Learning Theory and Bowlby’s Theory Sample Essay

One theory of fond regard that behaviourists such as Dollard and Miller ( 1950 ) have put frontward is Learning Theory. this theory believes that all behaviors are acquired though larning which takes topographic point through classical and operant conditioning. Learning theory provides accounts on how fond regards between the health professional and babe are formed. one account is through classical conditioning ; larning by association. This is based upon Pavlov’s work with Canis familiariss in 1927. Before conditioning an innate stimulation produced an innate response. during conditioning a impersonal stimulation and innate response would bring forth an innate response so after conditioning the learned stimulation would ensue in a learned response.

In the instance of larning theory the innate stimulation would be the nutrient and the innate response would a be a happy babe. the impersonal stimulation which so becomes a learned stimulation would be the female parent. hence after conditioning the female parent will do the babe happy as the babe associates the female parent with nutrient ; a beginning of pleasance for the babe. Another account larning theory provides is that fond regards are formed through operant conditioning ; acquisition by support – positive or negative. This can explicate the female parents bond with the kid for illustration a female parent will have supports for behaviors that affect the baby’s well-being ; an illustration of negative support would be feeding a weeping babe so it stops shouting – the female parents actions have resulted in the minus of something negative. An illustration of positive support would be when the female parent negotiations to the babe the babe may smile.

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A survey that undermines the acquisition theory account of fond regard is Fox’s 1977 survey of Israeli kids. Fox studied 122 kids raised in an Israeli Kibbutz and merely seeing their parents around an hr a twenty-four hours. A metapelet was responsible for eating and taking attention of the kids. Fox found that although the metapelet fed the kids the kids were still more affiliated to their parents than the nurses. This undermines the acquisition theory account of fond regard as harmonizing to larning theory the kids should hold been more affiliated to the metapelet as she fed the kids. nevertheless the kids were more strongly attached to their parents.

Harlows survey in 1959 besides undermined the acquisition theory’s account of fond regard: Harlow isolated infant Macaca mulatta monkeys from their female parents at birth and raised them with unreal wire female parents that resembled monkeys. One of the wire female parents had a feeding bottle attached and the other was covered in a soft fabric but had no nutrient. Harlow found that the monkeys spent the bulk of their clip clung to the female parent wrapped in the fabric. This undermines the larning theory as harmonizing to the acquisition theory the monkeys should hold clung to the female parent with the eating bottle ; acquiring pleasance from holding the nutrient nevertheless Harlow’s survey suggested that the monkeys were more affiliated to the female parent that offered them the most comfort as they spent the bulk of their clip attached to this female parent.

Another survey that disagrees with the larning theory is Schaffer and Emerson’s survey of human babies in 1964. They studied babes in Glasgow and found that the babies would organize multiple fond regards going most attached to grownups who were most antiphonal to their demands. This doesn’t agree with larning theory’s account of fond regard as harmonizing to larning theory the kids should hold been more affiliated based on who fed them nevertheless the survey showed they were more affiliated to those who were most antiphonal to their demands.

Overall one strength of larning theory is that it provides an equal account of how fond regards are formed and besides in some ways we do learn from association and supports. However. a cardinal failing of the acquisition theory is that it focuses’ excessively much on nutrient being the chief reinforcing stimulus.

Another theory of fond regard is Bowlby’s theory of fond regard. Bowlby believed babes to hold a biological demand for fond regard with an grownup carer. He believed that fond regard was adaptative and unconditioned and happened within a critical period before the kid turned two and a half. He believed that the fond regard inherent aptitude promoted endurance as it gives babes a unafraid base. created a good templet on which to establish future relationships and through societal releasers which stimulate an innate attention giving response from the health professional. Bowlby besides suggested that fond regard was monotropic: the kid would ab initio organize one chief fond regard and other fond regards would organize but in a hierarchy with this 1 at the top. Bowlby’s theory suggests that there are negative effects of want. which include emotionally disturbed behavior. delinquency and affectionless mental illness. This is supported by Bowlby’s 44 juvenile stealers study in which Bowlby studied 44 emotionally disturbed kids who had been in problem with the constabulary and 44 emotionally disturbed but jurisprudence staying kids. he found a big figure of the stealers had ‘affectionless psychopathy’ a failure to organize deep relationships and small concern for others.

In the stealers group there were more kids who had been separated from their female parents for 6 months of more before the age of 5. This supports Bowlby’s studied as it shows that those unable to organize a unafraid fond regard were more prone to untypical behavior and showed that maternal want was linked with delinquency. However Rutter’s survey in 1972 of kids in the Isle of White suggested that bad behavior was chiefly due to high degrees of emphasis in the household and non maternal want as Bowlby had suggested. Another of Rutter’s unfavorable judgment was that even though Bowlby shows that want can hold a permanent affect on the child’s development. he does non take into history that experiences throughout the child’s life besides affair every bit good as their early experiences.

Hodges and Tizards survey questioned Bowlbys theory of attachment – they found that kids adopted every bit late as 7 old ages old could set up strong fond regards with parents. Bowlby’s theory was good as it changed the manner infirmaries treated kids ; they are no longer left on their ain and a parent is allowed to remain with them at all times. Bowlbys theory besides provides us with a plausible account of how and why fond regards are formed. nevertheless it can be seen as rather sexist. as it emphasizes the function of the female parent and does non admit the male parent despite grounds to propose that in two parent heterosexual households. the quality of the relationship with the male parent can besides hold an influence on a child’s development.


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