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Eevaluating Bowlbys Theory

Bowlby (1969) proposed that millions of years of evolution had produced a behaviour that is essential to the survival chances of human infants. Humans are born helpless and totally dependent on the actions of a caregiver for food, warmth, shelter and safety for their well being and survival. If babies did not behave in a way that made it more likely an adult would care for them, and if adults did not become attached to babies, then human infants would not survive to reproductive age. Therefore natural selection has passed on genes that lead to attachment forming behaviours. The innate nature of attachment was illustrated by Lorenz (1952) in his studies of imprinting in geese. Lorenz hatched two groups of geese eggsone group stayed with their natural mother and the other group were hatched in an incubator. The first moving thing the incubator group saw when they hatched was Lorenz himself, and the geese immediately started to follow him around. When the incubator geese and natural mother geese were mixed together, they would quickly separate into the two original groups and follow either Lorenz or their natural mother. Imprinting

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