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

Outline and evaluate two explanations of attachment John Bowlby argued that attachment is a biological need

Extracts from this document...


Outline and evaluate two explanations of attachment John Bowlby argued that attachment is a biological need to attach to our caregiver. This attachment is innate and we have evolved in this way to maximise protection, as forming this attachment has survival value - staying close to the mother or primary care giver (PCG) ensures food and protection from danger. This one special attachment that a baby has with his/her PCG is called monotropy, which gives us a template, or internal working model for all future attachments and relationships. This is because we learn how to care for and trust others through this first special attachment. It also acts as a safe base for the infant, where they trust that the mother will be there and so can then be more independent and play, giving them confidence to explore their environment. ...read more.


Bowlby said that if the attachment is not formed or is broken, this may seriously damage the child's social and emotional development. However, this explanation is not supported by Shaffer and Emerson, as they found that a stage in the child's development is multiple attachments, and if these may be formed, monotropy would not exist. Also, attachments are important in development, but lack of attachment or a broken attachment may not have the severe consequences that Bowlby claimed. Another explanation into attachment is the psychodynamic theory. Freud claimed that during infancy the id is in control of the baby's actions and the biological needs such as feeding or sleeping are priority at this stage in development. ...read more.


They claimed that good interaction and quality care of the baby was more important and the baby will attach to whoever was most sensitive and loving (hence the theory of multiple attachments). This is also shown in Harlow's Rhesus Monkey experiment where monkeys were privated and brought up in isolation. They were they proposed two surrogate 'mothers', a wire mother and a cloth mother. The wire mother had a feeding bottle attached but the cloth mother did not. It was found that most monkeys spent their time clinging to the cloth mother and only went to the wire mother to feed indicating that the monkeys needed contact comfort as much as food which contradicts the psychodynamic theory. This experiment has been criticised however as monkey behaviour cannot always be generalised to apply to humans and also, the method was unethical as the monkeys were privated of attachment. ...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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and evaluate one or more explanations of attachment

    3 star(s)

    He said if attachment doesn't occur during this age it is impossible for it to occur after. Bowlby said that the first attachment to the mother was very important because it gave the infant a blueprint on how future relationships should be.

  2. Evaluate the contribution of John Bowlby to the development of the theory of attachment.

    Observations were made on the Efe pygmies of Zaire and it was noted that when the mother gives birth, the child is then passed around to several women. The child is also breast fed by whoever is lactating; this resulted in the children developing multiple attachments.

  1. Reactive Attachment Disorder

    They may be hypervigilant or highly ambivalent. The disinhibited type is more closely associated with social promiscuity. The child may be excessively social in inappropriate circumstances (Wilson, 2001). A child who is diagnosed with this subtype lacks any preferences when choosing those from whom to seek comfort, support and nurturance.

  2. Infant's Attachments

    Preschoolers in this category are found to become victims of exploitation in interaction with peers. They are likely to elicit mixed responses from peers that perpetuate ambivalent feelings and expectations about relationships" (Colin). A resistant attachment is very harmful to the child's personality development.

  1. "Discuss two explanations of attachment"

    these are called social releasers which make the adult respond and bond with them. Critical Period: Bowlby believed that there is a critical period for this attachment behaviour to occur. That is if attachment does not take place within this critical period then it will not occur at all.

  2. Dr Thomas John Barnardo

    This disturbed Barnardo started to question all the things he had read, he no longer made fun of the religious beliefs of his brothers or friends, instead he could be found regularly attending the meetings not many weeks later one message really got to him he now knew for certain

  1. Outline and evaluate Explanations of Attachment.

    A second explanation of attachment is the learning theory, the idea that all behaviour is learnt either by association (classical conditioning) or consequences (operant conditioning). By classical conditioning the pleasure of feeding becomes associated with the person who feeds the infant and this person therefore becomes a source of pleasure even when there is no feeding.

  2. Describe and evaluate two explanations of attachment

    Food is therefore the primary reinforcer and caregiver the second, and since the caregiver is the source of reinforcement, an attachemtn bodn is made between caregiver and infant. Maurer and Maurer (1989) however, claimed that ''attachments are welded in the heat of interaction'', clearly suggesting that the formation of an

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work