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attachment theory

a theory that (a) postulates an evolutionarily advantageous need, especially in primates, to form close emotional bonds with significant others: specifically, a need for the young to maintain close proximity to and form bonds with their caregivers; and (b) characterizes the different types of relationships between human infants and caregivers. These relationships have been shown to affect the individual’s later emotional development and emotional stability. See also insecure attachment; secure attachment; Strange Situation. [originally developed by John Bowlby and later expanded by Mary D. Salter Ainsworth]

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Psychology term of the day

June 25th 2024



n. in generative grammar, a process in which certain grammatical rules can be repeatedly applied, with the output of each application being input to the next, in principle indefinitely. An example is the rule S→S and S, where S denotes a sentence; the rule is recursive because it can be used to generate a potentially infinite string of sentences conjoined by and. A well-known example of recursion is the nursery rhyme “The House that Jack Built” (This is the dog that worried the cat that killed the rat that ate the malt…). —recursive adj.