Bowlby's Theory Studies

Bowlby's Theory description and evaluation

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Bowlby's Theory

Description: Infants are physically helpless at birth and need adult care to survive. This means humans have likely evolved to form the tendency to make attatchments. Since attatchment is reciprocial adults likely have evolved to form attatchments to their infants. Social releasers such as crying, cooing, smiling make sure interaction happens.

Because it is biological there is a critical period where the attatchment has to form or else it never will. Bowlby suggested 2 1/2 years.

The one special attatchment infants make is called monotrophy and a template for future relationships is based on this attatchment. It is called the internal working model.

Evaluation: Hazan and Shaven (next cards)

Sroufe (next cards)

Temporamental hypothesis: Some children are just born friendlier. Some are more vulnerable to stress.

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Sroufe

Procedure: Minnisota children were followed for 1 year to adolescence. Throughout this time they were rated by teachers, specialist observers and camp councillors.

Findings:Social competence was linked with early attatchment type. More secure attatchment types were more popular.

Evaluation: Longitudial makes dropping out of the study more likely which could leave a non representative group.

3 different sources of measure makes for high internal validity.

Children only from Minnisota makes for low population validity.

Prospective study makes for high internal validity.

This supports Bowlby's continuity hypothesis.

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Hazan and Shaver

Procedure: A 'love quiz' was put in a newspaper which asked questions on attatchment experiences and current romantic experiences.

Findings: Individuals who were securely attatched tended to have happy and lasting romantic relationships.

Evaluation: Volunteer response means low external validity.

Retrospective study means low internal validity.

Self report is likely to have social desirability bias.

This supports Bowlby's continuity hypothesis.

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