• Psychology

At the zoo

Length of workshop 50 mins


We can learn a lot about our own behaviours by looking at our close relatives. In this walking tour we visit a number of Chester Zoo’s primate habitats.

Building on the works of Bowlby, Lorenz, Ainsworth and Harlow, students will investigate attachment in our great apes and explore weaning, maturity and inter-birth intervals. Comparing characteristics of attachment in humans with our closest relatives.

We’ll also discuss social organisation, communication, intelligence and learning, as well as observing what behaviours they are up to when we arrive at the exhibits.

As this is an outdoor session, it’s important to ensure that participants are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions.

Age group: Post 16

Duration: 50 minutes

Capacity: 25 students

Meeting point: Learning Centre

Cost: £28

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Please note: Chester Zoo discovery workshops can be adapted to your learners needs and abilities, please speak to one of the team to find out more.

Curriculum Link


3.1.3 Attachment

  • Caregiver-infant interactions in humans: reciprocity and interactional synchrony.
  • Stages of attachment identified by Schaffer. Multiple attachments and the role of the father.
  • Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow.
  • Explanations of attachment: learning theory and Bowlby’s monotropic theory. The concepts of a critical period and an internal working model.
  • Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’. Types of attachment: secure, insecure-avoidant and insecure-resistant.

7.1 Attachment, deprivation and privation

7.1.1 Bowlby’s work on attachment.

7.1.2 Ainsworth’s work on attachment, including types of attachment and the Strange Situation procedure.

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