Re-evaluation of the relevance of imprinting in Bowlby’s attachment theory


Publication co-authored by Juan Pablo Robledo, MICARE young researcher, together with Ian Cross, Luisa Boada-Bayona and Nadine Demogeot.

The following paper seeks to review and re-evaluate attachment theory, a key construction in explorations of the human bond; based on psychoanalysis, developmental psychology and John Bowlby’s ethology. This particular author has an interest in the concept of “imprinting” from another researcher, Lorenz. It is this concept and its relevance that Robledo and other researchers seek to scrutinize, since they believe that a detailed investigation of the relationship between imprinting and attachment is still pending. The authors critically review literature around imprinting theories in general.

Main conclusions:

The analysis highlights the relevance of “proto-attachment” phases, before what was proposed by Bowlby; and the role of communication signals during such processes.

It is proposed that these elements should be considered when studying the early social behavior of the human being, particularly when investigating the gaze and the communicative acts of the infant.

Foto de la mano de un bebé tomando el dedo de la mano de una persona adulta.