Personality Development By Mary D. Salter Ainsworth And John Bowlby

1322 WordsSep 7, 20156 Pages
Main Idea Attachment, as defined by “Infants, Children, and Adolescents” is the strong emotional connection that develops between an infant and caregiver, which provides the infant with a sense of joy, comfort, and emotional security (Berk, 2012, p. 264). Between 6 to 12 months of age, infants typically have developed said strong emotional connection to familiar people who have responded to their need for comfort, care, and other needs. While many individuals might suggest that a baby’s emotional connection to the mother serves as the basis upon which all future relationships are built, how this strong emotional connection develops has been a source of debate for decades. Theories that attempt to explain the emotional bond between an…show more content…
Ethology, an approach that has become widely accepted in recent years, is focused upon the “adaptive, or survival, value of behavior and its evolutionary history” (Berk, 2012, p. 264). According to “Infants, Children, and Adolescents,” the ethological theory provides that babies are biologically prepared to contribute actively to establish a bond with their caregivers, which promotes the chances for their individual genes to survive. Since ethologists believe that behavior can be best understood in terms of one’s adaptive value, a full understanding of the entire organism-environment system, including physical, social, and cultural aspects is sought (Berk, 2012, p. 264). John Bowlby, who first applied this approach to the infant-caregiver bond, maintained that the quality of future relationships is directly related to the quality of an infant’s attachment to the caregiver (Berk, 2012, p. 265). Evaluation of Evidence Inspired by Konrad Lorenz 's (1952) study of imprinting in baby geese, Bowlby believed that an infant, just like the young of most animal species, is born with built-in behaviors that ensure that a parent stays close by, which improves the odds that the infant will remain safe from danger. Through these built-in behaviors, a strong emotional connection develops. According to Lorenz, this strong emotional connection serves as a reference for future relationships. Granted, Bowlby 's ethological theory of attachment appears to be
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