Learning theory of Attachment

AS- A2/A-Level

  • Created by: usharif
  • Created on: 24-03-18 20:05
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  • Explanations of attachment: Learning theory
    • Classical conditioning
      • Learning through association
      • Milk (UCS) produces a response of pleasure (UCR)
      • After conditioning
        • Mother becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS), who is the source of pleasure even without milk
      • During conditioning
        • Mother (NS) who provides the milk becomes associated with the milk (NS+UCS)= pleasure response (UCR)
    • Operant conditioning
      • Behaviours that produce a reward - positive reinforcement or behaviours that will stop something unpleasant - negative reinforcement will be repeated
      • Dollard and Miller
        • process of operant conditioning that supports that food is why we form attachments
      • hungry -negative drive state and cry (social releasers)
      • Being fed removes the hunger and so encourages the infant to repeat the behaviour - negative reinforcement
      • Baby being fed by the mother/ caregiver - acts as a reward for their crying - positive reinforcement
      • Food = primary reinforcer Mother = Secondary reinforcer
        • Mother is the source of the food, an attachment is formed
    • The learning theory proposed by Dollard and Miller who argues that children are born as blank slates- 'Tabula Rasa
      • All behaviour including attachment is learned through classical and operant conditioning rather being innate
  • During conditioning
    • Mother (NS) who provides the milk becomes associated with the milk (NS+UCS)= pleasure response (UCR)

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