Bowlby's Theory Of Attachment

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  • Created by: Alexa997
  • Created on: 23-10-13 15:26

What is the theory?

Attachment is innate and adaptive; it has evolved to give us the best chance of survival, in that we form a bond with a caregiver because we cannot survive on our own when we are infants. According to Bowlby, we have an innate drive to become attached for the long term benefits, similar to imprinting in animals. Since attachment is innate, there is likely to be a limited window- known as the sensitive period, a biologically determined period of time in which attachment must form, or else there will be serious implications for the child. The drive to provide caregiving is also innate, because it enhances the chance of your offspring's survival. To aid this, and make the caregiver want to look after the infant, infants are born with social releasers, like smiling, crying, and the baby face, as seen in most mammals - large forehead, wide eyes and a squashed up nose- awwwwwww. Attachment is important for protection, and therefore provides a secure base from which the child can explore the world, and return to if it feels threatened. Bowlby also believed that infants have one primary, special attachment - a monotropy -, so the child will be biased towards this person and want to see them more than most of the other people they form attachments with. This is often the person who is most responsive to the infant and, in most cases, the person they spend the most


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