Emotional Attachment vs Psychological Attachment: Difference and Comparison

The term attachment holds a lot of emotions and it explains feelings that cannot be put into words. 

It could be called an invisible connection between two people or even between an organism and another. 

Emotions aren’t restricted to humans alone. Animals have emotions, and so do plants. Humans don’t see it.

Key Takeaways

  1. Emotional attachment involves strong affection and connection between individuals, while psychological attachment refers to a person’s mental dependence on someone or something.
  2. Emotional attachment can be healthy and foster positive relationships, but psychological attachment may lead to unhealthy dependencies and control issues.
  3. Emotional attachment can exist without psychological attachment, and vice versa, as they are distinct concepts with different implications for personal well-being.

Emotional Attachment vs Psychological Attachment

Emotional attachment is based on personal experiences and can be influenced by shared experiences, positive interactions, and physical proximity. Psychological attachment is based on trust, shared beliefs, and security and can be affected by past experiences, social norms, and cultural values.

Emotional Attachment vs Psychological Attachment

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Emotional attachment is something special that needs not be described in words to convey its significance.

It is common for people who have been in contact for a long to find themselves longing for each other no matter the distance.

Their contact isn’t just about talking and then leaving it at that. It involves a special heart-to-heart connection.

Psychological attachment can be considered equally significant as an emotional attachment. But the intensity of therelationshipnship between the individuals is limited to a certain extent.

There would barely be any longing for each other, and the need to see the person has its limitations to situations that demand it. Psychological attachment can be seen as professional sometimes.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEmotional AttachmentPsychological Attachment
Being in One Another’s Presence Boosts ConfidenceYesNot always
Seen Most in ChildrenYesNot necessarily
Mostly ProfessionalNoYes
It depends on the individualsYesDepends on the individuals
Nurtures The TalentsNot alwaysYes

What is Emotional Attachment?

Emotional attachment is an intimate relationship between two organisms or people.

People who are emotionally attached, in general, tend to have a powerful bond between themselves that is rarely obscured by petty issues.

Plenty of feelings pass between emotionally attached people,, and at times it isn’t easy to understand for someone outside thatrelationshipnship.

The best example of emotional attachment is between a baby and their parents or the one who looks after them.

Once babies automatically discover that there is someone who constantly keeps a check on them and makes sure their needs are taken care of, there forms an invisible bond.

This bond is something that the baby grows around, and it’s what gives the baby a sense of security around their parents.

Emotional attachment paves the way to anxiety and depression if they are made to stay away from their companion.

This sort of anxiety is seen in babies when taken away from their caretakers. They start crying and fussing.

For adults, this anxiety is shown in many different forms. Sadness is a common thing, along with depression, for the individuals affected.

When the emotional attachment might seem too overbearing for someone, they might start rejecting the other one.

Such sudden abandonment by someone who was once the closest might lead to clinical depression and might provoke them to do something dangerous.

Emotional attachment has plenty of advantages revolving around its dynamic range.

When someone is emotionally attached to another, the confidence of either is always boosted, and they are prompted to try out new things that might have once frightened them.

They won’t feel any pressure when they are around the ones who make them feel loved and special.

The ones who are emotionally attached to one another might start to show the behavioural characteristics of the other.

This indicates an undeniable connection that brings out their heart to enact the person they are attached to.

emotional attachment

What is Psychological Attachment?

Psychological attachment is a smooth form of mental attachment to someone, but involves no heart-to-heart connection.

People tend to have psychological attachments to those who might seem the most valuable to them.

This value is not measured with the heart but with a well-calculated mind.

Psychological attachments can seem like a logical solution to many problems.

It is seen between a professional and another individual who might seek their help at times of need.

The most common example of psychological attachment is between students and teachers.

A student might start getting attached to the teacher who helps them out in times of need and ensures they don’t fall in trouble.

The teacher becomes the student’s best mentor, and develops a bond that is similar to a parent and child in many ways.

The kind ofrelationshipnship between an employee and employer is also a psychological one.

The employee in need of help might approach their employer, and the employer makes sure that they don’t do anything wrong.

This might become a frequent scenario, and what forms between the two is a psychological attachment where one nurtures the other.

It is not common to see people who are in a psychological attachment to one another to be in a panic attack when they are separated.

There are no anxiety issues or persistent bouts of sadness when they don’t see each other for long.

In a psychological attachment, it’s rare to see the aura of the other person being carried on to the other.

No behavioural patterns might influence the other to take it on.

There is no feeling of security and safety feeling intertwined with a psychological attachment as, most of the time it’s a professional relationship.

Main Differences Between Emotional Attachment and Psychological Attachment

  1. Emotional attachment provides a sense of safety to the individuals involved in each other’s company, but this is not common for a psychological attachment.
  2. When being away from one another, a feeling of anxiety and depression is common between people who are emotionally attached but such sadness wouldn’t be seen for people who are psychologically attached.
  3. The behavioural characteristics of one in an emotionally attached relationship are common to be accepted by the other and carry out the same behaviour whereas such behavioural character takeovers are not common in psychological attachment.
  4. While psychological attachment is a professional relationship, emotional attachment is more personal.
  5. Emotional attachment tends to be more intimate and a deeper connection persists between the individuals, whereas in psychological attachment, there are no deep connections involved.
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296310002250
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/0021-9010.93.4.912

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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