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Consider the extent to which psychological theories have been successful in explaining attachments.

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"According to some theories all humans are born with basic needs and drives, such as hunger or thirst, and it is the process of satisfying these that leads to the formation of attachment in infants." Consider the extent to which psychological theories have been successful in explaining attachments. The above quote is describing the "Cupboard love" approach. The name "Cupboard love" was given to this theory because it is only a small view of how an attachment could form, what psychologists call a "reductionist theory" (this means that the theory has been stripped to the bare minimum required to explain a phenomenon such as an infants ability to attach. In the Psychoanalytical approach put forward by Freud, the quote is an exact description of the basis of his "Cupboard Love" theory but in the Behaviourist approach it is the combination of gratification and the fulfilment of the infant's needs that produces the bond. ...read more.


The Evolutionary approach also says that infants form one specific bond (monotropy) due to this interaction, this means the child becomes attached the person who interacts the best with them, the person then becomes the child's Primary caregiver and the relationship between the PCG and the infant is the basis for all the later relationships the child may have. The extent to which the Learning theory and Freud's Psychoanalytical theory have been successful in explaining attachments is quite limited because they are too reductionist and try to explain a difficult process using very simplistic measures and whilst it may work for "lower" species, they very difficult to apply with great accuracy to humans because neither account for or explain why the child has innate social releasers or how this prepares the child for later life. E.g. a child is conditioned to think that footsteps coming toward it mean food is on the way or that not throwing a tantrum is a good thing to do (Learning theory), 20-30 ...read more.


Overall all the theories have valid points because in some societies the bond may only form because the child is told not to do certain things and that others are allowed to be or must be done or because the child's id is sated. It is possibly argued that both the Learning theory and the Freudian approach have levels of interaction in them because the child is told to do or not do something or the child's id is met and neither process can happen with out some interaction between the CG and the infant, and no one denies that they may have some interaction, they just believe it is because the child is fed or the child is "taught". And it is from this argument that Bowlby's theory arose and has now taken "centre stage". In conclusion it is probably best to say that all the afore mentioned theories may have some basis of truth but it is with Bowlby's that most psychologists would start a new theory or build upon. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jacob McCarthy 12Ri Psychology A.L. ...read more.

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