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’ Indiscriminate attachment occurs to babies up to 3 months, the baby equally responds to any caregiver and is inclined to attach to any human.The stage of ‘preference for certain people’ usually occurs after 4 months as they learn to distinguish their prime carers to their secondary carers.However, the research evidence to support this is rather weak.
Imprinting must occur within a certain time called a critical period or it will not happen at all. Harlow concluded that monkeys need physical contact with a living caring mother to develop normal social skills.
Perhaps the most influential explanation of attachment was presented by John Bowlby who carried the research with humans in 1940s.
Attachment Theory John Bowlby was a psychoanalyst and has developed his knowledge and understanding into the theory of Attachment.
Bowlby believed that children have been born programmed to form attachments which will help them survive; this is known as evolutionary attachments.
Over the 18 months Shaffer and Emmerson visited the babies and observed their attachments/interaction with their carers, as well as an interview with the carers.
Origin Of Multicellular Life Essay - Evolutionary Theory Attachment Essay
From the study Shaffer and Emmerson identified that attachments were made with those who respond to the baby’s needs, and not the person they have spent the most time with; this is called sensitive responsiveness.
He claims that infants often show multiple attachments and often the primary attachment is to someone other than the mother and can be male.
Bowlby did, however, agree that infants can form multiple attachments; nevertheless, Bowlby was adamant that the most important attachment is with the mother.
Bowlby suggested that attachment develops in a fixed sequence.
The first stage in the sequence is signals from an infant like crying which are not directed at anyone in particular, however, there is a preference for the company of people.