PSYA1 Developmental Psychology: Attachment
1. Attachment is a strong emotional bond or tie between two humans shown through reciprocal behavior and interaction. Attachments are for most the most important aspect of their life.
2. There are two types of conditioning involved in learning theory: classical conditioning is learning through association (of the neutral stimulus with the unconditioned stimulus).
Operant conditioning is learning by reinforcement. There are two types of reinforcement; positive and negative:
Positive reinforcement is when a behavior results in the addition of something pleasant.
Negative reinforcement is when a behavior results in the subtraction of something unpleasant.
We can apply the principles of learning theory to attachment; for example classical conditioning is apparent when an infant associates pleasure such as food and warmth with the mother or primary caregiver - the mother or primary caregiver therefore becomes a source of pleasure themself. An example of positive reinforcement would be when an infant is rewarded for attaching to the caregiver - he/she receives food.
3. Bowlby produced a new theory of attachment by combining Freuds ideas with the ethological concept of imprinting. He based his theory on the theory of evolution suggesting attachment was necessary to promote survival, through safety, emotional relationships and the fact they provide a secure basis for exploration. Bolwbly's ideas had great influence on the way researchers thought about attachment and much of the discussion of his theory has focused on his belief in monotropy. Monotropy is the suggestion that children have an innate drive to form attachments to a single caregiver and that it is important for healthy emotional development. As attachments are innate there is likely to be a crucial period of time for attachments to form. Bowlby believed this was before a child turned 2 and a half. Bowbly went on to suggest that the infant is born with...