Flashcards in Attachment - Theories Deck (18):
What is the definition of attachment?
The formation of a reciprocal, emotional bond between two people involving a feeling of wellbeing and a desire to be close
What are the 4 attachment behaviours?
1. Distress on separation
2. General orientation
3. Seeking proximity
4. Joy on reunion
What does the learning theory of attachment say?
Attachment in learned (nurture)
Babies attach to the person who feeds them
Explain classical conditioning in regards to the Learning theory of attachment
The baby associates the mother (neutral stimulus) with pleasure through feeding
Explain operant conditioning in regards to the Learning theory of attachment
The baby will continue to cry when hungry if they get fed (behaviour positively re-inforced).
The mother will continue to feed the baby because it ends the crying (behaviour negatively re-inforced)
What is a primary reinforcer?
Something satisfying basic biological needs (e.g food)
What is a secondary reinforcer?
Something associated with a primary reinforcer
Name and explain a study that goes against the learning theory of attachment
Schaffer and Emerson
Found that 39% of the attachments formed in young babies were not to the primary caregiver. This shows food not to be the main driving force for the development of attachment
State one methodological point of Schaffer and Emerson's research
It has high ecological validity due to the children being observed in their own homes / natural environment
Name and explain a study that goes against the learning theory of attachment involving monkeys
Harlow and Harlow
Compared infant monkeys seeking comfort from a wire and feeding mother with a cuddly but non-feeding mother. The monkeys went to the non-feeding monkeys, showing that attachment isn't just based on food but also comfort
Name and explain the procedure and results of a study into the development of attachment
Schaffer and Emerson
Studied 60 babies, considering separation anxiety and stranger distress, using observation and interviews.
Found that 65% were attached to the mother, 27% had joint attachment and 39% was not to the primary carer
What does Bowlby's theory of attachment say?
Infants are born with the innate tendency to form attachments in order to survive (need adults for food, care, protection). Adults also innately programmed to form attachments with their infants (reciprocal process). It also provides a template for relationships later in life
What are the 3 aspects to Bowlby's theory of attachment?
1. Infants and carers programmed to form attachments
2. Attachment is a biological process, must take place during a critical period (2 1/2 years)
3. Plays role in later development (continuity hypothesis).
What are 2 differences between the Learning theory of attachment and Bowlby's theory of attachment?
1. Learning theory say attachments are learnt, but bowlby's theory states they are innate
2. Learning theory says an attachment can form at any age, whereas bowlby's says it has to take place during the critical period
Name and explain a piece of research evidence to support the Internal Working Model
Hazan and Shaver
Found a strong relationship between childhood attachment types and adulthood attachment types, supporting the continuity theory
Explain one weakness of a study in support of the internal working model
Hazan and Shaver's study is non-experimental (it is correlational) and so a cause and effect relationship cannot be established.
Name and explain a piece of evidence that goes against the Internal Working Model and continuity
Zimmerman et al
Found that in 44 children/adults, childhood attachment types were not a good predictor of attachments in adolescence. It suggests that continuity would only apply when serious life events do not have an impact on the child