Bowlby's Theory of Attachment

Bowlby's Theory of attachment pros and cons. For a six mark question evaluating the theory, you only really need two of each, but have three!

  • Created by: Alexa997
  • Created on: 04-10-13 14:16

Bowlby's Theory of Attachment


  • Imprinting in nonhuman animals - Lorenz's Goslings!! - supports the idea that imprinting is innate because they imprinted on the first moving thing they saw - Lorenz- and followed him around.
  • Universality - if attachment did evolve, it would be seen all over the world, in all cultures, and it is! Tronick et al (1992) studied the African tribe the Efe in Zaire and found that although the children are raised by everyone in the community, they still showed one primary attachment.
  • Monotropy is also supported by Tronick et al's study, and by research from Schaffer and Emmerson's work in 1964 with babies from Glasgow, who all showed one primary attachment.


  • The Czech twins!They were discovered at the age of 7, having been cut off from the outside world, and abused by their stepmother. Bowlby's theory would suggest that since they had no attachment, they would never be able to form relationships with people. After care from 2 sisters, at the age of 14 they had formed meaningful attachments and showed normal social functioning. This undermines (not disproves) Bowlby's theory.
  • Also, despite many rapid advancements in the field of genetics, we have not found any gene, or genes, that control attachment, which can suggest that attachment isn't innate.
  • Schaffer and Emmerson's study (again) also showed 1/3 that formed multiple attachments with no preferred attachment figure. You can also argue that Rutter (1995) showed the same thing.


Don't need one for Psychology! Ain't that lovely.


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