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Outline and evaluate the behaviourism theory of attachment

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´╗┐Behaviourism Behaviourism is a psychological point of view on how attachments are formed. The main principles of behaviourism states that all behaviour is acquired through learning (conditioning) and behaviour is determined by the environment only and not by any biological influences. It also states that humans and non humans acquire behaviour using the same processes therefore Pavlov?s finding with the dogs can be associated with humans. He found that an Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) which in his experiment is food, and that UCS leads to a Unconditioned Response (UCR) which is the dogs salivating. However later he added a Conditioned Stimulus (CS) ...read more.


Pavlov?s dog?s experiment was an example of classical conditioning, there are two types of conditioning, classical and operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is behaviour which can be altered by patterns of reinforcement (reward and punishment) this can be a teacher praising a child for settling down quickly in class as it rewards the child so that they will continue to do that as praising makes them happy, this is an example of positive reinforcement. However there are many studies which either object to or support the behaviourism theory. Schaffer and Emerson?s study showed that in 40% of cases, the primary caregiver wasn?t always the attachment figure. However behaviourists like Pavlov have proved that both types of conditioning does work. ...read more.


This was different for humans as we can develop an attachment at any time but we have a ?sensitive period? where most attachments are formed. Attachment and how it is formed is universal and can take place in any species, thus it is linked to evolution and one of the principles states that development of behaviour has no biological influences. Harlow and Harlow took on the principle that non humans and humans develop attachment in the same way and found that emotions and feelings drived the attachment and food is only for survival as they found that the monkeys spent 22 hours with the artificial ?warm doll? and only 2 with the ?food doll?. This objects to behaviourists views as they do not believe that internal thoughts and feelings has anything to do with acquiring behaviour. ...read more.

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