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That is, the child comes to feel emotionally connected to the mother because she is associated with the reduction of primary drives, such as hunger, rather than the reduction of drives that might be relational in nature.
In a classic set of studies, psychologist Harry Harlow placed young monkeys in cages that contained two artificial, surrogate “mothers” (Harlow, 1958).
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Bowlby and other theorists, for example, believed that there was something important about the responsiveness and contact provided by mothers.
Other theorists, in contrast, argued that young infants feel emotionally connected to their mothers because mothers satisfy more basic needs, such as the need for food.
However, it was not until his colleague, Mary Ainsworth, began to systematically study infant–parent separations that a formal understanding of these individual differences emerged.
Ainsworth and her students developed a technique called the strange situation—a laboratory task for studying infant–parent attachment (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978).
Harlow found that the young macaques spent a disproportionate amount of time with the cloth surrogate as opposed to the wire surrogate.
Moreover, this was true even when the infants were fed by the wire surrogate rather than the cloth surrogate.
Attachment theory was originally developed in the 1940s by John Bowlby, a British psychoanalyst who was attempting to understand the intense distress experienced by infants who had been separated from their parents.
Bowlby (1969) observed that infants would go to extraordinary lengths to prevent separation from their parents or to reestablish proximity to a missing parent.
Some of the most rewarding experiences in people’s lives involve the development and maintenance of close relationships.
For example, some of the greatest sources of joy involve falling in love, starting a family, being reunited with distant loved ones, and sharing experiences with close others.
And, not surprisingly, some of the most painful experiences in people’s lives involve the disruption of important social bonds, such as separation from a spouse, losing a parent, or being abandoned by a loved one.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating