Exploring Psychology 2
Describe and evaluate one aspect of social development in this case Attachment.
Attachment is not solely conceptually awareness of permanence and impermanence. It also involves the establishment of a definite emotional bond between the child and mother (infant and care giver). Therefore it is safe to conclude that Attachment is best described as a two way emotional bond between an infant and its primary carer.
John Bowlby, believed that attachment begins at infancy and continues throughout life. In addition to this, Bowlby believed that attachment had an evolutionary component; it aids in survival. "The propensity to make strong emotional bonds to particular individuals is a basic component of human nature" (Bowlby, 1988). He proposed that there are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment, Proximity Maintenance - The desire to be near the people we are attached to. Safe Haven - Returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a fear or threat, Secure Base - The attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment, and finally, Separation Distress - Anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure. The fundamental principle of Bowlby's theory is that both infant and caregiver are innately (genetically) programmed to form attachment. The infant has innate behaviours (social releasers) which elicit care giving (smiling, crying and imitating) and the caregiver is innately programmed to respond for example by picking them up and staying close to the child.
One of the key elements and one of the most important and fundamental parts of Bowlby’s theory of attachment is monotropy. This is where it was proposed by Bowlby that infants have an innate tendency to become attached to one particular person; hierarchy of attachments, at the top of which is one central caregiver. Bowlby also argued that there is a ‘critical period’ which...