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To Outline and Evaluate Bowlby’s Theory of Attachment (1969) (12-Mks)

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By BornNBred
Words 575
Pages 3
To outline and evaluate Bowlby’s theory of attachment (1969) (12-mks)

Bowlby (1969), developed a theory that babies have an innate drive to become attached. Bowlby suggested that as part of a biological process, when babies are born they drive themselves to develop at least one strong bond to a maternal partner such as the mother. This is supported by Lorenz (1952) who carried out research on imprinting in baby geese. Lorenz studied goslings after they had hatched and discovered that they had an innate drive to develop an attachment in the first 3hrs. Lorenz used objects of visual stimuli and sound and even introduced an animal and found that the goslings would attach themselves to anything that moved such as a remote control toy or a rabbit. Lorenz also found that the goslings showed signs of distress when the object was removed from them, showed fear of other moving objects once the attachment had developed to one and showed joy on reunion.

This supports Bowlby’s theory because Lorenz demonstrated that babies have an inner desire and urge to develop a monotropic bond with a woman and Bowlby even suggested that this occurs within a biologically determined period when a baby forms an attachment usually within 3-6 months of birth. Bowlby identified that if a baby does not form an attachment during this time then it will struggle to form attachment bonds in later life and according to his theory the bond was formed to a primary caregiver which was the mother/woman. This period between 3-6 months is known as the critical period and unless a bond is formed in this time then it may not take place at all. This is known as the continuity hypothesis. However many psychologists argue that goslings are a poor example as they are hatched in a precocial state meaning that they have the ability to feed themselves and make use of this advanced state that does not occur in...

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