Importance of Attachment in Humans and Animals essay

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Human attachment describes the emotional bond developed between a child and the parent. This attachment involves behavioural and emotional interaction that develops over a period of time. Human attachment appears when infants express their need for comfort, support, security, and attention. The quality of attachment is determined by the promptness and the parents’ ability to perceive, interpret, and react to an infant’s needs. Also, attachment is evident among animals, as the young animals are dependent on their parents regarding such basic needs as food and security. The quality of animals’ attachment is also determined by the parents’ ability to efficiently meet the needs of the young (Bowlby & Ainsworth, 1988).

The quality of attachment between an infant and the parent is critical in determining how a particular infant will socialize with peers in the society and hence, lead a successful life. The absence of an attachment between a parent and an infant has a negative impact on the particular infant’s life (Music, 2011).It is evident from the fact that secure parent-child relationships assist in the development of mechanisms to regulate stressful and emotional situations. The absence of stress and emotional management leads to the development of a weak character.

The absence of parent-child attachment also results in the poor language development among individuals leading to difficulties in expressing themselves to peers. Individuals are observed to lack confidence in exploring their environment, as they experience fear of engaging in social activities. The human attachment is analogous to that in animals. Animals’ infants have experienced an attachment with their parents which enables them to be self-reliant and capable of defending themselves. Therefore, attachment is necessary in ensuring that infants blend in well in the society (Peterson, 2011).

Classical and Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning is the process by which human beings learn to behave and operate in a particular manner to avoid punishment. Thus, human and animals’ behaviour is greatly influenced by the consequences. Therefore, operant conditioning is goal-oriented. Classical conditioning is closely related to operant conditioning. In classical conditioning, the repeated pairing of stimulus to such process as nutrition may lead to some anticipatory elicitation known as conditional response. These conditional responses include salivation. In contrast to operant conditioning, classical conditioning requires no responses (Henton, 1978).

Clinically, conditioning has promoted the development of phobias among individuals. It is because phobias are experienced due to exposure to conditioning and traumatic experiences. Research has determined that phobias are experienced due to classical conditioning. On the other hand, phobias are maintained through operant conditioning. Applications of operand conditioning are evident in our daily lives. For instance, people work because they have to do so. Majority of the drives tend to prevent over speeding to avoid speeding tickets. Classical conditioning is applicable when a person who likes ice cream and has a fear of snakes is exposed to a snake and given ice cream at the same time (Mackintosh, 1983). Classical conditioning helps the individual to associate the snake with good things. Consequently, it helps to eradicate the fear of snakes. Therefore, classical and operant conditioning is important concepts that form behavioural psychology.

Pritchard (1835) on Psychopathy

Psychopathy among individuals is usually a personality disorder whereby individuals experience shallow emotions such as egocentricity, cold-heartedness, criminality, and lack of remorse in a parasitic lifestyle. Psychopaths experience a personality disorder when the diagnosis of individuals revolves around the conducting of interviews to access the individual and the family. The diagnosis of psychopaths has not been sanctioned by any organization, although, the assessments of psychopathy are widely conducted in criminal justice with important consequence among individuals. The classification of psychopaths has experienced many problems. These problems in classification are present because personality disorders are highly controversial (General, 2010).

There is no test that can be implemented in the field of mental health to assist in the diagnosis of personality disorders. Hence, the present tests are highly unreliable and lack validity. The criteria used to diagnose personality disorders assumed that personality disorders persist over a long period. Therefore, this makes it difficult to distinguish between brain disorders and normal brain variations. Also, there were assumptions that the Schneiderian personality types were valid (General, 2010). It, as a result, posed a major challenge in the classification of psychopaths.

Decisions made in the management of people with personality disorders are uncertain because personality disorders are considered suitable for intervention. The critical decisions involve determining the timing on when to give treatment to patients with personality disorders. Mostly, it is due to the reason that patients’ response to therapy vary, hence, therapists must be aware of the patient’s reactions (Genera, 2010).

Attitudes

Individual attitudes are organizations of beliefs, feelings, and behavioural tendencies towards specific objects or groups. Attitude is governed by three components including behavioural, cognitive, and affective components. The affective component of attitude involves an individual’s emotions towards the attitude object. The behavioural component dictates the behaviour and actions of an individual. The cognitive component revolves around a person’s beliefs towards the attitude object (Ajzen, 1980).

Changing individual attitude involves several steps. The first step is the individual’s acceptance of change. The acceptance of change is an indication of the individual’s commitment regarding changing his/her attitude towards certain object. The second step involves taking responsibility of the attitude problem. For patient, taking responsibility means that reforms are taken seriously as indicated by the therapist. Taking responsibility proves productive as it facilitates fast recovery and the abstinence from attitude problems (Ajzen, 1980). Asking self-questions is important in the individual’s transformation as it assists in self-visualization (Bowlby & Ainsworth, 1988).

Research in the Area of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is considered to be a mental illness with severe effects, which affects both sexes at a tender age. The cause of this mental disorder has not been determined but it is believed to be influenced by a couple of factors such as the genetic peculiarities of an individual, brain damage, and pre-natal viruses (Maj, 2003). The problems associated with schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. The treatment for this brain disorder involves the use of anti-psychotic drugs (Young, 1988). Other treatments include electroconvulsive therapy, when electric current is applied to the brain (Bowlby & Ainsworth, 1988).

Individuals suffering from schizophrenia usually have an altered perception of reality. They often see and hear inexistent things and tend to speak in a strange and inconsistent way. Consequently, it affects the social life of schizophrenic individuals making their interaction with people is limited. In instances where they have to interact, they are considered insane and hence, become social misfits (Young, 1988). Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, which is becoming rampant in the society. Treatment for this brain disorder is available in the form of therapy, which enables people with schizophrenia to lead satisfying independent lives (Maj, 2003).

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