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Bowlby's Theory of Attachment
· Monotropy: Attachment to one specific caregiver often the mother.
· Reciprocal
· Social Releasers: Signalling behaviours e.g. smiling, crying etc
· Because the infant is carrying half her genetic material the mother is
motivated to look after this `investment'.
· Critical Period: The critical period for this attachment to develop is
the first three years of life, otherwise it may never do so ­ with
detrimental consequences.
· Continuity Hypothesis: If there is constant, responsive and sensitive
care then a successful attachment develops which will have longer
term benefits for the child's social competence e.g. Increased
· Secure-base Hypothesis: Infants that feel sufficiently comforted by
the caregivers presence are likely to explore their environment
more, encouraging the development of independence etc.…read more

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The Learning Theory Explanation
· Classical conditioning: Learning through the association and satisfaction of drives.
Drives related to biological needs like food are called primary drives. A baby has
several primary drives, for example comfort and security, but the main one is hunger.
Because mother is most often the one providing food, she becomes associated with
the satisfaction of this primary drive. Through this process the baby learns to enjoy
other behaviours e.g. verbal communication.
· Pavlov ­ Bell associated with food ­ dogs salivated at bell.…read more

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More Learning Theory
· Operant Conditioning · Social Learning
· If rewarded for our behaviour · Learning occurs through a process
the behaviour is reinforced of observation, modelling and
· Punished for behaviour (e.g. · Someone is observed engaging in
hand in flame) behaviour will a particular behaviour ­ this
not be reinforced. person is called the model.
· The behaviour is imitated.
· If there is imitation we can say that
learning has occurred.
· This kind of imitation is
encouraged through reinforcement
by parents who clearly value this
kind of caring behaviour
themselves.…read more

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The Strange Situation
· Procedure:
1. Mother and child enter unfamiliar room.
2. Mother responds if child seeks attention.
3. Stranger enters room, speaks to mother, slowly approaches child, mother
leaves room.
4. Stranger lets child play, encouraging play with toys if child shows
inattention. If child becomes distressed procedure ends.
5. Mother returns, stranger leaves, child settles, mother leaves.
6. If infant is distressed, procedure ends.
7. Stranger enters and repeats step 5
8. Mother returns stranger leaves.
· Each episode (apart from the first one) lasts around three minutes, the
whole procedure lasting no more than half an hour.…read more

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More Strange Situation
· 100 middle class American Mothers + children took part.
· The researchers employed a controlled observational technique, which
means that the researchers controlled the activities in which the mother +
child took part.
· During the procedure, the researchers noted down how much the following
behaviours were exhibited:
1. The infants unease when mother left ­ `separation anxiety'
2. Infants willingness to explore
3. The way in which the infant greeted the mother on her return ­ `reunion
4. Infants response to stranger ­ `stranger anxiety'
· Standardised procedure ­ easy to repeat
· Unnatural setting - unnatural behaviour
· Sample bias ­ unrepresentative…read more

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