Learning theory

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  • Created by: z_mills1
  • Created on: 08-05-14 15:51
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  • Learning theory
    • Operant conditioning
      • learning through reinforcement
      • Dollard + Miller suggested that a human infant feels uncomfortable when hungry
      • being fed satisfies the infant's hunger and makes them feel comfortable again
        • Dollard + Miller suggested that a human infant feels uncomfortable when hungry
      • child learns that food is a reward - person who supplies food is secondary reinforcer
        • being fed satisfies the infant's hunger and makes them feel comfortable again
      • Classical conditioning
        • learning through association
        • stimulus of food produces response of pleasure to an infant
          • person providing this food (PCG) becomes associated with this pleasure - becomes a conditioned stimulus
        • person providing this food (PCG) becomes associated with this pleasure - becomes a conditioned stimulus
      • Evaluation
        • Strength
          • learning theory can explain attachment
            • infants do acquire attachment through association and reinforcement but the reinforcer is not food
        • Weaknesses
          • contact comfort is more important (Harlow's study of rhesus monkeys)
            • Harlow created two artifical wire mothers, one had a feeding bottle attached and the other was wrapped in soft cloth
              • monkeys spent much of their time clinging to the cloth mother - especially in times of distress
          • Schaffer and Emerson
            • conducted a controlled observation of 60 babies in their own homes for a period of about a year
              • found that infants were not most attached to the person who fed them, strongest attachments were to the person who was most responsive and who interacted with them the most

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