Bowlby’s theory is an evolutionary approach to attachment. These attachment behaviours are displayed to ensure the survival of the infant. It is also an instinct for the parent to make an attachment. He states that infants are born with social releasers for example crying, smiling, a cute face with big eyes and a small nose. These social releasers encourage the care giver to provide care.
Bowlby argued that attachment was an "evolved mechanism;" an innate response that ensured the survival of the child. Bowlby argued that the first attachment between a baby and its caregiver provided the child with an internal working model. This is referred to as the continuity hypothesis and it gives the child an idea of themselves as lovable (or not) and of other people as trustworthy (or not.) Bowlby suggested the idea of monotropy in his attachment theory; the idea that an attachment to a single caregiver provides the experience of an intense emotional relationship and forms the basis of the internal working model; it is the schema a child has for forming future relationships, both socially and personally. He also described social releasers; sucking, smiling, crying and cuddling.
Bowlby claimed that infants need one special attachment relationship that is qualatively different from all others. Lastly, the internal working model which is developed through the monotropic attachment. This model represents the infant’s knowledge about his/her relationship with the primary attachment figure, in other words, the mother. It generates expectations about other relationships, so whatever relationship the mother has formed with their child, whether she is kind and loving, or aggressive and uncaring, the child will develop and have this expectation in mind of all future relationships. For example, Hazan and Shaver (1987) showed that there is a link between early attachment experiences and later romantic relationships.
In addition he suggested the idea of monotropy, which is the suggestion that infants tend to direct attachment behaviours towards a single attachment figure, and that there is one special bond and this is typically between a mother and its child. The attachment being two ways is very important, and Bowlby believed that both parties should find satisfaction and enjoyment from the relationship. He suggested that babies are born programmed to behave in ways that will make attachments easier to form, for example they will display behaviour that encourages attention from adults, these include smiling and cooing etc. These are known as social releasers because the point of
Integrity vs. Despair. These are the different stages in summary by (Kendra Cherry, About.com/Psychology) “Psychosocial Stage 1 - Trust vs. Mistrust * The first stage of Erikson's theory of psychosocial development occurs between birth and one year of age and is the most fundamental stage in life.2 * Because an infant is utterly dependent, the development of trust is based on the dependability and quality of the child's caregivers. * If a child successfully develops trust, he or she will feel safe and secure in the world. Caregivers who are inconsistent, emotionally unavailable, or rejecting contribute to feelings of mistrust in the children they care for.
By comparing the psychologists’ experiments we get a greater insight into children’s requirements not just for necessities like nourishment but their innate need to be loved. Although both researchers were influenced by Bowlby’s theory of attachment, their methods were diverse. The aim of this essay is to show the similarities and differences of the two psychologists. The essay will at look at society at that time, with a breakdown of their findings. Also it will explain the discoveries made by the researchers, comparing the species used, show their methodology, comparing replicating and ethics of both experiments.
Q: Outline and Evaluate Bowlby’s Theory. (12 Marks) Bowlby believed we are born with an innate tendency to form attachments. Bowlby believed that to help us attach we have inborn social releasers are our reactions. For example a baby might giggle to show happiness or cry to show sadness. The crying will act as an inborn social releaser as the mother will come to the aid of her child and try to comfort it always.
He called this idea monotropy. He stated that the infant has only one primary caregiver to whom the child will form an attachment. However this idea has been contradicted by other psychologists who say that a child can form attachments to more than one person, for example to their mother as well as their father. A key feature of Bowlby’s theory is that the attachment formed as a child provides the child with an internal working model of relationships, which will in turn guide relationship behaviour in the future. A secure child will develop a positive internal working model of itself because of the sensitive emotional care it has received from its primary caregiver.
‘The time is ripe for a unification of Psychoanalytical concepts with those of Ethology’ J Bowlby 1953 Bowlby’s theory begins with the idea that we are all born with innate drives, this comes from the Darwinist theory that all characteristics have survival value, Bowlby would consider attachment to be one of these characteristics. Part of these innate drives is the idea that we are all born with social releasers, Social releasers promote attachment between the child and it’s primary care giver (P.C.G). A releaser such as crying elicits care giving from others nearby. The person who responds most sensitively to the child’s releasers will become the P.C.G. The relationship between child and P.C.G becomes the most important in the child’s life.
Innate means a behaviour that was present from birth which may be evolutionary and a survival instinct not just an attachment for food but for love/care suggests that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others, because this will help them to survive. The infant produces innate