Evaluations for explanations of attachment

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 02-11-20 18:03
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  • Evaluations- Explanations for attachment
    • Counter evidence from animal research
      • A range of animal studies show that young animals don't necessarily attach to who feeds them
      • For example, Lorenz's geese imprinted on him before they were fed and maintained attachments regardless of who fed them.
      • Another example being Harlow's monkeys. They imprinted on a soft surrogate mother in preference of the wire one that dispensed milk.
      • In both of these, it is clear that attachment doesn't develop as a result of feeding. So the same must be true for humans
    • Counter evidence from human research
      • Research with human infants also shows that feeding doesn't seem to be important factor in humans.
      • For example, Schaffer and Emerson's study, many babies developed an attachment to their biological mother, even though the cares did most of the feeding
      • These findings are a problem because they show that feeding isn't the key element to attachment and so there isn't a unconditioned stimulus or primary drive
    • Learning theory ignores the other factors associated with forming attachments
      • Research into infant-caregiver interaction suggests that the quality of attachment is associated with factors like developing reciprocity and having good levels of interaction synchrony (Isabella et al 1989)
      • In addition, studies have shown that the best quality attachments are with sensitive carers that pick up infant signals and respond appropriately.
      • It is very hard to reconcile these findings with the idea of 'cupboard love'. Attachment developed purely or primarily as a result of feeding.
        • There would be no purpose for these complex interactions and we would not expect to find relationships between them  and the quality of infant-caregiver attachment


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