Ainsworth's Strange Situation

  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 02-05-19 16:28
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  • Ainsworth's Strange Situation
    • Aims
      • To test stranger anxiety, separation anxiety and the secure base
      • To test the quality of attachments
    • Procedure
      • 5 categories recorded on a scale from 1-7
      • Seeking proximity; maintaining contact; avoiding interaction; resisting interaction; search behaviours
      • 106 infants observed
    • Findings
      • 15% were insecure-avoidant
      • 70% were securely attached
      • 15% were insecure-resistant
    • Evaluation
      • Artificial set-up as laboratory-based; lacks ecological validity
      • Difficult to generalise as sample from same area and age group
        • Sample bias and lacks population validity
      • Standardised procedures and high control means that it is easy to replicate to check reliability
        • Multiple observers increases inter-rater reliability
      • Unethical as unnecessarily causes stress to children
      • Focusses too much on infants' behaviour and not the mothers'
    • Insecure-avoidant
      • Willing to explore; low stranger anxiety; no separation anxiety; avoid contact on return
    • Securely attached
      • Keen to explore; high stranger anxiety; easy to calm; enthusiastic on return
    • Insecure-resistant
      • Unwilling to explore; high stranger anxiety; high separation anxiety; seek and reject contact on return


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