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Describe four key pieces of research into the role of attachment in behaviour acquisition.

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P3 Describe four key pieces of research into the role of attachment in behaviour acquisition. M2 Analyse the contribution made by the four pieces of research to the understanding of the role of attachment in behaviour acquisition. D1 Evaluate the contribution made by the four pieces of research to the understanding of the role of attachment in behaviour acquisition. For this assignments, I will be describing the four key pieces of research into the role of attachment and analyse the contribution made by the four pieces of research to the understanding of the role of attachment in behaviour acquisition. Then I will evaluate and also show by views about the most useful aspects of each piece of research and draw a conclusion about the one I think offers the greatest contribution. Attachment is an emotional bond between infant based upon trust, which is developed overtime. It is very important for early relationships in a child development. Bowlby's theory of attachment John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist. He believed that earliest bonded formed by a child with their caregiver have a great impact that continues throughout life. Research shows that infants go through stages as they develop their relationship with other. There are five stages of attachment that an infant needs to go through in order develop their relationship with others. They are: * pre-attachment (0-2 months) * attachment-in-the-making (2-7 months) * specific attachments (7 months) * multiple attachment (8 months) * reciprocal relationships (8-24 months) Bowlby theory suggested that a child would originally form only one attachment and that the attachment figure will act as a secure base for exploring the world. He believed that there should be a primary bond which is much important more than any other. This is usually the mother. During his studies he also suggested that nature of monotropy is a breakdown of the maternal attachment, which leads to consequences. ...read more.


This was a sign of avoidant, meaning there was no bond between the infant and the mother. 12% of the infants were resistance. They were distress when their mother was absent. However, they also rejected the mother on her returned. The behaviourist approach: learning theory According to the behaviourist approach attachment is learned through classical or operant conditioning. The classical conditioning involves through association. In this situation the food is the unconditioned stimulus, which produces a sense of pleasure. This is known as the unconditional response. The person who feeds the infant becomes associated with the food. The feeder produces the unconditioned response, which is the pleasure. This is association between an individual and sense of pleasure is the attachment bond. With the operant conditioning, the hungry infant feels uncomfortable and this generates a drive to reduce the discomfort. When the infant is fed, the drive is reduced and this produces a sense of pleasure, which is a reward. Therefore, the food is a primary reinforce because it reinforce the behaviour in order to avoid discomfort and becomes a secondary reinforce. This rewardingness is the attachment (Dollar and Millar, 1950). However, it was demonstrated by Harlow that food isn't everything through the study of the rhesus monkeys, which were raised on their own by two wire mothers. One wire mother had a feeding bottle attached and the other was wrapped in soft cloth but offered no food. The monkeys should have become attached to the mother associated with food but they rather got attached by the mother who wrapped in soft cloth because it provided them comfort when they are frightened (Harlow 1959). Review of Bowlby's theory. Bowlby's theory of attachment is the observation of how a young child behaves towards his or her mother both in her presence and especially in her absence, can contribute to our understanding of personality development. When removed from the mother by strangers, the child responds usually with intensity and after reunion with her anxiety. ...read more.


However the major disadvantage of using longitudinal approach is the slow destruction. Of the 51 ex-institutional children studied at eight, nine were unavailable; two families restored adolescents refused contact, as did four adoptive families (all these adolescents were still with their family). Because of such destruction they had to question the respresentativeness of the remaining 16 years-olds. Another disadvantage of the longitudinal approach is the lack of control of variables. The design of the investigation was a natural experiment as the variables could not be controlled as in a true experiment and therefore cause and effect statement cannot be made. As a result, other possible explanation could be found for why children turned out how they are. For example, throughout the study, they mention of a comparison or control group. The control group allowed a comparison to be made and was chosen in order to match the ex-institution children in term of sex; social class etc. on the other hand, Hodges and Tizards was very successful in demonstrating that Bowlby's greatly oversimplified the effects of maternal deprivation. By reviewing all these theories the most common criticisms of attachment theory is that non Western societies tend to offer up persuasive counter example. For example, in Uganda, the idea of a child being intimately attached to a caregiver is rather unfamiliar and child nurturing are more evenly disturbed among a wider group of people. (www.psychologistworld.com) All the attachment theories state that a strong emotional and physical attachment to at least one primary caregiver is critical to personal development. These theories have had a profound influence upon child care policies, as well as principles off basic clinical practice for children. The critics of attachment theory point out the lack of parental attachment. However, I think the best theory is Bowlby's theory due to the fact that his theory has explanations and evidences to why attachment is vital and the consequences that might take place if attachment is not formed this was demonstrated in his monkey experiment. ...read more.

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