Emerging Trends in Attachment Studies

Emerging Trends in Attachment Studies

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4984-0.ch005


This chapter reports some of the most recent developments in attachment studies that are gaining interest in the current literature. In particular, it introduces two concepts attracting the attention of marketing scholars: “brand love” and “brand hate.” Although the concepts can be considered as the extremes of an emotional continuum, they cannot be considered the opposites of each other because of their different genesis. After stating what is meant by “brand love” and “brand hate,” the chapter reports the main measurement scales used in extant studies and critically evaluates them. The discussion is then completed with a brief introduction to two additional concepts of attachment that relate to attachment to digital artefacts (i.e., social media) and attachment to service firms.
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Brand Love

Whether attachment and love are the same constructs and have the same meaning is an ongoing matter of debate in the academic literature. Psychologists tend to consider these constructs equal and to use the words “love” and “attachment” as synonyms. For example, Shaver et al. (1996) argued that love is a basic emotion of humans which, because it is equally characterized by individuals’ search for proximity maintenance, can be considered the same as “attachment” (Bowlby, 1969; 1979). In this regard, suffice it to note that Hazan and Shaver (1987), who were the first psychologists that tried to extend Bowlby’s theory of child attachment to adult relationships (see Chapter 1), declared that attachment theory is well suited to explaining the relational bond in adult romantic relationships. As they suggested, “romantic love is an attachment process (a process of becoming attached), experienced somewhat differently by people because of variations in their attachment histories” (p. 511). In their research, in fact, they were mostly concerned with identifying such variations and explaining them by means of attachment theory. Yet they paid no attention to distinguishing love from attachment.

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