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Attachment
Definition:
•An emotional bond between 2 people
•2 way process that endures over time
•Serves the function of protecting the child
Objectives
Define the term attachment
Identify key words associated with
Bowlby’s Theory of attachment
Provide basic evaluation for Bowlby’s
theory of attachment
Write an exam style answer for the
Learning Theory of attachment
Explanations of Attachment
You need to know 2 explanations of
attachment

Learning Theory

Bowlby’s Theory

Attachment is
learned

Attachment is
innate
A01

Bowlby’s Theory
Infants form
attachments
because it’s
Adaptive
adaptive

= good for
survival

Babies have an ‘attachment
gene’

- Ensuring the infant
stays close to caregiver
for food and protection

An infant displays social
releasers (such as
crying, smiling) which
increase their chances
of receiving care
A01

Bowlby’s Theory ContD…
Parents also have an
‘attachment gene’

Parents are driven to provide
care for the infant while
they’re young and
defenceless – the critical
period

Which drives the
parents to provide care

-this is also adaptive
(increases chances of
genes continuing to
the next generation)

Bowlby suggested that
infants make one main
attachment – called
monotropy
Bowlby’s Theory
– beyond infancy

A01

The first
relationship
provides the
infant with an
attachment
template

Internal
working
model

The attachment
behaviours in
the internal
working model
continue to
follow the same
template in the
future

Continuity
hypothesis
A01

Bowlby’s Theory
– key terms
Adaptive
There’re loads –
make sure they’re
in your Glossary
and that you
KNOW them!

Attachment gene
Social releasers
Critical period
Monotropy
Internal working model
Continuity hypothesis
A02

Bowlby’s Theory – A02

Can you remember anything from
Learning Theory A02 that you can
apply to Bowlby’s theory?
Lorenz found that newly
hatched geese (after
seeing Lorenz shortly
after hatching) following
him everywhere and he
became their ‘imprinted
parent’

Hazen & Shaver
Conducted the ‘love quiz’
which assessed adult
romantic relationships and
childhood relationships and
found a strong positive
correlation between the 2
attachment types

Howes et al
Found that parentchild relationships
were not necessarily
the same as childpeer relationships

Schaffer and Emerson
(1964) noted that
specific attachments
starts around 8 months
but by 18 months only
13% of his sample had
only one attachment,
some had five or more.
A02

Bowlby’sTheory – Evaluation
Positive
Lorenz (1952)

Why is that
Positive
criticism?!

Lorenz found that newly
hatched goose (after
seeing Lorenz shortly
after hatching) following
him everywhere and he
became their ‘imprinted
parent’
A02

Bowlby’sTheory – Evaluation
Positive
Hazen &
Shaver

Why is that
Positive
criticism?!

Conducted the ‘love quiz’
which assessed adult
romantic
relationships and
childhood
relationships and
found a strong
correlation between
the 2 attachment
types
A02

Bowlby’s Theory – Evaluation
Negative
Howes et al
(1994)

Why is that
negative
criticism?!

Found that parent-child
relationships were not
necessarily the same as
child-peer relationships
A02

Bowlby’s Theory – Evaluation
Negative
Against
monotropy

Why is that
Negative
criticism?!

Schaffer and Emerson
(1964) noted that
specific attachments
starts around 8 months
but by 18 months only
13% of his sample had
only one attachment,
some had five or more.
Key words

In pairs write at least 15 key words
that link to the Evolutionary
Theory of Attachment

Glossary
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Evolutionary Theory – Attachment is innate
Social Releasers
Attachment Gene
Critical Period
Internal Working Model
Continuity Hypothesis
Monotropy
Hazen & Shaver
Howes et al
Post-hoc
Exam style questions
Have a go at the following questions
1. What is meant by the term attachment?

(2 marks)

2. Explain how the behavioural explanation of
attachment differs from the evolutionary
explanation of attachment.
(4 marks)
3. Explain two limitations of the evolutionary
perspective explanation of attachment.

