Psychologist Harry Harlow did a series of studies with baby monkeys to demonstrate the theory of attachment, or dependence, of the young on a parent figure. In these studies the young were seperated from their parents and put into a lab. When given the choice of a monkey shaped wicker figure or a soft, blanket covered figure (both with bottles of formula) the infant monkeys routinely picked the softer of the two.

This may or may not be where Wickernipple gets their name.

This information is available in any beginning Psychology text and the APA website-

In E-mail: A file that is included with the E-mail message, typically not containing plain text.

In Internet (SMTP) E-mail, there are two widely supported ways to use attachments: uuencode (now getting rare) and MIME (these days the preferred format - for non-textual formats, MIME uses base64 encoding).

These days, the file attachments are considered a small security threat; Many people use Microsoft Word documents as their "E-mail format" and this may lead to a virus epidemy. Some viruses even sent executable attachments that look like normal file attachments to untrained eye (see ILOVEYOU). Of course, there's no such problem with image files and such things that do not have executable content.

Attachment is one of the most important concepts in developmental psychology. It has to do with the impact of the early, close relationships formed between infants and their caregivers. Human newborns are some of the worlds most helpless creatures, therefore they form a strong attachment to a caregiver which is often called bonding. This is critically important to an infant's survival.

Attachment is a legal mechanism for preventing a civil defendant from getting rid of property that may be necessary to satisfy a judgment.

When real property is attached, the attachment takes the form of a lien on the property, which "clouds the title" and prevents the defendant from selling the property.

Personal property can also be attached in one of two ways. If the defendant physically possesses the property, like a car or a stock certificate, the sheriff can take the property away and impound it until the matter is settled. If someone else physically possesses the property, like a bank possessing the money in a bank account, the sheriff can issue an order to the possessor to hand over the property until the matter is settled. (This latter process is also known as garnishment and is frequently used to squeeze money out of people who haven't been paying child support.)

If the plaintiff ultimately wins the case, the attached assets will be sold, and the proceeds used to pay down the plaintiff's claim. If the defendant ultimately wins, the sheriff returns the attached assets, and the defendant may be entitled to claim his legal fees and other expenses from the plaintiff (as well as additional damages for mental distress if the plaintiff acted with malice).

In the United States, attachment is a matter of state law, but it must conform to the requirements of due process found in the Constitution. In the 1991 case of Connecticut v. Doehr, the Supreme Court held that a state attachment statute must at least provide for:

  1. notice to the defendant (which may be prior to or at the same time as the attachment),
  2. a hearing with the defendant shortly after the attachment,
  3. that the plaintiff post a bond to protect the defendant in case the attachment is found to be improper, and
  4. that attachment not be granted absent "extraordinary circumstances" that indicate a "heightened threat to the plaintiff's interests" in the property.

(Cf. Fuentes v. Shevin, a similar case dealing with the provisional remedy of replevin.)

This last requirement is interpreted to allow attachment when a plaintiff's claim will probably succeed "on the merits," and when it appears that the claim may not be satisfied unless the defendant's assets are locked down immediately. Judges generally have great discretion to determine whether such circumstances exist.

One common basis for determining the risk to the plaintiff is by showing, through some sort of evidence, that the defendant is defrauding (or is about to defraud) their creditors by hiding assets, removing assets from the state or encumbering assets (for instance, by obtaining a mortgage on their house).

Attachment can also be used against a defendant who resides outside the personal jurisdiction of the court but owns real property within the court's jurisdiction. This gives the court "quasi in rem" jurisdiction so long as the property has some relationship with the claim being asserted.

At*tach"ment (#), n. [F. attachment.]


The act attaching, or state of being attached; close adherence or affection; fidelity; regard; an passion of affection that binds a person; as, an attachment to a friend, or to a party.


That by which one thing is attached to another; connection; as, to cut the attachments of a muscle.

The human mind . . . has exhausted its forces in the endeavor to rend the supernatural from its attachment to this history. I. Taylor.


Something attached; some adjunct attached to an instrument, machine, or other object; as, a sewing machine attachment (i. e., a device attached to a sewing machine to enable it to do special work, as tucking, etc.).

4. Giv.Law (a)

A seizure or taking into custody by virtue of a legal process.


The writ or percept commanding such seizure or taking.

⇒ The term is applied to a seizure or taking either of persons or property. In the serving of process in a civil suit, it is most generally applied to the taking of property, whether at common law, as a species of distress, to compel defendant's appearance, or under local statutes, to satisfy the judgment the plaintiff may recover in the action. The terms attachment and arrest are both applied to the taking or apprehension of a defendant to compel an appearance in a civil action. Attachments are issued at common law and in chancery, against persons for contempt of court. In England, attachment is employed in some cases where capias is with us, as against a witness who fails to appear on summons. In some of the New England States a writ of attachment is a species of mesne process upon which the property of a defendant may be seized at the commencement of a suit and before summons to him, and may be held to satisfy the judgment the plaintiff may recover. In other States this writ can issue only against absconding debtors and those who conceal themselves. See Foreign, Garnishment, Trustee process.

Bouvier. Burrill. Blackstone.

Syn. -- Attachment, Affection. The leading idea of affection is that of warmth and tenderness; the leading idea of attachment is that of being bound to some object by strong and lasting ties. There is more of sentiment (and sometimes of romance) in affection, and more of principle in preserving attachment. We speak of the ardor of the one, and the fidelity of the other. There is another distinction in the use and application of these words. The term attachment is applied to a wider range of objects than affection. A man may have a strong attachment to his country, to his profession, to his principles, and even to favorite places; in respect to none of these could we use the word affection.


© Webster 1913.

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