Attachment Parent-Child Interaction Psychology

Attachment theory: what people get wrong about pop psychology’s latest trend for explaining relationships

In his newest post for The Conversation UK, Dr Vrticka looks into the recent confusion surrounding attachment theory. Unfortunately, since its development by John Bowlby about 70 years ago, several parallel versions of attachment theory emerged within many different domains (developmental and social psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry as well as child welfare practice, etc.), with little overlap between them.

Dr Vrticka mentions some of the most common misconceptions and explains what attachment theory actually means. He then points out which steps attachment researchers are taking to tackle the issue.

The full blog post can be accessed here:

Dr Pascal Vrticka is a social neuroscientist with strong ties to developmental & social psychology. His research focuses on the psychological, behavioural, biological, and brain basis of human social interaction, attachment and caregiving. Besides measuring neurobiological responses to different kinds of social versus non-social information in single participants using (functional) magnetic resonance imaging ([f]MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), Dr Vrticka most recently started to assess bio-behavioural synchrony in interacting pairs using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning. The main question thereby is how romantic partners and parents with their children get “in sync” when they solve problems together or talk to each other. Dr Vrticka furthermore relates the obtained individual and dyadic behavioural, biological, and brain measures to interindividual differences in relationship quality – particularly attachment and caregiving. In doing so, he refers to attachment theory that provides a suitable theoretical framework on how we initiate and maintain interpersonal relationships across the life span. With his research, Dr Vrticka is promoting a new area of investigation: the social neuroscience of human attachment.

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