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Explanations of Attachment

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By billy123
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There are many explanations for attachment such as learning theory and evolutionary perspective (Bowlby). Discuss one explanation of attachment (8 marks)
A01 – Description (4 marks)
Bowlby’s attachment theory states that attachment is adaptive and innate (genetic). Infants elicit care giving and become attached to those individuals who respond sensitively to their signals (social releasers). The relationship with the primary attachment figure (monotropy) acts like a framework for future adult relationships through the internal working model.
Bowlby stated that infants are born with innate social releasers, e.g. crying, smiling and cute faces (big eyes and large foreheads), which encourage (or elicit) the caregiver to provide care. Attachment is a two-way process, depending on the involvement of the parent and the infant and social releasers.
Bowlby claimed that infants need one special relationship, this he called primary attachment which forms with one individual who has offered sensitive responses to the infant’s social releasers. This attachment is also referred to as monotropy. Infants also form secondary attachments, which form what Bowlby called a hierarchy. These secondary attachments are essential for emotional development. Primary attachment relationships are the basis of his internal working model. This is supported by Harlow’s study of rhesus monkeys and their dysfunctional attachment as adults.
Infants have a mental model of their environment; one example is the infant’s knowledge of their relationship with their primary attachment figure. Whatever the primary relationship was like, the child will have similar expectations about their other relationships. The link between early attachment and later adult relationships is continuity hypothesis. Hazan and Shaver (1987) found that a secure infant will form secure romantic adult relationships.
A02 –…...

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