attachment theories

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learning theory

Learning theory is the view put forward by behaviourists to explain how a behaviour is obtained using the principlaes of conditioning.

Classical Conditioning~ the person providing the food becomes associated with this pleasure and therefore become the conditioned stimulus. according to learning theory this is the basis of the attachment bond. Pavlov

Operant Conditioning ~ being fed satisfies the infants hunger and makes it feel comfortable. This results in drive reduction, which is rewarding. The person who supplies the food is assosciated with it and becomes the secondary reinforcer. From then on the infant seeks to be there with this person as they are now a source of reward. dollard and miller



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The Evolutionary Perspective (Bowlby 1969)

Proposed that attachment was important for survival. infants are physically helpless and require adults to feed and care for them.

There are three main features of bowlby's theory

Infants and carers are ' programmed'  to become attached.

As attatchment is a biological process, it takes place during a critical period or not at all.

Attachment plays a role in later development- the continuity hypothesis and monotropy.

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