Explanations of attachment

Includes learning theory and behaviourism, Bowlby's evolutionary theory and Harlow and Harlow experiment.

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 04-12-14 11:11
What two principles make up the the Learning Theory?
Classical and operant conditioning.
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What is classical conditioning?
A learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired, the response is first elicited by the second stimuli but eventually is ellicted by the first stimuli.
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How can attachments be formed through classical conditioning?
From pavlov's experiment with the salivation of dogs, we deduced the babies have a reflex response, so when a stimulus (The mother) produces food the baby associates it with pleasure after a while the mum is associated with pleasure.
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What is operant conditioning?
A type of learning that is where an individuals behaviour is modified by causes and consequences.
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How can attachments be formed through operant conditioning?
Dollard and Miller suggest that when the baby is hungry it experiences a drive state which motivates the baby to lessen the discomfort and seeks to be with the mum who provides the food that reduces the discomfort.
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Whats the primary and secondary reinforcer?
The primary reinforcer is the food and the secondary reinforcer is the mum.
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Who conducted research on the learning theory?
Harlow and Harlow (1962)
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What does the research show?
That attachment is not based just on food (as the learning theory suggests)
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Explain the research.
They created two cyclinders, one provided warmth, the other food. The observed which one the monkey went to when scared, they also did this in a room where they wanted to look at if the monkey explored whislt the 'mum' was there or if she was not,
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What did they find?
That providing food wasn't sufficient for the formation of attachments.
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What was a problem with the experiment?
Because neither of the 'mums' were responsive the monkeys grew to have both psychological and physiological problems and were more likely to abuse their own children.
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What is the evaluation of the Learning Theory?
Schaffer and Emerson (1964) proved that the theory is not always true. In their study fewer than half had a primary attachment to the person that fed them etc and shows that feeding is not the only source of attachment.
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Why is the Learning Theory considered 'reductionist'
Because it reduces the complexities of the human mind.
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What are two strengths of the Learning Theory?
Evidence that animals learning through classical and operant conditioning and Pavlov demonstrated learning through classical conditioning.
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What are two weaknesses of the Learning Theory?
Research that conditioning works on animal attachments, is not valid for human attachments and attention, care, responsiveness are also factors aswell as food, food is not the only way in which an attachment is formed through.
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What are the three main features of Bowlbys evolutionary theory? (Behaviourist)
Infants and carers are programmed to become attached, attachment is a biological process and must take place in a critical period and attachment also plays a role in later development.
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Why does Bowlby say that pyschological and physical processes are similar?
He believed that both go through natural selection and a characteristic is chosen as it will help the individual to survive. This suggest we are innately programmed to form attachments.
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What is the critical period?
It is a period of time (up to two and a half y/o) that is attachment does not take place it may never occur.
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What is the internal working model?
A template for any future relationships.
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What is the continuity hypothesis?
The argument is that the relatioinship with one special attachment figure (monotropy) provides the infant an internal working model and will feel positively about themselves however with avoidant children it will be the opposite.
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Who conducted reseearch and supports Bowlby's theory?
Sroufe (1999), McCarthy (1999) and Hazan and Shaver (1987)
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What is alternative explanation of the internal working model?
The temperant hypothersis.
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Weaknesses of Bowlby's theory?
There are flaws with the theory and it does not explain why some kids cope with poor attachment whilst others don't and it is an assumption not a solid fact and could just be a neautral behaviour.
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Strengths of Bowlby's theory?
Has generated a lot of research to support it and has had a big impact on the emotional care of children.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is classical conditioning?

Back

A learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired, the response is first elicited by the second stimuli but eventually is ellicted by the first stimuli.

Card 3

Front

How can attachments be formed through classical conditioning?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is operant conditioning?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How can attachments be formed through operant conditioning?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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