Explanation of attachment: Learning theory Flashcards Preview

AQA A-level Psychology (Attachment) > Explanation of attachment: Learning theory > Flashcards

Flashcards in Explanation of attachment: Learning theory Deck (24)
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1

What is 'cupboard love'?

The idea that children learn to become attached to their caregiver because they give them food

2

What is classical conditioning?

Learning is due to associations being made between different stimuli

3

What is operant conditioning?

conditioning that is due to behaviors being altered via patterns of reinforcement and punishment.

4

What is reinforcement?

Rewards

5

What kind of stimulus is food?

unconditioned

6

What kind of response does food produce?

An unconditioned response

7

What kind of stimulus is the caregiver?

A neutral stimulus

8

What kind of response does the caregiver produce?

No response

9

When you pair the neutral stimulus with the unconditioned stimulus what kind of response do you get?

An unconditioned response

10

Eventually, after the mother is frequently paired with the food, what kind of stimulus does the mother turn into?

Conditioned stimulus

11

What kind of response does the conditioned stimulus provide?

A conditioned response

12

Fill out this diagram on learning by association (classical conditioning)

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13

What did Dollard and Miller suggest about operant conditioning?

That a hungry infant feels uncomfortable and this creates a drive to reduce the discomfort.

14

What kind of reinforcer is the food? Why is this?

The food is the primary reinforcer and this is because it directly satisfies hunger.

15

What kind of reinforcer is the caregiver? Why is this?

The caregiver is the secondary reinforcer and this is because they are associated with the primary reinforcer (the food)

16

What sort of behaviors are unlikely to be repeated in infants?

Any behavior that result in punishment is 'stamped out' and unlikely to be repeated by the infant

17

What sort of behaviors are likely to be repeated in infants?

Any behavior that result in rewards is positively reinforced and likely to be repeated by the infant

18

What did Dollard and Miller believe about how children attached?

That it evolves classical and operant conditioning

19

What are the two types of conditioning?

Classical conditioning Operant conditioning

20

What are the 4 points for the evaluation of learning theory of attachment?

Ample opportunity for reinforcement Contact comfort is more important than food However, learning theory does have some explanatory power Alternative explanations- John Bowlby (1969)

21

Explain the argument for 'ample opportunity for reinforcement'

P= Their is research evidence conducted by Dolland and Miller that provides support for the learning theory of attachment. E= They argued that during the baby's first year of life they are fed 2000 times (mainly by the primary caregiver). This creates ample opportunity for the primary carer to become associated with the removal of the unpleasant feeling of hunger (the removal of negative reinforcement). E= This gives support to the idea that attachment is learnt through operant conditioning. C= However this is a fairly weak argument as their is no direct evidence that the infants are becoming conditioned to respond to the primary caregiver and as a result becoming attached.

22

Explain the argument for 'contact comfort is more important than food'

P= There is one limitation to learning theory as an explanation of attachment. E= For example, learning theory suggests that food is the key element in the formation of attachment. However, the study conducted by Harlow showed evidence that infant rhesus monkeys spent more time with the cloth mother which had no food than with the wire mother which provided the food. E=This suggests that contact comfort is more important than feeding as the basis for attachment which directly contradicts the learning theory.

23

Explain the argument fort 'However, learning theory does have some explanatory power'

P = Although learning theory is relatively incomplete it does hold explanatory power as to how attachments form. E= Perhaps infants do learn through association and reinforcement but food may not be the main reinforcer. Instead it may be the attention and responsiveness from the caregiver are important rewards that aid in the formation of attachment. E= This provides support that the learning theory is in the most part accurate and thus a good explanation of how attachments are formed.

24

Explain the argument for 'Alternative exlplanation- John Bowlby (1969)

P= Learning theory is not the only explanation for how attachments form. E= For example, innate aspects play a just as important role in the process of attachment. This is suggested by Bowlby. He believed that infants are born with innate tendencies to form an attachment which serves to increase their chances of survival and that adults are also innately programmed to become attached to their infants, otherwise they would not respond to theory infant and an attachment bond could not develop. E=This challenges the learning theory as an explanation of attachment.