Attachment Key Terms

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Frogboi99
  • Created on: 09-03-16 20:17

Affectionless psychopathy

A term used by Bowlby to describe people who don't show concern or affection for other people and show no or very little remorse or guilt.

1 of 30

Asocial stage

Stage from 0-6 weeks where infant may respond to faces or voices but an attachment has not been formed

2 of 30


Two-way enduring emotional tie to another person

3 of 30

Contact comfort

The physical and emotional comfort that an infant receives from being close to its mother

4 of 30

Continuity Hypothesis

The idea that early relationships with caregivers predict later relationships in adulthood

5 of 30

Critical period

A time period where an attachment has to form or it never will

6 of 30

Disinhibited attachment

Child shows equal affection to strangers as they do people they know well

7 of 30

Evolutionary explanation

Explanation for behaviour such as attachment that views it as increasing survival chances

8 of 30


Where offspring follows the first

large moving object they see

9 of 30

Indiscriminate attachment

Infants aged 2-7 months can discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar people but does not show stranger anxiety

10 of 30

Innate behaviour

A behaviour that is instinctive and does not need to be learned

11 of 30

Insecure avoidant attachment

Attachment classification in Strange Situation where child shows low stranger and separation anxiety and little response to reunion

12 of 30

Insecure resistant attachment

Attachment classification in Strange Situation where child shoes high stranger and separation anxiety and resists comfort at reunion

13 of 30



The effects of growing up in an institution, such as a children's home or orphanage

14 of 30

Interactional synchrony

Infant and caregiver reflect each other's actions and emotions in a coordinated manner

15 of 30

Internal working model

Mental representation of our relationship with our primary caregiver that becomes a template for future relationships

16 of 30

Learning theory

Explanations that emphasise the role of learning in acquiring behaviours such as attachment

17 of 30

Maternal deprivation hypothesis

Separation from the mother figure in early childhood has serious consequences

18 of 30



A unique and close attachment to one person - the primary attachment figure

19 of 30

Multiple attachments


Formation of emotional bonds with more than one carer

20 of 30


Failure to form an attachment in early childhood

21 of 30

Proximity seeking

The way that infants try to maintain physical contact or be close to their attachment figure

22 of 30


Infant and caregiver match each other's responses

23 of 30

Secure attachment

Most desirable attachment classification in Strange Situation where child shows separation anxiety, stranger anxiety and joy on reunion

24 of 30

Sensitive period

The best time period over which attachments can form

25 of 30

Separation anxiety

Degree of distress shown by the child when separated from the caregiver

26 of 30

Social releasers

Innate behaviours shown by an infant that lead to a caregiving response

27 of 30

Specific attachment

Infants aged 7 months tend to show a strong attachment to one particular person and are wary of strangers

28 of 30

Strange Situation

A controlled observation used to test children’s attachment patterns

29 of 30

Stranger anxiety

Degree of distress shown by an infant when with unfamiliar people

30 of 30


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Attachment resources »