Classical conditioning as an explanation for attachment describes the baby receiving food and unconditioned stimulus and producing an unconditioned response happiness and the mother feeding the baby will be the neutral stimulus. A study conducted by Main and Weston concluded that infants behave differently depending on which parent they are with.
Operant conditioning describes attachment as a reinforced response.
Food is the primary reinforcer. However, the monkey study was conducted on monkeys and it could be argued that this is not an accurate representation of human attachment.
According to classical conditioning, food is an unconditioned stimulus that produces an unconditioned response pleasure. Observers watched the behaviours displayed between the infants and caregiver from behind one way mirrors and collected data every 15 seconds on various different criteria, they also measured the intensity of the behaviour on a scale of Mary and Harry Harlow carried out a series of experiments using young rhesus monkeys.
On the other hand, classical conditioning argues that attachment is learnt by association. It was also found that the strange situation was very reliable because the results of the observers were consistent with one and other and there was almost a perfect inter-observer agreement 0.
The baby will therefore repeat any action, for example, crying which brings the caregiver close. The person feeding the baby will also be associated with the happiness and therefore become the secondary reinforcer and an attachment will form.
While this is an animal study, which cannot be directly generalised to human babies, it provides strong evident to suggest that there is much more to attachment than feeding and rewards. Use a strength and a weakness to make sure your argument is balanced and not biased. In the process of operant conditioning, the caregiver rewards the baby by feeding it, so the baby then associates the caregiver with the reward and repeats any action that brings her close.
Primate studies have also shown that attachment appears to be based on the need for comfort more than feeding. According to the learning theory, the infants should form their strongest attachment to the metaplet; however, under these circumstances, the children were still more strongly attached to their parents.
The baby will then experience the mother giving them food and therefore happiness a number of times and then learn to associate the mother now a conditioned stimulus with the feeling of happiness a conditioned response and thus an attachment will form. When writing 12 mark essays make sure you remember the following things: This shows research against the learning theory.
At the outset, the caregiver is a neutral stimulus who produces no response. The data was then collected from several studies and the results combined to make a total of middle-class infants that were observed. The strange situation was used to see how infants react under stressful situations such as separation from the caregiver causing separation anxiety and also the presence of a stranger stranger anxiety.
Very little time during the day was spent with their parents. The mother then becomes a conditioned stimulus and the pleasure she brings is a conditioned response. Humans are a lot more complex than animals and so therefore research on animals to study behaviour cannot be applied to human behaviour.
Some of the behaviours included the parent leaving the room, and stranger being presented and the parent returning. Outline and evaluate the learning theory of attachment 12 marks outline The learning theory of attachment focuses of two concepts; operant and classical conditioning.
They studied eight infant monkeys who were reared in isolation and deprived of their real mothers until they were eight months old. The metaplet was responsible for feeding the infants and taking care of their daily needs.
Plan your answer in the space they give you before you actually write it - the content is not the only important aspect, structure will gain you marks too. However it could be argued that the only relationship that matters is that of your primary caregiver which is the parent that partakes in the strange situation and the attachment with this primary caregiver determines the overall attachment type of the infant.
Try to make the outline part of the essay around the same length as the evaluate part - an unbalanced essay can lose you marks! By removing discomfort, it reinforces the behaviour that led to its arrival. This happens because food brings a feeling of pleasure to the baby.
This increases the validity of the strange situation as a way of measuring attachment type and means that the results can be generalised and applied to similar situations.Outline and Evaluate Learning Theory of Attachment (12mark) Psychologists have many different theories to explain attachment, one being the Learning Theory.
This theory is based on behaviourist?s theory and suggests that all behaviour is learnt rather than innate. Outline and evaluate the learning theory of attachment The Learning theory states that babies form attachments in the same way any behaviour is acquired: it is learned.
There are two different ways of learning, according to the theory: Classical conditioning (learning through association) and Operant conditioning (learning through repetition or punishment). May 18, · (evaluate) Even though the learning theory of attachment provides an adequate explanation of attachment it is flawed.
Research evidence, such as that of Harlow's monkey study, opposes the idea of learning theory as an explanation of mint-body.coms: 4.
Outline and evaluate the learning theory of attachment. The learning theory argues that attachments are based on the principles of operant and classical conditioning - Outline and evaluate the learning theory of attachment Essay introduction.
First attachments are quite often formed to the person who looks after the child, who feeds them, changes their nappies. The learning theory of attachment focuses of two concepts; operant and classical conditioning. Classical conditioning as an explanation for attachment describes the baby receiving food (and unconditioned stimulus) and producing an unconditioned response (happiness) and the mother feeding the baby will be the neutral stimulus.
Outline and evaluate learning theory as an explanation of attachment. Classical conditioning - Before attachment is learned, the infant gains pleasure through being fed.
Food is the unconditioned stimulus and pleasure is the unconditioned response.Download