Schaffer and Emmerson 1964

this lays out the aims, method, findings and evaluation of the schaffer and emmerson study, 1964

  • Created by: tiaayana
  • Created on: 05-05-20 20:08
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  • Schaffer & Emmerson, 1964
    • aim of the study:
      • to find the age at which attachments start and how intense these are
    • method:
      • they studied 60 Glaswegian babies from working class families
        • they were observed every 4 weeks until they were 1 then again at 18 months
          • interviews were also conducted with the mothers about the infant
    • variables:
      • separation anxiety
      • stranger anxiety
    • findings:
      • the first specific attachment was formed by 50% of the babies between 25 and 32 weeks
      • multiple attachments began after the first attachment was formed
      • by 18 momnths, 31% had 5 or more attachments
    • 4 stages of human development:
      • asocial
        • indiscriminate attachment
          • specific attachment
            • multiple attachment
              • once the primary attachment is made, the infant can go and make attachments with many others
              • 29% made a secondary attachment within one month of making the primary attachment
              • there is not though to be a limit of attachments, but they may vary in strength
            • 7-11 months
            • expresses distress when separated from one particular care-giver
              • 65% of primary attachments were the mother
            • shows signs of wariness when in the company of stranger (stranger anxiety)
          • 6 weeks-7 months
          • infants smile at familiar faces and enjoy human company
          • they don't show stranger or separation anxiety
        • 0-6 weeks
        • infants respond favourably (e.g smile) to human and non-human stimuli
        • babies respond equally to all care-givers
        • evaluation:
          • babies are very young, have poor co-ordination and are quite immobile
          • not much to observe
      • evaluation:
        • issues with stage theories:
          • difficult to put human behaviour inro stages
          • presents human development as inflexible
          • states you must have single attachments before multiple but this isn't always the case
            • cultural bias:
              • these stages were created in the west
              • in collectivist cultures (e.e China, India), raising a child is done by multiple people so multiple attachments are formed before single- Van Izjendoorn
              • the study lacks external validity as it can't be generalised to other cultures
    • evaluation:
      • sample bias:
        • working class population- the study may not apply to other social groups
        • Glasgow- the findings could be different in other populations
        • 1960s- if the same experiment was carried out today, the results would most likely be different
      • self-report of mothers:
        • they may not record if they were less sensitive to their child's needs
          • questions the internal validity of the study
        • they want to present themselves in a positive light
          • questions the internal validity of the study
        • prone to bias and inaccuracy
        • good internal validity
          • natural environment
          • high ecological validity
          • baby's behaviour wasn't affected by the presence of others


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