Explanations of attachment: learning theory

  • Created by: IvyVega
  • Created on: 10-05-18 12:58
importance of food
this is sometimes called the cupboard love explanation because it emphasises the importance of food in attachment formation. children learn to love whoever feeds them.
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role of classical conditioning
classical conditioning involves learning to associate two stimuli. in attachment: UCS leads to UCR. this response is not learned so it is an unconditioned response
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baby learns that mother produces a sense of pleasure
a caregiver starts as a NS. this person providing food over time becomes associated with food. so the neutral stimulus becomes a CS. once conditioning has taken place the sight of the caregiver produces a CR of pleasure.
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role of operant conditioning
operant conditioning explains why babies cry for comfort. crying leads to a response for the caregiver as long as the caregiver provides the correct response, crying is reinforced because it produces a pleasurable consequence.
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negative reinforcements
at the same time as the baby is reinforced for crying, the caregiver receives negative reinforcement because the crying stops. this interplay of positive/negative reinforcement strengthens an attachment.
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drive reduction
hunger is a primary drive, an innate biological motivator. we are motivated to eat to reduce the hunger drive. attachment is a secondary drive learned by an association between the caregiver and the satisfaction of a primary drive.
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strength 1- some elements of conditioning could still be involved.
the main with learning theory is the idea that feeding provides the unconditioned stimulus, reinforcement or primary drive. however, many aspects of human development are affected by conditioning so it seems plausible that it could still play a role.
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limitation 1- feeding is not important factor
Schaffer and Emerson (1964) showed that for many babies a primary attachment was not to the person who fed them. this shows that feeding is not the key element to attachment and so there is no unconditioned stimulus or primary drive involved.
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limitation 2- ignores other factors
research shows that quality of attachment is associated with developing reciprocity and good levels of interactional synchrony. studies also show that the best quality attachments are with sensitive carers who pick up infants signals and respond well
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

classical conditioning involves learning to associate two stimuli. in attachment: UCS leads to UCR. this response is not learned so it is an unconditioned response

Back

role of classical conditioning

Card 3

Front

a caregiver starts as a NS. this person providing food over time becomes associated with food. so the neutral stimulus becomes a CS. once conditioning has taken place the sight of the caregiver produces a CR of pleasure.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

operant conditioning explains why babies cry for comfort. crying leads to a response for the caregiver as long as the caregiver provides the correct response, crying is reinforced because it produces a pleasurable consequence.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

at the same time as the baby is reinforced for crying, the caregiver receives negative reinforcement because the crying stops. this interplay of positive/negative reinforcement strengthens an attachment.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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