For Journal Entry 1, you should write 1-2 pages describing how attachment theory applies to your own adult relationships. You might want to visit the website below and complete the Relationship Questionnaire to measure your own attachment style. Reflect on the attraction theories covered in chapters 4 and 6. What attracts you to another person? How do these theories of attraction apply to the characteristics you find attractive? .
Attachment theory is a prominent framework in understanding human relationships, originally proposed by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1960s. It suggests that individuals develop internal working models of relationships based on their early experiences with their primary caregivers, which shape their patterns of relating to others throughout their lives (Bowlby, 1969). While initially focused on parent-child relationships, attachment theory has been extended to explain adult romantic relationships as well.
In the context of my own adult relationships, attachment theory offers a valuable lens to understand and analyze my patterns of relating to my partners. By exploring my attachment style, which can be assessed using measures such as the Relationship Questionnaire (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991), I can gain insights into my preferences, needs, and behaviors in relationships. The Relationship Questionnaire assesses two dimensions of attachment style: anxiety and avoidance. Anxiety reflects concerns about rejection, abandonment, and a tendency to seek reassurance, while avoidance pertains to discomfort with closeness, a desire for independence, and reluctance to rely on others.
Having completed the Relationship Questionnaire, I found that I scored relatively low on anxiety and avoidance, indicating that I have a secure attachment style. This means that I generally have confidence in the availability and responsiveness of my partners, feel comfortable with intimacy, and effectively balance independence and connection in my relationships. Consequently, I am more likely to establish and maintain satisfying, stable, and trusting relationships.
To understand my attractions in relationships, I will now turn to the theories of attraction discussed in chapters 4 and 6 of our course material. These theories shed light on the factors that contribute to the initial formation and maintenance of interpersonal bonds. According to the similarity-attraction theory, individuals are more likely to be attracted to those who share similar characteristics, values, attitudes, and interests (Byrne, 1971). This is because similarity promotes familiarity and a sense of validation, enhancing interpersonal comfort and reducing uncertainty. Personally, I have noticed that I am often drawn to individuals who possess similar hobbies, goals, and values as mine. The presence of these shared qualities provides a foundation for rapport and mutual understanding, thereby fostering relationship development and compatibility.
Another theory that applies to my attractions is the proximity-attraction principle. This theory suggests that individuals are more likely to develop romantic feelings towards those with whom they frequently interact or are physically close to (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950). Proximity increases the opportunities for contact, leading to familiarity, and potentially deepening the emotional connection over time. Reflecting on my own experiences, I have observed that I am naturally more attracted to individuals I encounter regularly in my daily life, such as coworkers, classmates, or friends within my social circle. This increased exposure and interaction pave the way for developing a closer bond and exploring a potential romantic relationship.
Furthermore, the theory of reward theory of attraction posits that individuals are attracted to those who provide them with positive and rewarding experiences (Berscheid & Reis, 1998). Rewards can range from physical attractiveness and humor to emotional support and shared experiences. Personally, I find individuals who possess a good sense of humor, are kind and supportive, and engage in stimulating conversations to be particularly appealing. These characteristics contribute to positive interactions and create a sense of fulfillment, fostering a deeper attraction and emotional connection.
In addition to the theories mentioned above, attachment theory itself can also shed light on my attractions in relationships. Securely attached individuals like myself are more likely to seek partners who also exhibit secure attachment characteristics. This is because a secure partner provides a safe and trusting base from which to explore and navigate the world, offering support, comfort, and acceptance. Secure individuals are more likely to be attracted to someone who is emotionally available, responsive, and reliable, as these qualities align with their internal working models of relationships characterized by trust, security, and intimacy.
Overall, attachment theory and the theories of attraction discussed in our course material provide a theoretical framework to understand my own attractions and preferences in adult relationships. By understanding my attachment style and examining the factors that contribute to attraction, such as similarities, proximity, and reward, I can gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of my relationships and how my past experiences and unconscious preferences shape my choices and behaviors in forming and maintaining intimate connections. This self-reflection and analysis can ultimately contribute to a more conscious and fulfilling approach to my adult relationships.