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Children who exhibit this pattern of behavior are often called secure.

In the strange situation, most children (i.e., about 60%) behave in the way implied by Bowlby's "normative" theory.

They become upset when the parent leaves the room, but, when he or she returns, they actively seek the parent and are easily comforted by him or her.

Bowlby argued that, over the course of evolutionary history, infants who were able to maintain proximity to an attachment figure via attachment behaviors would be more likely to survive to a reproductive age.

According to Bowlby, a motivational system, what he called the attachment behavioral system, was gradually "designed" by natural selection to regulate proximity to an attachment figure.

This essay has been written for people who are interested in learning more about research on adult attachment.

The theory of attachment was originally developed by John Bowlby (1907 - 1990), a British psychoanalyst who was attempting to understand the intense distress experienced by infants who had been separated from their parents.The attachment behavior system is an important concept in attachment theory because it provides the conceptual linkage between ethological models of human development and modern theories on emotion regulation and personality.According to Bowlby, the attachment system essentially "asks" the following fundamental question: Is the attachment figure nearby, accessible, and attentive?If the child perceives the answer to this question to be "yes," he or she feels loved, secure, and confident, and, behaviorally, is likely to explore his or her environment, play with others, and be sociable.If, however, the child perceives the answer to this question to be "no," the child experiences anxiety and, behaviorally, is likely to exhibit attachment behaviors ranging from simple visual searching on the low extreme to active following and vocal signaling on the other (see Figure 1).Second, she provided the first empirical taxonomy of individual differences in infant attachment patterns.

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