(2 marks + 2 marks)

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Bowlby's theory

  • 1. Attachment Definition: •An emotional bond between 2 people •2 way process that endures over time •Serves the function of protecting the child
  • 2. Objectives Define the term attachment Identify key words associated with Bowlby’s Theory of attachment Provide basic evaluation for Bowlby’s theory of attachment Write an exam style answer for the Learning Theory of attachment
  • 3. Explanations of Attachment You need to know 2 explanations of attachment Learning Theory Bowlby’s Theory Attachment is learned Attachment is innate
  • 4. A01 Bowlby’s Theory Infants form attachments because it’s Adaptive adaptive = good for survival Babies have an ‘attachment gene’ - Ensuring the infant stays close to caregiver for food and protection An infant displays social releasers (such as crying, smiling) which increase their chances of receiving care
  • 5. A01 Bowlby’s Theory ContD… Parents also have an ‘attachment gene’ Parents are driven to provide care for the infant while they’re young and defenceless – the critical period Which drives the parents to provide care -this is also adaptive (increases chances of genes continuing to the next generation) Bowlby suggested that infants make one main attachment – called monotropy
  • 6. Bowlby’s Theory – beyond infancy A01 The first relationship provides the infant with an attachment template Internal working model The attachment behaviours in the internal working model continue to follow the same template in the future Continuity hypothesis
  • 7. A01 Bowlby’s Theory – key terms Adaptive There’re loads – make sure they’re in your Glossary and that you KNOW them! Attachment gene Social releasers Critical period Monotropy Internal working model Continuity hypothesis
  • 8. A02 Bowlby’s Theory – A02 Can you remember anything from Learning Theory A02 that you can apply to Bowlby’s theory?
  • 9. Lorenz found that newly hatched geese (after seeing Lorenz shortly after hatching) following him everywhere and he became their ‘imprinted parent’ Hazen & Shaver Conducted the ‘love quiz’ which assessed adult romantic relationships and childhood relationships and found a strong positive correlation between the 2 attachment types Howes et al Found that parentchild relationships were not necessarily the same as childpeer relationships Schaffer and Emerson (1964) noted that specific attachments starts around 8 months but by 18 months only 13% of his sample had only one attachment, some had five or more.
  • 10. A02 Bowlby’sTheory – Evaluation Positive Lorenz (1952) Why is that Positive criticism?! Lorenz found that newly hatched goose (after seeing Lorenz shortly after hatching) following him everywhere and he became their ‘imprinted parent’
  • 11. A02 Bowlby’sTheory – Evaluation Positive Hazen & Shaver Why is that Positive criticism?! Conducted the ‘love quiz’ which assessed adult romantic relationships and childhood relationships and found a strong correlation between the 2 attachment types
  • 12. A02 Bowlby’s Theory – Evaluation Negative Howes et al (1994) Why is that negative criticism?! Found that parent-child relationships were not necessarily the same as child-peer relationships
  • 13. A02 Bowlby’s Theory – Evaluation Negative Against monotropy Why is that Negative criticism?! Schaffer and Emerson (1964) noted that specific attachments starts around 8 months but by 18 months only 13% of his sample had only one attachment, some had five or more.
  • 14. Key words In pairs write at least 15 key words that link to the Evolutionary Theory of Attachment Glossary • • • • • • • • • • Evolutionary Theory – Attachment is innate Social Releasers Attachment Gene Critical Period Internal Working Model Continuity Hypothesis Monotropy Hazen & Shaver Howes et al Post-hoc
  • 15. Exam style questions Have a go at the following questions 1. What is meant by the term attachment? (2 marks) 2. Explain how the behavioural explanation of attachment differs from the evolutionary explanation of attachment. (4 marks) 3. Explain two limitations of the evolutionary perspective explanation of attachment. (2 marks + 2 marks)