Attachment- condensed.

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  • Created by: niakm96
  • Created on: 11-05-14 21:09

Explanations of attachment:

Learning theory.

  • Description: classical conditioning, starts with food (unconditioned stimulus) and creates an unconditioned response of pleasure. The mother is an netural stimulus, but becomes as conditioned stimulus and produces a conditioned response. Operant conditioning (Any behaviour that results in a pleasant concequence is reinforced. It comes probable that you'll repeat behaviour in future) starts with discomfort due to hunger. Discomfort is reduce by food & mother which are reinforcing. In both versions (classical and operant), the infant becomes attached tothe mother because of food. Social learning theory suggests that we model behaviours (child learns attachment by observing what other people do)
  • Evaluation: limitation: food domenot seem to be the key element in attachment. limitation: oversimplifies the complex human behaviour of attachment. limitation: doesn't explain emotional nature of attachments. strength: notices the important implications for fathers. 
  • Conclusion: learning theory accounts of attachment dominates psychology in the 50s, such accounts may be part of the process and at best explain how but not why. 

Bowlby's theory

  • Description: Attachment is adaptive, like imprinting. Infants are born with characteristics to promote attachment, e.g social releasers.There is a sensitive period for the development of attachment (attachments usually take place at age 6-9 months, after 2 1/2 years it is unlikely that these attachments will be made).  Monotropy- Primary attachment is important for the child's emotional development, but, secondary attachments are important too as an emotional 'safety net' and also for social development. Short-term effects: internal working model and independence - internal working model = a cluster of concepts about relationships, in the short term, it gives a child insight into their caregiver's behaviour, in the long term, it acts as a template for the future relationships because it generates expectations about how people behave. Long-term effects: continutity hypothesis - the quality o the infan't attachment affects relationships throughout life. Individuals who have a secure attachment in inancy continue to have secure attachments with their friends, partners and their own children, however, infants who experience insecure attachments are  mo
  • present). Limitation = may not apply to all cultural groups. Limitation: ethical issues.

Attachment types (ainsworth)

  • Three main attachment types, Ainsworth observed 106 children in the Strange
  • re likely to have social/emotional difficulties.
  • eval: strength: extremely influential. strength: research support for monotropy (schafer and emerson 1964). Strength: researchsupport for continutity hypothesis( hazen and shaver 1987). Limitation: alternative explanations for continutity. Limitation: bowlby's theory has some key concepts that are difficult to test empirically.
  • Conclusion: many critics of bowlby's attachment theory, but the research has had a profound effect on the way we care for children.
  • Strange situation

    Mary Ainsworth:

  • Description: it's a method of assessing quality of attachment in infants,It's a method of assessing quality of attachment in infants, e.g attachment type. There's eight episodes involving infant, parent and stranger. The stranger anxiety is assessed, then seperation anxiety and then reunion behaviour is assessed. Observations were recorded every 15 seconds, by 2 or more observe
  • Eval: strength = proved to be very useful;


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