notes on strange situation, cultural variation, and learning theory

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Psychology revision notes for the strange situation cultural variations of
attachment and learning theory
Types of attachment
Type A- insecure avoidant
If a child is separated from the parent then they don't so any particular
signs of distress, they can be comforted by a stranger. When their parent
returns to them they don't pay much attention to them.
These children often tend to grow up to be shy withdrawn people
Type B- secure
If the child becomes separated from the parent then they become
distressed. When the mother comes back the child is positive and happy.
The baby is avoidant of the stranger when alone but friendly to it when
mother is present too.
These children grow up to be happy, confident, people and find it easy to
make friends.
Type C- insecure resistant
If a child is separated from its parent then they become intensely stressed.
When the mother comes back the child will push the mother away or refuse
to be comforted. The child becomes stressed when a stranger is in the room.
This child will grow up to become a attention seeking person.
The strange situation- Mary Ainsworth
Controlled observation
Lasted for 21 minutes with 8 stages
Involved the use of 26 middle class American families.
Aim was to investigate how different children react to different situations
of stress but also to new situations.
1. Mother, baby, observer. Observer introduces mother and baby to
2. Mother, baby. Baby plays with mother present
3. Stranger, mother, baby. Stranger enters. After the first minute they
are silent, second minute they talk to mother and after third minute
they approach the baby.
4. Stranger, baby mother leaves and stranger and baby interact
5. Mother, baby- mother returns and comforts baby, stranger leaves.
6. Baby- mother leaves and baby is left alone
7. Stranger, baby- stranger enters again

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Mother, baby- mother returns and greets baby and the stranger
Things that were investigated:
Attachment between mother and baby
Stranger anxiety
Separation anxiety
Reunion behaviour
66% type b
22% type A
12% type C
Some babies became distressed with strangers but some aren't bothered
by them.…read more

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Emotional availability (nurture)
Parents need to know how to react to their child and how to respond
So as well as caring and responsive, parents also need to respond correctly
to a child's physical and emotional needs.
Cultural variations of attachment
They try to make their children more independent by ignoring them and
withdrawing attention and love.…read more

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The type of attachment is mostly consistent in the 8 countries as they all
have the most type b by far followed by type a then type c. However
Israel and Japan have more type c than type a children compared the rest
of the countries who are the opposite.
The reason for the differences is because children in different countries
are brought up differently. Also type b is the most common as it is passed
on by genetics.…read more

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Biological drive
Classical conditioning
About feelings and reflexes
About associating- we learn to associate mum with happiness because she is
a source of food
Mum is the neutral stimulus to the baby when its first born, this means to
the baby the mum isn't a special figure in its life yet, might as well be just
an object in the babies view.
Unconditioned stimulus- something that makes us happy even if we have
never seen it before.…read more


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