• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate Bowlby's theory of attachment (12 marks)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Outline and evaluate Bowlby?s theory of attachment. (12 marks) Bowlby proposed that attachment is an innate, evolved mechanism to ensure survival. Babies are born very vulnerable and it is essential they have someone to care for them. Therefore behaviours have evolved to make attachment more likely. Bowlby argues babies display behaviours that encourages the adult to care for and feed them, known as ?social releasers? such as crying and gurgling. The concept of attachment being innate is supported by Lorenz?s early study of goslings. He found that when goslings were separated from their mother, they formed an attachment with the first moving thing they saw, (him). There are several key features to Bowlby?s proposal aside from it being innate. Firstly, Bowlby argued that we have one key attachment that is more significant than the others. ...read more.

Middle

Whereby they asked participants to write in to their local newspaper which consisted of two parts ? a childhood attachment type measure containing a list of adjectives to describe their relationship with their parents and a questionnaire to assess their feelings about love. For example does true love exist? Does love last forever? Hazen and Shaver analysed data of the first 620 responses, with participants ranging from 14 to 82 years old. They found a significant correlation between childhood attachment type and later adult relationships styles. Concluding there was evidence to support the continuity hypothesis, but some strayed from this, and went on to form stable relationships in their later life. This study can be praised for its large sample, its high in population validity the implication being that we can more easily generalise the findings to the wider population. ...read more.

Conclusion

Those who were adopted before they were 6 months old went on to form normal stable relations with their new families, supporting continuity. But those who were adopted after they were 6 months old went on to form normal stable relations with their new families also, they just encountered more difficulties and often it took longer. Therefore an argument has been put forward that attachment has a sensitive period as opposed to a critical period in which an attachment must be formed. Overall there is much research to support Bowlby?s theory of attachment and it is viewed positively in the field of psychology. It has had important real life applications with regards day care practices and for hospitals in terms of the amount of time mothers spend with their babies after the child is born. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work