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Attachment – Psychological Theories

5. Early Attachment and Later Relationships

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about some research into how early attachment influences relationships formed in adult life, including with a romantic partner or as a parent, focusing in particular on: (i) the so-called ‘Love Quiz’ study (Hazan and Shaver 1987) which found that there was a correlation between the quality of attachment to parents in childhood and the quality of attachment to romantic partners in later life; (ii) the adult attachment interview, developed by George, Kaplan and Main in the 1990s; (iii) its findings on the correlation between a person’s early attachment to their parents and their later relationship, as a parent, with their own child; (iv) some criticisms of this research.


In this course, Dr Emily Burdett (University of Nottingham) explores psychological theories of attachment as the close emotional bond formed between two individuals. In the first lecture, we think about John Bowlby’s research into the mother-infant relationship. In the second lecture, we explore two studies of attachment in non-human animals by Harry Harlow and Konrad Lorenz. In the third lecture, we think about Mary Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’ experiment as a way of measuring the quality of attachment between an infant and a caregiver. Next, we look at two Romanian orphan studies and think about how the lack of strong attachment relationships in early life affects a child’s later development. In the fifth and final lecture, we consider the influence of early attachment on later relationships, including with a romantic partner and as a parent.


Dr Emily Burdett is interested in how culture and cognition influence our understanding of the world around us. Her research has particularly explored the cognitive and social processes that influence the evolution of 'culture.' Her work uses an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and experimental approach to explore questions about how children and adults form concepts, how they learn and who they learn from, and when they innovate and become creative. These questions motivate current projects exploring the origin and transmission of culture, the cultural and cognitive underpinnings of religion and morality, and the motivations for learning and creativity.

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APA style

Burdett, E. (2019, September 27). Attachment – Psychological Theories - Early Attachment and Later Relationships [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Burdett, E. "Attachment – Psychological Theories – Early Attachment and Later Relationships." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Sep 2019,

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