Learning theory
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  • 1. Attachment Use all of the key words below to create a definition of attachment Emotional Protecting Definition: •An emotional bond between 2 people Endures bond •2 way process that endures over time •Serves the function of protecting the child 2 people child
  • 2. Objectives Define the term attachment Identify key words associated with the Learning Theory of attachment Provide basic evaluation for the Learning Theory Apply exam board assessment objectives to stimulus material Write an exam style answer for the Learning Theory of attachment
  • 3. Explanations of Attachment You need to know 2 explanations of attachment Learning Theory Bowlby’s Theory Attachment is learned Attachment is innate
  • 4. A01 The Learning Theory – Miller & Dollard Everyone is born as a blank slate Behaviour is learned and therefore nurture rather than nature Association Classical conditioning Infant becomes attached because they ‘learn’ that the caregiver will meet their physiological needs (food)
  • 5. A01 Classical Conditioning Learning through association Babies love food – FACT The learning theory suggests they will love their feeder as well… Babies learn to associate the person who feeds them with the pleasure of being fed Ivan Pavlov was the first Psychologist to describe learning through classical conditioning. All behaviour is learnt through association
  • 6. A01 Pavlov’s Dogs (You need to be aware of the theory, not exactly how Pavlov trained his dogs!) BEFORE CONDITIONING... Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) produces Unconditioned response (UCR) DURING CONDITIONING... Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) Neutral stimulus (NS) Unconditioned response (UCR) AFTER CONDITIONING... Conditioned stimulus (CS) produces Conditioned response (CR)
  • 7. A01 Attachment through classical conditioning BEFORE CONDITIONING... Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) e.g. Food produces Unconditioned response (UCR) e.g. Pleasure DURING CONDITIONING... Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) e.g. Food Neutral stimulus (NS) e.g. Caregiver Unconditioned response (UCR) e.g. Pleasure AFTER CONDITIONING... Conditioned stimulus (CS) e.g. Caregiver produces Conditioned response (CR) e.g. Pleasure
  • 8. Learning Theory – Evaluation (top and tail) e.g. Watson & Raynor conditioned Little Albert to have a phobia of fluffy animals and toys through classical conditioning e.g. Harlow found that rhesus monkeys who were separated from their mothers after birth and were placed in a cage with ‘wire’ mothers went to the ‘mother’ who offered comfort rather then food e.g. Shaffer & Emerson found that the first attachments formed by 39% of babies were not to the person who fed and changed them – they attached to those who played with them e.g. Lorenz found that newly hatched goose (after seeing Lorenz shortly after hatching) following him everywhere and he became their ‘imprinted parent’
  • 9. A02 Learning Theory – Evaluation Positive Adequate Explanation e.g. Watson & Raynor Strength because it shows that other behaviours (e.g. phobias) are learned through association and so it’s entirely plausible that children learn to attach also.
  • 10. A02 Learning Theory – Evaluation Negative Shaffer & Emerson (1964) Goes against the LT idea that children will attached only because of food Found that the first attachments formed by 39% of babies were not to the person who fed and changed them – they attached to those who played with them
  • 11. A02 Learning Theory – Evaluation Negative Found that rhesus monkeys who were Harlow (1959) There is a separated from their HUGE problem with after birth and mothers were placed Harlow’s research – in a cage with ‘wire’ mothers went What is it? Suggests that to the ‘mother’ who food is not offered comfort rather always the then food main drive of attachment
  • 12. A02 Learning Theory – Evaluation Negative Lorenz (1952) Indicates that attachment might be immediate and innate as the geese will have been too young to have learned any responses Lorenz found that newly hatched goose (after seeing Lorenz shortly after hatching) following him everywhere and he became their ‘imprinted parent’
  • 13. Exam style questions Have a go at answering the following question – Why? So you know how to answer in the exam! 1. Outline the behavioural explanation of attachment formation. (4 marks)
  • 14. Exam style questions Have a go at marking the following question – Why? So you can view the answer from the examiners perspective! 2. Outline two weaknesses of the learning theory explanation of attachment. (2 + 2 marks) One weakness of the learning theory of attachment is that it doesn’t explain why babies attached to people who do not feed them. For example, Shaffer and Emerson found that 39% of babies attached with those who played with them and not who fed them. This is a weakness because it demonstrates that food is not the only reason that babies will form an attachment, going against the learning theory. A second point is that the theory makes sense. For example, we learn lots of behaviours through association so it makes sense that children might learn to attach. This is a strength as it adds validity to the learning theory explanation of attachment 2 0
  • 15. Key words In pairs write at least 15 key words that link to the Learning Theory of Attachment Glossary • Attachment – A 2 way emotional bond between 2 people that endures • • • • • • • • • • Learning Theory – Attachment is learned (Miller & Dollard) Classical conditioning – Learning through association UCS – Unconditioned stimulus NS – Neutral stimulus UCR – Unconditioned response CR – Conditioned response CS – Conditioned stimulus Harlow – Monkeys given ‘wire mothers’ Lorenz – Geese (imprinting theory) Shaffer & Emerson – 39% don’t attach to person who feeds
  • 16. Objectives Define the term attachment Identify key words associated with the Learning Theory of attachment Provide basic evaluation for the Learning Theory Apply exam board assessment objectives to stimulus material Write an exam style answer for the Learning Theory of attachment
  • 17. e.g. Little Albert was conditioned to have a phobia of fluffy animals and toys through classical conditioning
  • 18. e.g. Harlow found that rhesus monkey who were separated from their mothers after birth and were placed in a cage with ‘wire’ mothers went to the ‘mother’ who offered comfort rather then food
  • 19. e.g. Shaffer & Emerson found that the first attachments formed by 39% of babies were not to the person who fed and changed them – they attached to those who played with them
  • 20. e.g. Lorenz found that newly hatched goose (after seeing Lorenz shortly after hatching) following him everywhere and he became their ‘imprinted parent’
  • 21. Exam style questions Have a go at marking the following question – Why? So you can view the answer from the examiners perspective! 2. Outline two weaknesses of the learning theory explanation of attachment. (2 + 2 marks) One weakness of the learning theory of attachment is that it doesn’t explain why babies attached to people who do not feed them. For example, Shaffer and Emerson found that 39% of babies attached with those who played with them and not who fed them. This is a weakness because it demonstrates that food is not the only reason that babies will form an attachment, going against the learning theory. A second point is that the theory makes sense. For example, we learn lots of behaviours through association so it makes sense that children might learn to attach. This is a strength as it adds validity to the learning theory explanation of attachment