Explanations of Attachment

Mind Map by scarlettrosiex, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by scarlettrosiex about 5 years ago


This mindmap covers the Explanations of attachment (Learning theory and Evolutionary theory) with evaluations for them.

Resource summary

Explanations of Attachment
1 Learning theory
1.1 All behaviour is learned
1.1.1 Classical conditioning- Food produces pleasure. The feeder (mother)is associated with food and so also produces pleasure.
1.1.2 Operant conditioning- Food is a primary reinforcer, so the feeder becomes a secondary reinforcer.
1.2 Strengths
1.2.1 In the Efe tribe, the child would sleep with the mother but be cared for and fed by oter women. However, the primary attachment was still usually the mother.
1.2.2 We learn through conditioning, however food is not the only factor; attention and responsiveness are also important.
1.3 Limitations
1.3.1 Harlow showed that food is less important when forming attachments than contact comfort.
1.3.2 Schaffer and Emerson found that infants were not necessarily attached to the adult that fed them.
2 Evolutionary theory (Bowlby)
2.1 Attachment is adaptive and innate- related to imprinting.
2.1.1 Strengths Lorenz found that imprinting is innate because the goslings imprinted on the first moving object they saw, e.g. the goose or Lorenz himself. Hodges and Tizard proved there is a sensitive period as they found once this stage has passed children found it harder to form attachment with peers. Schaffer and Emerson found that infants had multiple attachments (hierarchy) , but only one primary attachment figure (monotropy). Schaffer and Emerson found that strongly attached infants had mothers who responded quickly to their demands and offered their child the most interaction. The Minnesota Longitudinal study has followed participants from infancy to adolescence and has found continuity between early attachment and later emotional behaviour, supporting the continuity hypothesis.
2.1.2 Limitations Rutter found that all attachment figures are equally important. Grossman and Grossman alluded to the concept that fathers play a key role in social development. The temperament hypothesis contradicts the continuity hypothesis. It suggests that certain personality or temperamental characteristics in the infant can shape a mothers responsiveness.
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