Explanations of attachment: Learning Theory

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  • Explanantions of attachment: Learning theory
    • Classical conditioning (Pavlov)
      • Learning through association
      • Begin with innate stimulus response (Food) (UCS)
      • Items become associated with food - present when fed. Parents, chair, spoon (NS)
        • Consistant = learned (CS) prodeuces (CR)
    • Dollard and Miller
      • Hungry = discomfort
        • Fed = feeling of pleasure (rewarding)
      • Food = primary reinforcer
      • Person who supplies food = Secondary reinforcer
        • Attachment occurs because seek the person who supplies reward
    • Based on animals
      • Pavlovs dogs - generalised to humans. Not all our behaviour can be explained = attachment
    • Validity
      • Non-behaviouists - attachment involves innate predopisitions and mental activity
        • Lacks validity = oversimplified version of human behaviour
    • Suggests food is key
      • LT = food is key to forming an attachment
        • Harlows monkeys show that this is incorrect
    • Lacks explanation where as others dont
      • Other theories such as Bowlby's theory have more advantages
        • Facts


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