Development Of Attachment Of The Learning And Evolutionary Theories

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I will be evaluating the development of attachment of the learning and evolutionary theories. I will also be looking at different view points regarding the impact of early experience on later life.

The first theory I will be looking at is the learning theory. The learning theory is also called behaviourism, which says all of our behaviour is learnt because “when born our mind is 'tabula rasa ' (a blank slate).” (McLeod, 2007). The behaviourist theory of attachment was proposed by Dollard & Miller in 1950, who suggests that attachment is a set of learned behaviours linked to provision of food, and an infant will initially form an attachment to whoever feeds it as mentioned by Mcleod (2009). The way the infant is learning to associate to food and the person feeding them is through classical conditioning (CC) or operant conditioning (OC).

I will focus on using CC to show how attachment is formed. CC was founded by Ivan Pavlov and his research on dogs. However, in 1920 Watson and Raynor conducted a study on ‘ Little Albert’ . what they did was give him a phobia of anything white and fluffy using CC as mentioned in Gross (2010,p162). How an infants would form attachment using this idea is food would be the unconditioned stimulus (US) and happiness would be the unconditioned response (UR).The US paired with the mother which is the conditioned response (CR) would causes a conditioned stimulus (CS) which is happiness.

Harry Harlow (1958) conducted a study wanting to prove

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