Psychology Attachment- Learning Theory (PSYA1)

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  • Created by: charlotte
  • Created on: 01-05-12 12:08

Attachment & Learning Theory (Dollard & Miller)

Dollard & Miller

Attachment is a set of learned behaviours ie results from experiences of the enviroment.


Infant learns to assosiate feeding/ comfort with primary care giver/mother.

Mother acquires comforting properties by assosiation- e.g, being fed = pleasure.

Operate Conditioning

Infant learns that crying, smiling brings posotive responce from adults (posotive reinforcement)

Adult learns that responding to cries ect brings relief from noise.

Dollard & Miller proposed a further adaption of the learning theory account of attachment.

  • They suggest that when hungry, the human infant feels uncomfortable and expeirence a drive state.
  • This motivates the baby to find a way to lesson the discomfort of being hungry.
  • The person who supplies the food becomes a secondary reinforcment
  • The child will form attachments on the basis


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