Psychology Attachments

1) evolution of attachments

2) Bowlby's attachment theory

3) Types of attachment

4) Cultural variations

5) Disruption and privation


Explanations of attachments

Attachment- an emotional bond between 2 people. it is a two way process ha endures over time.

Primary attachment figure - The person who has formed the closest bond with a child. This is usually he chiolds biological mother but can be any others

Learning theory - The learning theory is put forward by behaviorists and proposes that all behaviour is learned rather than inborn.

Classical conditioning - this is when you learn through association. ( pavlov's dogs)

Operant conditioning - this is when you learn through rewarding and punishment.

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Learning Theory Strengths and Weaknesses


1) It provides an adequate explanation of how attachments form. ie we do learn from reinforcement and association. However food may not be the main reinforcer,  it may be the attention and responsiveness.


1) Harlow's study - the role of food

2) Schaffer and Emerson - observed 60 babies for a year. They found that infants were not most attached to the person that fed them. They were attached to the person who responded the most.

Validity - largely based on non- human animals.

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