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Attachment: Animal Studies of Attachment | AQA A-Level Psychology


Last updated 22 Dec 2023

This topic quiz tests A-Level Psychology students' knowledge and understanding of how animal studies of attachment have influenced attachment theory.

Click here to access the quiz: Attachment: Animal Studies of Attachment | AQA A-Level Psychology

  • Harlow's Monkey Experiments: In the 1950s, Harry Harlow conducted a series of experiments on infant monkeys to study the development of attachment. He found that baby monkeys preferred the company of soft, cloth "mothers" over wire "mothers" that provided food, suggesting that attachment is based on more than just the satisfaction of basic needs.
  • Lorenz's Geese Studies: In the 1940s, Konrad Lorenz studied the behavior of geese and found that they developed a strong attachment to the first moving object they encountered, which he called "imprinting." This research provided early evidence for the importance of early experiences in shaping attachment behaviors.
  • Harrier's Dog Studies: In the 1970s, Joyce Harrier studied the attachment behavior of dogs. She found that dogs formed strong attachments to their owners, and that these attachments were characterized by separation anxiety and joy at reunion, similar to the attachment behaviors observed in human infants.

Overall, these animal studies have provided valuable insights into the development of attachment behaviors and have informed our understanding of human attachment.

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