Ainsworth's strange situation

  • Created by: dglvz
  • Created on: 08-05-20 15:15
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  • Strange Situation
    • Aim: To examine how infants behaved under conditions of mild stress
      • Procedure: Infant placed in a 9x9 foot space which allows monitoring of movements. 8 episodes, observers record infants behaviour using behavioural catagories
    • Ep 1: Child and parent play. Ep 2: Child plays in front of parent sitting (secure base). Ep 3: Stranger enters and greets parent (stranger anxiety)
    • Ep 4: Parent leaves infant with stranger  (separation anxiety) Ep 5: Parent returns and comforts and stranger leaves (reunion behaviour) Ep 6: Parent leaves infant alone (separation anxiety)
    • Ep 7: Stranger enters to offer comfort (stranger anxiety) Ep 8: Parent returns and offers comfort (reunion behaviour)
    • Findings: 3 main behaviour patterns, Secure Attachment, Insecure resistant and Insecure avoidant
      • Secure attachment: Most common, characterised by: Seeking comfort from stranger, Some distress at separation and  using parent as secure base
        • Insecure avoidant: This is characterised by having little response to separation, exploring without parent present (no secure base) and not seeking comfort from stranger
          • Insecure Resistant is characterised by: Extreme distress at separation, distress at stranger and conflicting desires for and against contact
    • Evaluation - Validity support: Attachment types went on to strongly predict later development. Secure ones had better relationships meanwhile insecure resistant had more negative outcomes eg bullying mental health issues
      • Evaluation - Lack of population validity: Cultural differences in childhood make for different responses to the **. Japanese children rarely leave their mother, therefore they would react with distress to separation and this would lead to many insecure attachment types which means the findings are not generalisable and the ** is culture bound


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