for example, we learn to respond to new events and people in the same way as we already respond to other events.

Try and write it in around 12 minutes - the exam is slightly more than a mark a minute, you don't want to spend too long on it and not have enough time to do the other questions.

However, the monkey study was conducted on monkeys and it could be argued that this is not an accurate representation of human attachment. Any developmental theory is expected to be related to a common view of emotion.

Learning theory psychology

Evaluate The biggest flaw of Ainsworth's strange situation is the fact that it may not measure the attachment type of the infant but rather the quality of the relationship between the infant and caregiver. Behaviourists suggest that attachment is learned by classical conditioning learning by association. These answers have been produced without the knowledge of the mark scheme and merely reflect my attempt at producing a model answer on the day of the exam. A hungry baby will cry because it is distressed. The sensitivity which the main caregiver provides is then mimicked by the infant teaching the child how to act. However it could be argued that the only relationship that matters is that of your primary caregiver which is the parent that partakes in the strange situation and the attachment with this primary caregiver determines the overall attachment type of the infant. Harlow found that baby monkeys spent more time with a soft towelling monkey which did not provide food , in comparison to a wire monkey which did provided food. Pavlov said the dogs were demonstrating classical conditioning as he used an unconditional stimulus of food to get an unconditional response of salivating. Once the neutral stimuli which in this context is the mother present while the child is eating is consistently associated with an unconditioned stimulus and will eventually produce the same response.

Attachment has now been learned.

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Learning Theory Of Attachment And The Other Being Bowlby's