attachment

Topics: Attachment theory, Developmental psychology, Learning Pages: 2 (709 words) Published: October 22, 2013
Psychologists have put forward different explanations of attachments such as learning theory and Bowlby’s theory (12 marks) The learning theory is about learning through association or reward. There are a few main features that make up the learning theory of attachment. It is thought that the attachment is formed from the person who changes them, feeds them and shows them the most love and attention. It is also believed that the first attachment is often the person who looks after the child the most; the first attachment figure can remove physical and emotional discomfort an example of this is hunger, pain or them being cold. This theory believes that attachments are formed with either Operant conditioning or Classical Conditioning. Classical conditioning is when a baby learns through association and also connects one thing with another; an example of this is when the baby associates the mother to be getting fed. Operant conditioning is when a baby learns through reinforcement and also when they learn through consequences of behaviour; when they are rewarded for something. Although I do not agree with this theory as I believe it has many weaknesses there are some strengths that I have to take into consideration. It does provide a good explanation of how attachments are formed. We also do learn through association and reinforcement the learning theory does say this. There are many weaknesses of the learning theory of attachment; one of them is that primate studies have shown that the attachment is based on the need of comfort and warmth more than feeding. This is supported by Harlow and Zimmerman’s experiment on young monkeys. In the experiment the baby monkey was given two fake ‘mums’ one with fur for comfort and warmth and the other with wire but with a bottle. The young monkey choose the monkey with fur for warmth and comfort and it only went to the ‘mum’ monkey with a bottle when it was hungry, once it stopped eating it went back to the other monkey with...
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