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1. The History of Attachment Theory
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about the history of attachment theory, focusing in particular on: (i) John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth as founding figures; (ii) the importance of ethology and the role of Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen in enlightening psychology to a new, non-laboratory based way of studying human attachment; (iii) Harry Harlow’s research on monkey surrogate ‘mothers’, signposted as a key influence on Bowlby’s attachment dynamic theory; (iv) Shafer and Emerson’s stages of attachment, focusing on some of the modern theory which challenges aspects of its structure.
In this course, Professor Jeremy Holmes explores attachment theory. In the first lecture, we review its history. In the second lecture, we think about how attachment theory and modern evolutionary theory are linked, highlighting key figures in its development, such as Viktor Frankl and Phillip Shaver. In the third lecture, we think about how attachment has been measured, including Mary Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’ and Mary Main’s ‘Adult Attachment Interview’. Next, we focus on the role of caregiver sensitivity in attachment, reviewing the Grossman model of parental attachment roles. In the fifth lecture, we introduce language, considering the role it plays in attachment through the lens of Grice’s principles of effective communication. In the sixth and final lecture, we explore attachment theory across different cultures, addressing the field’s historical focus on WEIRD participants, and Margaret Mead’s challenge to John Bowlby’s founding theories.
Jeremy Holmes is a visiting professor of psychology at the University of Exeter. He is a consultant psychiatrist and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who specialises in attachment theory. Professor Holmes has authored a number of books on attachment theory, which explore its history, as well as bringing it together with modern psychoanalytical theory. Some of Professor Holmes’ recent publications include ‘Friston’s free energy principle: new life for psychoanalysis?’ (2021) and ‘Therapeutic mechanisms in attachment-informed psychotherapy in adults’ (2021).
Cite this Lecture
Holmes, J. (2021, October 13). Attachment – History, Models and Culture - The History of Attachment Theory [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/attachment-theory/the-history-of-attachment-theory
Holmes, J. "Attachment – History, Models and Culture – The History of Attachment Theory." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 13 Oct 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/attachment-theory/the-history-of-attachment-theory