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Attachments Booklet
Why do we form attachments?
This is best broken into short term (immediate) benefits and longer term benefits. Both, to some extent, can be
explained in terms of benefits to the reproductive success of the species or individual (depending whether you
favour Darwin or Dawkins; for the biologists).…

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Although of fragile and amiable appearance, Lorenz's
politics did leave a lot to be desired. In 1938, at the
age of 35 he joined the Nazi party and devoted his
research to the aims of the National Socialists. Some
of his later research supported the idea of `racial
hygiene' proposed…

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Durkin (1995) pointed out that most of the mothers were unmarried and from poor families so results may be
difficult to generalise to the general population. Perhaps the closer bond was due more to the extra attention given
to them during the experiment.
(Note that this is another one of…

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However, accuracy of data collection by parents who were keeping daily diaries whilst clearly being very busy could
be questioned.


Types of attachment

Ainsworth and Bell (1970)

AIM: The aim of this study was to produce a method of assessing quality of attachment by placing an infant in a
situation…

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It would be unreasonable to make generalisations about all infant behaviour on the basis of this sample. The
study and its findings are restricted to middle-class American infants i.e. are culturally biased
In another study, Main and Cassidy (1988) identified a further group of children; this classification group is
referred…

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Half of the children showed their first specific attachment between 25 and 32 weeks (6-8 months). Fear of
strangers occurred about a month later in all the children.



The intensity of attachment peaked in the first month after attachment behaviour first appeared, as
measured by the strength of separation protest.…

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As always the behaviourist explanation is reductionist because it takes a complex human behaviour and tries to
explain it in the simplest terms possible. It does not consider any internal processes or seek to explain the emotional
nature of attachments simply how they arise as behaviours.
The behaviourist theories of…

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comfort is preferable but not sufficient for healthy development. Presumably infants need a responsive caregiver
and an interactive relationship with this individual for healthy development.

Harlow conducted various further studies to investigate the effects of deprivation. Harlow and Harlow (1962) raised
monkeys for lengthy periods in total isolation. When they…

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Sensitive period
Being innate Bowlby believed there would be a period in which they were most likely to develop, similar to the
critical period for imprinting. Unlike a critical period (the only time in which an attachment may form), a sensitive
period suggests a time when they are most likely…

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Institutionalisation
Bowlby famously claimed that a bad home was better than a good institution because of the poor psychological care
children receive in such places. Skodak & Skeels (1949) compared two groups of mentally retarded children brought
up in an institution. One group were transferred to a home to be…

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