Essay - Outline One or More Theories of Attachment (12 Marks)

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  • Created by: PIE674
  • Created on: 22-09-13 20:07

Attachment is a strong bond between two people, such as a child and care giver, that endures over time and is a two way process. Attachment serves three main essential purposes; for a child’s survival, a child’s psychological development and the stability of the child’s future relationships.

Psychologists have made many theories on how and why attachment occurs arguing between nature vs. nurture, two of these theories are the learning theory and Bowlby’s evolutionary theory. The learning theory states that all behaviour is learnt therefore suggesting attachment is also learnt. In this theory attachment is learnt through the relation of food given by the care giver through the processes of classical conditioning and operant conditioning.

Classical conditioning is learning through association. In the situation of a mother and child, when hungry a child receives food, the unconditional stimulus (UCS), thus making the baby feel happy, the unconditional response (UCR). When the mother supplies the food (UCS) causing happiness (UCR), the infant associates the mum, the conditional stimulus (CS), with the happiness, the conditional response (CR). Attachment happens because of this learned connection between the person and pleasure.

Operant conditioning involves learning through


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