The strange situation

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  • The Strange Situation
    • Procedure
      • 1) Observer introduces mother and baby to experimental room
      • 2) Mother is passive while baby explores
      • 3) Stranger enters the room
      • 4) First separation episode. Mother leaves child alone with the stranger, stranger interacts with child
      • 5) First reunion episode. Mother returns to greet/comfort baby
      • 6) Second separation episode
      • 7) Continuation of second episode. Stranger enters and interacts with baby
      • 8) Second reunion episode. Mother returns, stranger leaves
    • Strengths
      • Controlled observation- valid results, fewer factors affecting behaviour
      • Easy to replicate, other studies found similar results- more valid/reliable, findings consistent
    • Weaknesses
      • Low EV- children may act differently to how they would at home
      • Lacks PV- only one group of children from one area studied
      • Deterministic- Theory ignores later life experiences/growing up
      • Child may have different types of attachment with different people e.g. fathers
      • Ethical issues- children being deliberatley distressed and their reactions are unpredictable


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