evaluation of the learning theory

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Evaluation of the learning theory
Schaffer and Emerson
Studied babies in Glasgow
Only 39% were strongly attachment to the person who fed them most
This shows us that food is not the main reason for attachment to form.
Only happened in Glasgow so the attachment type could be different
somewhere else, it lacks ecological validity
Harry Harlow
Did an experiment on several baby monkeys
He took some baby monkeys away from their mother at just a few days old
and gave them a choice of surrogate mothers, one made of wire with a milk
bottle, and one covered in soft terry cloth with no milk bottle.
The monkeys spent most of the time on the soft mother, so they preferred
comfort more than food.
This shows that vole and comfort are more important to forming an
attachment than food is.
Operant conditioning
Any behaviour that has a positive outcome is more likely to be repeated.
There is lots of evidence that human and animals can learn behaviours
through operant conditioning.
For example, Skinner showed that rats and pigeons could learn the
instruction of two words by simply rewarding their behaviours
Whilst this shows us that humans could learn to form an attachment through
operant conditioning, the evidence can't say that we do learn from an
attachment in this way.
There is some evidence that humans and animals can learn an association
through classical conditioning.
For example, Pavolov showed that dogs can associate a bell ringing with
being given food. When the bell rang and the food was given to the dog,
it will produce saliva even if no food is given.
This shows that we could learn to form attachments by classical
conditioning; however the evidence can't say we do learn to form an
attachment this way.

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