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Outline & Evaluate One Or More Explanations Of Attachment

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´╗┐Outline & Evaluate One Or More Explanations Of Attachment (12 Marks) When it comes down to explaining how attachment works, within psychology, there are two main theories which cover this ? the evolutionary explanation of attachment, and the learning theory of attachment. Sometime in the 1940?s, John Bowlby came up with a theory of attachment based on an evolutionary explanation, in his theory he has five important elements. He suggests that attachment behaviour is adaptive, meaning it ensures the survival of the child by providing safety and protection from an adult, he says that infants without this behaviour would be eliminated from the gene pool (they wouldn?t survive), therefore all human beings who survive are those who show attachment behaviour. His second element is that attachment behaviour is innate (present from birth) and that infants are born with the inclination to emit social releasers (smiling & crying) for an adult to respond to, and like the children, adults are inclined to respond to these social releasers by caring for the infant. ...read more.


eventually, the baby will start to experience pleasure by simply being in the presence of the adult, whether food is around or not. Now this person has become the ?conditioned stimulus? (CS), which provides the pleasure, which is the ?conditioned response? (CR). So absence of this person (CS) is now associated with no milk, and therefore no pleasure, which is why the baby cries. Operant conditioning is based off the idea that if a behaviour leads to something good (positive reinforcement), or stops something bad (negative reinforcement), it is likely to be repeated. If it leads to something bad however, it is likely not to be repeated ? for example: if an infant cries when hungry, the sound of the crying will be uncomfortable to the caregiver, and they will feed the child, the feeding acts as positive reinforcement to the child, so it learns to perform the certain action (crying) whenever they are hungry. When the child stops crying, this acts as a positive reinforcement to the caregiver, so they learn that whenever they want to stop the infant from crying, they need to feed it, when this continues for long enough, it produces attachment behaviours. ...read more.


relationships with their parents, he also recorded significant events in their lives, such as divorce and bereavement, he found that there was a much stronger correlation between their life events and relationships at 16 than there was between childhood attachment types and later relationships. The learning theory explanation is a highly logical and realistic one, most infants are fed and cared for by their mother for the first few years of their life, and their mother feeds them, so it is a theory that a lot of people can relate to, the idea of positive and negative reinforcements is furthermore back up by the fact that it is present in everyday life, even when we grow up, as we learn the right things to do and wrong things to do and the subsequent consequences that come with both. However, some people can argue that a child?s relationship with their caregiver has little to with just the fact that they feed them food, and that there is a far stronger bond that comes from a completely different source altogether. ...read more.

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