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Outline and evaluate 1 or more explanations (theories) of attachment

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Outline and evaluate 1 or more explanations (theories) of attachment. There are many theories that provide feasible explanations for why attachments are formed and maintained. The psychodynamic approach was first put forward by Sigmund Freud in 1924 and described attachments because babies like being with their mothers because the mothers are their source of food, warmth and comfort. This is also known as "Cupboard Love." The pleasure Freud identified, as "Cupboard Love" is operant conditioning. According to this theory Freud expanded on it in saying that adult relationships depends on childhood experiences. He divided childhood into five different stages of psychosexual development. Stages were the child is biologically driven to seek pleasure. The first stage being the "Oral," for example when the child receives oral pleasure through sucking at the mother's breast. ...read more.


So this means there is not the simple link between food and attachment that Freud assumed. It is found adults who are likely to be the main attachment are the ones that who are the most responsive to them and who provide them with the much stimulation. The second theory I'm going to look at is the Learning Theory in that behaviour is learned. The people who believe this are called "Behaviourists" and believe learning comes in the form of classical and operant conditioning. They say an infant is born with reflex responses. The stimulus of food (unconditioned stimulation) produces pleasure (unconditioned response.) The person providing the food becomes associated with the pleasure and becomes a conditioned stimulus which independently produces unconditioned response (pleasure.) This means food-giver becomes a source of pleasure whether food is supplied or not. ...read more.


It suggests we learn in a more indirect way than conditioning and is known as "vicarious reinforcement." This is when we learn a new behaviour by seeing someone else performing the behaviour and being rewarded for it. Hay and Vespo used the theory to explain attachment. They say it occurs because parents "deliberately teach their children to love them and to understand human relationships." They do this by: Modelling, which is learning based on observing and imitating a model's behaviour; Direct Instruction, providing reward or reinforcement when child behaves in required way and Social Facilitation, using the presence of others to encourage child to understand positive relationships between people. The greatest strength of this theory is that it has led to a very detailed consideration of the interactional processed occurring between parents and children. Though on the negative side Durkin pointed out a strong emotional intensity of many parent-child attachments is not really explained by social learning theorists. Cary Aston ...read more.

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