The ethological attachment theory

Northwestern University This paper critically reviews the ethological attachment theory as proposed by Bowlby and Ainsworth in order to examine if attachment theory is a great idea in personality. The most important aspects of attachment theory are presented and two critical questions are posed.

The ethological attachment theory

Home Attachment theory is meant to describe and explain people's enduring patterns of relationships from birth to death.

This domain overlaps considerably with that of Interpersonal Theory.

1 thought on “Bowlby’s Attachment Theory: A Therapeutic Perspective”

Because attachment is thought to have an evolutionary basis, attachment theory is also related to Evolutionary Psychology. An Evolving Taxonomy of Evolutionarily Adaptive and Maladaptive Affectional Bonds The above model taken from Bartholomewis one representation of attachment styles, or ways of dealing with attachment, separation, and loss in close personal relationships.

Attachment was first studied in non-human animals, then in human infants, and later in human adults. Basic research on animal behavior, if it is to apply to humans, must assume that there is homology between the animal and human processes.

Homology means that anatomical or behavioral structures in different species share a common function and common underlying mechanisms due to the fact that the species evolved from a common ancestor. Ethological studies on imprinting might appear relevant to human attachment research, since imprinting appears to be a variety of parent-offspring attachment.

But as one author says, "The charming tales of geese and cranes that court their keepers to whom they were imprinted as hatchlings have beguiled us all" Klopfer,p. While imprinting may appear similar to human parent-offspring bonding, imprinting in geese, cranes, ducks, etc.

Research shows that attachment occurs in dogs and monkeys Crnic et al. A line of animal research that might be relevant to human attachment is Harlow's experiments showing that infant monkeys prefer a soft terry cloth mother surrogate to a wire one, even when only the wire one dispenses milk.

When a human or non-human primate infant is separated from its parent, the infant goes through a series of three stages of emotional reactions.

First is protest, in which the infant cries and refuses to be consoled by others. Second is despair, in which the infant is sad and passive. Theorists have postulated several varieties of insecure attachment. Ainsworth originally proposed two: This triarchic taxonomy of secure, avoidant, and resistant attachment was developed as a way of classifying infant behavior in the " strange situation.

Avoidant infants avoid the parent.

The ethological attachment theory

Attachment theory provides not only a framework for understanding emotional reactions in infants, but also a framework for understanding love, loneliness, and grief in adults. Attachment styles in adults are thought to stem directly from the working models or mental models of oneself and others that were developed during infancy and childhood.

Secure adults find it relatively easy to get close to others and are comfortable depending on others and having others depend on them. Secure adults don't often worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close to them.

Avoidant adults are somewhat uncomfortable being close to others; they find it difficult to trust others completely, difficult to allow themselves to depend on others.

Avoidant adults are nervous when anyone gets too close, and often, love partners want them to be more intimate than they feel comfortable being.Bowlby’s evolutionary theory of attachment suggests that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others, because this will help them to survive.

Bowlby was very much influenced by ethological theory in general, but especially by Lorenz’s () study of showed that attachment was innate (in young ducklings) and therefore has a.

This volume provides unique and valuable firsthand accounts of the most important longitudinal studies of attachment. Presented are a range of research programs that have broadened our understanding of early close relationships and their role in individual adaptation throughout life.

Attachment Theory And Emotional Rich Environment - Attachment Theory The attachment theory helps to examine who we form relationships with, why these relationships work or fail, and how the relationships help to develop us in adolescence and on to adulthood.

Abstract. Bowlby’s ethological attachment theory bases its argument on the premise that human individuals, just like animals have a tendency to have a natural inclination to establish and maintain lasting affectionate bonds (attachments) to the familiar and irreplaceable others.

Attachment is defined as the lifelong need human beings have for affectionate ties with significant other human beings.

Domains of Attachment Theory and Therapy

It is a biological necessity for Human Beings to have a secure attachment relationship. Extracts from this document Introduction. Outline and evaluate Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis The first model of attachment that John Bowlby created was .

International Attachment Network - International Attachment Network