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Mark my aqa a-level psychology attachement 16 maker

Discuss one or more explanations for attachment (16 marker)

Attachment is considered a strong emotional bond and there are 2 types secure attachment which is linked with a healthy cognition and emotions and can be seen as a desire to be near their caregiver and a distress when they are way from them. Insecure attachment is the second type and is where the bonds are weaker. Psychologist Ainsworth argues there are 2 types of insecure attachment. Insecure avoidant which is where the child does not care if the caregiver is not around and can be comforted by anyone and insecure resistant were the child is uneasy around the caregiver but also distressed when they leave, they are also reluctant to accept affection.

One explanation for attachment is the learning theory which comes from the behaviourist approach and believes that attachment is learnt through conditioning much like all other behaviours. They argue that attachment is created through 2 types of conditioning. Classical condition which is the association between stimuli and argue that babies naturally fell pleasure when having their needs meet and this is an unconditioned response however and having their needs meet is an unconditioned stimulus. However often when the mother is fulfilling the baby's needs, she sings or talks this than cause the baby to associate the pleasure of having their needs meet with their mother's voice which creates a controlled response where the mother voice alone can bring the baby pleasure. Psychologist Pavlov also provides support for this as he found that when ringing a bell when brining a dog food could create a controlled stimuli's where the noise of the bell alone could have the controlled response of the dog salivating. The second type of conditioning is Operant conditioning which is association of consequences, psychologist Dan Miller argues that babies fell a discomfort with their mother not being around as their needs are not being meet which is a negative reinforcement, which creates a desire to be near them forming an attachment. B.F skinner provides evidence of Operant conditioning as their study showed that placing hungry rats into a box with a food dispenser learned to associate pushing the leaver with food which is a positive reinforcement. B.F skinner as provides evidence of negative reinforcement by placing rats into a box with an electrical panel that would shock them however when they pressed the leaver it would briefly stop the electrical shock. The results showed that the more familiar the rats became with the box the faster the pressed the leaver showing evidence of negative reinforcement as the associated the leaver with taking away the discomfort of the shock much like babbies associate the prescience of their mothers with taking way discomfort.

The learning theory has been praised for having lost of evidence and studies supporting however these studies have been criticised for using animals in them which can have ethical problems and generalisation problems. For example, B.F skinners study involves starving a rat or inflicting pain on it during the study which is very unethical and humane. Furthermore, psychologist have argued that the results of animal studies cannot be generalised to humans as humans and animals are quantitatively different, for example in Lorenz studies the greylag eggs could walk and see from birth and formed an attachment to the first moving things they saw whereas humans cannot walk and see right from birth and attachment also takes longer and can involve quality of care as suggested by Schafer and Emersons study. The learning theory has also been criticised for being reductionist meaning it looks for a simple cause and effect such as not mentioning or acknowledging the internal mental processes of learning and attachment which other approaches do consider, or biological influences that can affect attachment such as the sound of your voice.

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