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1. Developmental Psychology<br />Explanations of Attachment<br />Learning Theory and Evolutionary Theory<br /> 2. The Learning Theory…
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  • 1. Developmental Psychology<br />Explanations of Attachment<br />Learning Theory and Evolutionary Theory<br />
  • 2. The Learning Theory (Behaviourist)<br />The most basic principle of the learning theory is that all behaviour is learned. <br />Behaviour is not innate and does not depend on generic factors.<br />Learning is a result of conditioning, operant and classical, which is a form of learning.<br />
  • 3. Classical Conditioning <br />An infant is born with reflex responses.<br />The stimulus of food (unconditioned stimulus) produces a sense of pleasure (unconditioned response). <br />The person (primary care-giver) providing the food becomes associated with pleasure. <br />As a result the provider of the food becomes a conditioned stimulus that independently producesthe unconditioned stimulus (pleasure).<br />
  • 4. The food-giver thus becomes a source of pleasure independent of whether or not food is supplied by him/her.<br />According to classical conditioning theory this is the basis of the attachment bond.<br />
  • 5. Operant Conditioning<br />Any form of response followed by positive reinforcement ( e.g. Food or praise) will be strengthened. <br />In the future all such responses are more likely to be produced when the individual is in the same situation.<br />Dollard and Miller (1950) provided more detailed explanation for the development of attachments.<br />
  • 6. Dollard and Miller <br />Their focus was on motivation – the forces driving that behaviour.<br /><ul><li>All humans posses various primary drives or motives – e.g. Hunger, thirst. Stimuli that satisfies these primary drives – known as primary reinforcers.
  • 7. Person will be ‘driven’ to seek food to satisfy him/her hunger.</li></li></ul><li>Eating food = drive reduction = positive reinforcement.<br />Operant conditioning states that positive reinforcement = repeated behaviour = learning<br />Primary care giver provides the food = reduction of drive, so becomes a secondary reinforcer <br />He/she becomes a reinforcer by association with a primary reinforcer.<br />from then on the infant seeks to be with the person who has become the secondary reinforcer – source of reward <br />
  • 8. Evolutionary Theory<br />Bowlby (1953)<br />Attachment is biologically pre-programmed into children at birth<br />Encoded in the human genes<br />Evolves and persists because of its adaptiveness (i.e. it is evolutionarily useful)<br />
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  • 11. Evolutionary Theory<br />Infants emit social releasers, to which adults are biologically attuned<br />Physical appearance <br />Crying, smiling etc.<br />These stimulate care giving from adults<br />Infants are programmed to attach to whomever responds to their releasing stimuli<br />They select one special attachment figure (monotropy), who is used as a safe base for exploring the world<br />The primary attachment is the template for future social relationships<br />
  • 12. Evolutionary Theory<br />Main hypotheses:<br />Attachments will form with those who respond to child’s signals<br />Attachment will correlate with other aspects of (biological) development<br />There will be a special attachment figure that is more important than others<br />Disruption of attachments will have developmental consequences<br />
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