Studies for attachment - Psychology Unit 1

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Learning Theory

  • Ian Pavlov (1927): Salivating dogs. The food (unconditioned stimulus UCS) made the dogs salivate (unconditioned response UCR). When Pavlov rang the bell (Neutral Stimulus NS) there was no response (Neutral response NR). During the conditioning, where Pavlov was trying to create an association between to unrelated things, he rang the bell whilst presenting the food to the dogs (unconditioned stimulus UCS), the dogs then began to salivate (unconditioned response UCR). After conditioning, when the dogs had learnt to associate the bell with the food, when the bell (conditioned stimulus) was presented the dogs salivated (conditioned response).

  • Dollard and Miller (1950): Suggested that a hungry infant feels uncomfortable and this creates a drive to reduce this discomfort. When the infant is fed, the drive is reduced and this produces a feeling of pleasure (which is rewarding). Food becomes a primary reinforcer because it stamps in the behaviour in order to avoid discomfort. The person who supplies the food is associated with being safe and comforting

  • Harlow's Monkeys: The rhesus monkeys had a choice of two surrogate mothers, wire and food mother or a warm cloth mother. They became most attached to the cloth mother, but never formed a real attachment, suggesting that comfort was a much bigger factor in whether infants attach or not. This shows that food is not the biggest reinforcer as the learning theory suggested.

Internal Working Model

  • Hazan and Shaver found there was a link between attachment type in infancy and the success of adult relationships (the internal working model was accurate)

Against Bowlby's Theory

  • Jerome Kagan (1984): Suggested an alternative explanation to Bowlby's continuity Hypothesis; that children with a pleasant personality may find it easier to have a warm relationship with their parents. They would also, assuming they keep being nice to people, be able to maintain a marriage for longer. This is known as Temperament Hypothesis

LT Deprivation

  • Hodges and Tizard: Longitudinal study of children who spent at least the first 2 years of their lives in instutitons. They were taken out of institutions and either returned to their families or fostered. The data was collected through interviews and questionnaires with the children themselves, their parents and their teachers. It was found the the fostered children did much better than the restored



Thank you these are to the point and useful

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