Psychology: Attachment Theory

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AS Psychology - Attachment Revision
What is Attachment?:- “Attachment is the close bond between two people which endures over time and leads to certain behaviors such as proximity seeking, clinging and distress on separation, These behaviors serve the function of protecting an infant” Exam Question 1: ‘Explain Bowlby’s theory of attachment?’ (For top marks, mention: Social releasers, Sensitive Period, Montropy, internal model and the continuity hypothesis): * “Bowlby’s theory of attachment is an evolutionary theory that suggests the behaviours demonstrated by caregivers and babies are an innate and indistinctive drive to form attachment and have evolved through natural selection.

* According to Bowlby, forming an attachment enables an infant to explore the world whilst having a secure base for protection; when babies tend to form an attachment with a special importance, it is known as, “primary attachment” which is also called montropy which is based upon the person who responds most sensitively to the infant’s social releasers. However, infants are also able to make more than one attachment which still plays a key in their social and emotional development.

* Attachment also enables infants to develop expectations about emotional relationships. This is known as the internal working model. This suggests that there is a link between early relationships and late relationships. In turn, this leads to the continuity hypothesis which indicates there is a link between individuals’ attachment types in childhood and later emotional behaviour.

* Finally, Bowlby proposed that there is a sensitive period which if formation of attachment does not place between a caregiver and a baby; it may difficult to form an attachment in the future.”

Strength of Bowlby’s theory: ((
(Bowlby's theory of attachment has been particularly influential and generated much further research) Strength: Sroufe Et al’s (2005) – Study following of participants from infancy to adulthood. Findings:

- Early attachment types: Predict behaviour.
- Supports: Bowlby’s theory of continuity hypothesis.
Weakness of Bowlby’s theory:
Weakness: Temperament hypothesis, (Kagan, 1984), as it takes into consideration individual differences were the Evolutionary theory does not. Findings:
- We have inborn temperamental differences: such as ‘easy’, ‘slow to warm up’ and ‘difficult’ - Psychologists who support hypothesis believe: such temper ants can affect adult and infant relationships and how we form attachment.

Exam Question 1: ‘Explain Bowlby’s theory of attachment?’ (For top marks, mention: Social releasers, Sensitive Period, Montropy, internal model and the continuity hypothesis): * “Bowlby’s theory of attachment is an evolutionary theory that suggests the behaviours demonstrated by caregivers and babies are an innate and indistinctive drive to form attachment and have evolved through natural selection.

* According to Bowlby, forming an attachment enables an infant to explore the world whilst having a secure base for protection; when babies tend to form an attachment with a special importance, it is known as, “primary attachment” which is also called montropy which is based upon the person who responds most sensitively to the infant’s social releasers. However, infants are also able to make more than one attachment which still plays a key in their social and emotional development.

* Attachment also enables infants to develop expectations about emotional relationships. This is known as the internal working model. This suggests that there is a link between early relationships and late relationships. In turn, this leads to the continuity hypothesis which indicates there is a link between individuals’ attachment types in childhood and later emotional behaviour.

* Finally, Bowlby proposed that there is a sensitive period which if formation of attachment does not place between a caregiver and a baby; it may difficult...
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