Drive Theory - Early Attachment Theory

Early Attachment Theory

In early attachment theory, behavioural drive reduction was proposed by Dollard and Miller (1950) as an explanation of the mechanisms behind early attachment in infants. Behavioural drive reduction theory suggests that infants are born with innate drives, such as hunger and thirst, which only the caregiver, usually the mother, can reduce. Through a process of classical conditioning, the infant learns to associate the mother with the satisfaction of reduced drive and is thus able form a key attachment bond. However, this theory is challenged by the work done by Harlow, particularly the experiments involving the maternal separation of rhesus monkeys, which indicate that comfort possesses greater motivational value than hunger.

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