Attachment learning theory

  • Created by: _marxlee
  • Created on: 27-04-17 20:16
what does the behaviourist approach suggest?
all behaviour is learnt rather than innate, born as blank slate, behaviour can be explained in terms of the experiences they have
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what is classical conditioning?
learning through association
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what is the unconditional stimulus in attachment?
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what is the unconditional response in attachment
naturally produces a sense of pleasure to the child
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what is the NS in attachment?
the person who feets the infant initially
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what is the conditioned response?
the feeder overtime due to the association with feed
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what now becomes the CR?
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what now becomes the CS?
the feeder
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what is operant conditioning?
learning through consequence
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what is positive reinforcement?
consequences of your actions are pleasant, so you repeat the behaviour again to get the positive reinforcer
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what is negative reinforcement?
repeat a behaviour because you are removing something unpleasant
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what is primary reinforcer?
something which is automatically or directly reinforcing e.g. food, money or praise
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what is secondary reinforcer?
something that is indirectly reinforcing, so through classical conditioning has become associated with a primary reinforcer e.g. mother giving child food
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what did Dollard and Miller suggest?
operant conditioning is learning through consequences/reinforcement of behaviour
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what is an automatic response to hunger?
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what happens as a result of this?
the infant is fed everytime she cries, therefore learns that crying results in food. this is rewarding, and the behaviour is repeated more often (positive reinforcement)
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According to Dollard and Miller why is separation distress formed?
infant learns that crying will maintain the caregiver's attention and food supply
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how is the caregiver conditioned by the infant?
the caregiver feeds the infant, who stops crying. feeding is repeated to avoid the discomfort of hearing the infant cry. this is negative reinforcement for the caregiver.
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how is drive reduction linked to learning theory?
primary drive for the baby=hunger. babies are driven to have their hunger reduced. Attachment is a secondary drive learned by an association between the caregiver and the satisfaction of the primary drive
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what does this theory predict?
babies want to be close to the caregiver who feeds them
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how is the learning theory to attachment reductionist?
focus on basic processes is too simplistic to explain complex attachment behaviours
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what does animal studies show about attachment to counter the learning theory?
shown us that young animals do not necessarily attach to those who feed it. Lorenz's geese imprinted before they were fed and maintained these attachments regardless of who fed them. Marlow- monkeys preferred the comfort monkey who gave no food
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how does research by Schaffer counter the learning theory of attachment?
shows that food is not the key factor in attachment. Found that more than half of the infants were not attached to the person who provided the primary care (fed them) but instead were still attached to their biological mother. No US involved
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what does the learning theory of attachment ignore?
reciprocity, interactional synchrony + other factors associated with forming attachments. Ainsworth-the sensitivity of the cg that is imporant and that the quality of the attachment is linked to dev reciprocity and interactional synchrony
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what is classical conditioning?


learning through association

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what is the unconditional stimulus in attachment?


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what is the unconditional response in attachment


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what is the NS in attachment?


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