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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 22-04-14 12:30


Learning Theory- Dollard & Miller (1950)

  • Operant conditioning: Skinner- rats & cats, lever produced food, animals learned to press on lever. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT- food etc, repeated. NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT- punishment- less likely to be repeated. Children- child cries and gets food/cuddles- positive reinforcement- more likely to cry. OPERANT- OPERATION (the game- when you get buzzed you don't try the same hole again!)
  • Classical conditioning: Pavlov- dogs drooling at sound of footsteps-mealtimes. Milk-unconditioned stimulus (relief from hunger)- automatic, not learned. Associates person with food + soon the person on their own produces a learned (conditioned) response of pleasure and relief.
  • EVALUATION: Shaffer & Emerson- Glasgow babies (1964)- 39% primary attachments not to main caregiver. Harlows monkeys- babies still cuddled mother even if wire mother produced food. Ignores evolutionary aspects of attachment- Bowlby's theory. Social Learning Explanations (Hay & Vespo) - role-models- affectionate behaviours- child copies,direct instruction- "give me a kiss goodbye", social facilitation- watch and help child carry out attachment behaviours- watching them "play nicely".  Doesn't explain why attachments are so emotionally intense but doesn't deny innate influences.
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Bowlby's (evolutionary) theory- John Bowlby (1940's)

  • Innate attachments- evolved through natural selection to ensure baby survives and reproduces.
  • Social releasers- crying and smiling- encourages caregiver .
  • Monotropy- Single attachment to 1 person- v. important. Doesn't deny multiple attachments, just says 1 is more important than the rest. 
  • Internal working model- investigated Freud's idea that mother-child relationships are important for future relationships- continuity hypothesis- early attachments influence later attachments. Build a model of themselves on caregiver- lovable or not.
  • Safe base- Harlows monkeys. Mother figure- comfort & security.
  • Sensitive period- first 3 years of life- Lorenz etc.- disruption in attachments below age of 3- serious consequences.
  • EVALUATION - Hazan & Shaver- support 'love quiz', Black & Schutte- questionairre- support. Zimmerman et al- childhood attachment type didn't reflect in later attachments. Main & Goldwyn- some people have difficult childhoods but still go on to form secure relationships (school experience? adult attachments?). Monotropy- Shaffer & Emerson- multiple attachments- not always mother. Doesn't regard father/siblings.
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