summary of learning theory and evaluaiton

HideShow resource information
Preview of summary of learning theory and evaluaiton

First 298 words of the document:

Learning theory
Learn attachments though unconscious mechanisms such as classical and operant
conditioning and biological drives.
Classical conditioning
Learn attachments by associating mum with food
Mum is a neutral stimulus at first
The unconditioned stimulus is something that makes the baby happy such as
The baby has a unconditioned response to this which is happiness
Over time the neutral stimulus is associated with the unconditioned stimulus
(food) meaning mum eventually becomes the conditioned stimulus, to which
the baby has a conditioned response to (happiness) every time the baby
sees mum as the baby associates mum with food.
Operant conditioning
Learn attachments by rewarding behaviours (positive reinforcement)
When a child feels hungry and wants to remove this feeling, the child is fed
and this acts as a reward (feeding is the primary reinforcer).
The child's mum is the source of the reward (i.e. the food). The mother is
the secondary reinforcer.
This causes an attachment to form as the child seeks out mum as she is the
source of the reward. A positive behaviour is more likely to be repeated.
Biological drives
Things the child is motivated to satisfy such as hunger.
We are reinforced when we satisfy this drive as we remove the unpleasant
Food reinforces in 2 ways: positive reinforcement as food is nice and
removes unpleasant feeling such as hunger
Schaffer and Emerson
Studied babies in Glasgow
Found that 39% of them where most attached to the person who fed them
Shows food isn't main reason for attachment
Doesn't support learning theory- opposes classical conditioning

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Low population validity- only studied babies in Glasgow so results may be
different in other areas
Harry Harlow
Studied baby monkeys
Gave several baby monkeys a choice of 2 surrogate mothers: one made of
wire with a milk bottle and one made of cloth but with no milk bottle.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »