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The Theories Of Attachment

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The Theories Of Attachment The Evolution theory is based on the attachment that is biologically pre-programmed into children before birth. The theory is about what is encoded in the human genes and how it evolves and persists because it adapts to its social surroundings. John Bowlby's main interest was in the relationship between care giver and child, also that infants emit social releasers to which adults are biologically attuned. This including physical appearance, crying and smiling. He also had the idea that infants would show imprinting to their own mother. Bowlby's theory is the idea of a critical period in which the development of attachment must occur, he believed that if the attachment did not form before the infant was two and a half then it would not form. Later he changed his mind and called this the sensitive period where learning must take place at this stage he was ...read more.


This agrees with Bowlby's theory that an attachment is already programmed into a child before birth causing the reaction. From the evaluation of the learning theory you would predict that the infant would attach themselves to the person who feeds them, but Schaffer and Emerson found evidence against this and in their study less than half the infants attached with the person who fed them, this also proves Bowlby's theory is more logical. The reason for this is produced when Harlow produced further evidence against the learning theory (1959). He studied infant monkeys that were removed from their mothers and placed with two replacement mothers, one was a wire monkey which provided food and the other was a cloth monkey which provided comfort, if food was the reason for attachment then the infant monkey should have gone to the wire monkey but instead it went to the cloth monkey and used it as a secure base and only left it when food was necessary. ...read more.


The baby learns that food is a reward which is a primary rein forcer and that the mother (food giver) is the secondary rein forcer. Although Harlow found some evidence to support Bowlby, in 1962 it was seen as to have caused a lot of issues when a few on the monkeys who had been used in the experiment were seen to have developed complications as they were less able to engage in social activity and became withdrawn and fearful although a few were able to become independent proving infant-infant bonding can be effective a lot became insecure which could also support the learning theory. The classical conditioning was support towards Bowlby's theory but also says that food was a sense of pleasure for babies and that the food giver was source of pleasure and this is the basis of attachment unlike Bowlby's theory where the parents and infants are programmed to become attached. ...read more.

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