Outline and Evaluate Bowlbys Theory

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Outline and evaluate Bowlby’s explanation of attachment. Bowlby worked for many years as a psychoanalyst, and was very influenced by Freud’s theories of development in children. Although, he also found the work of Lorenz, on innate nature of bonds through imprinting very interesting. Bowlby took both, Freud’s and Lorenz’s, ideas to produce his own evolutionary theory of attachments. Bowlby believed that attachments are natural and adaptive. He also believed that we are all born with an inherited need to form attachments and this is to help us survive. This can also line up with Darwin’s theory of natural selection, which explains that any behaviour that helps us to survive to maturity and reproduce will be maintained in the gene pool. For example; a baby relies on its mother for food and care etc and without the mother the baby would be helpless. Babies have social releaser which unlocks the innate tendency for adults to care for them; these are both physical and behavioural social releasers. Bowlby adopted the idea of a critical period from ethologists like Lorenz, and applied this to his explanation of how human infants form their attachments. Bowlby has several claims. The first being that we have evolved a biological need to attach to our main caregiver, this being the monotropy attachment. Forming this attachment has survival values, as staying close to the mother ensure food and protection. Although Bowlby did not rule out the possibility of other attachment figures for a child, he did believe that there should be a primary bond which was much more important than any other. The second claim being a strong attachment provides a safe base, giving us confidence to explore our environment. Another claim being it also gives us a template for all future relationships. This is because we learn trust and care for others. A further claim is that the first three
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