Dollard and Miller

Rosy Harris
Mind Map by Rosy Harris, updated more than 1 year ago
Rosy Harris
Created by Rosy Harris about 5 years ago
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Dollard and Miller (behavioural/learning theory) theory of attachment

Resource summary

Dollard and Miller
1 Behavioural/learning theory
2 Classical conditioning
2.1 Food gives pleasure to a baby.
2.1.1 As it is the mother who feeds the baby she becomes associated with pleasure
2.1.1.1 Eventually seeing the mother is pleasurable for the baby
2.1.1.1.1 Therefore attachment is formed
2.1.1.2 A child will form their strongest bond with their feeder.
3 Operant Conditioning
3.1 Food is a reward and the person who feeds the child provides the reward
3.1.1 The child becomes attached because the relationship is based on reinforcement through food.
3.2 A hungry baby will cry because it is distressed
3.2.1 Feeding the baby makes it more comfortable and so crying is learned through negative reinforcement
3.2.1.1 Over time the pleasure of being made comfortable by being fed becomes associated with the caregiver
3.2.1.1.1 The baby has now learned to cry to get the caregiver's attention and it feels pleasure when the caregiver is present
3.2.1.1.1.1 Attachment is formed
4 Social learning theory
4.1 Learn through imitation
4.2 Hey and Vespo suggest that attachment occur because parents deliberately teach their children (through rewards and modelling) to love them and to understand human relationships
5 Limitations
5.1 The person a baby becomes attached to is not always the person who feeds them
5.1.1 E.g. Harlow's monkeys - the monkey's were more attached to the cloth mother than the wire monkey that provided food.
5.1.2 E.g. Schaffer and Emerson - 39% of infants were not specifically attached to the persons that fed them
5.1.3 E.g. Tronick - babies had close attachments to parents despite being cared for and breast fed by many women.
6 Theory has face validity
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