Schaffer and Emerson

  • Schaffer and Emerson (1964) conducted longitudinal study on 60 Glasgow infants, the infants were from working-class homes and they studied the infants every month for the first 18 months of their lives.
  • The mothers were asked to keep note of the infants reactions in certain situations like being left with other people, left in their pram outside the house, left in pram outside shops, etc.
  • Schaffer and Emerson came up with the stages of attachment as a result of the study.
    Stage 1 - Asocial stage: 0-2 months. Baby's behaviour with non-human objects and humans is similar. Babies show some preference for familiar adults and are happier in the presence of humans.
    Stage 2 - Indiscriminate attachment: 2-7 months. Preference for people rather than objects. Accept comfort from anyone (indiscriminate) and do not shows separation or stranger anxiety.
    Stage 3 - Specific attachment: Around 7 months. Start to display stranger anxiety. Has formed a specific attachment, known as the primary attachment figure, this will be the person who responds most to the baby. 
    Stage 4 - Multiple attachments: After first attachment is formed. Baby will start to form secondary attachments. By one year they will have formed multiple attachments.
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Schaffer and Emerson Evaluation

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The Strange Situation

Mary Ainsworth (1969) developed this study to observe key attachment behaviours. This was a controlled observation, with controlled conditions with a two-way mirror for the psychologists to observe. 
The procedure was as follows:
0. Child and caregiver go into an unfamiliar playroom. 1. The child is encouraged to explore 2. A stranger comes in, tries to interact with child 3. Caregiver leaves child and stranger 4. Caregiver returns, stranger leaves 5. Caregiver leaves child alone 6. Stranger returns 7. Caregiver returns and is reunited with child

Ainsworth found there were patterns in the way infants behaved. She identified that there were three main types of attachment:
☆ Secure attachment (type B): The infant will explore but occassionally go back to carer. Moderate stranger/separation anxiety.
☆ Insecure-avoidant attachment (type A): The infant will explore and won't go back to carer. No stranger/separation anxiety. Not bothered when caregiver leaves.
☆ Insecure-resistant attachment (type C): Won't explore much, needs to be near carer. Huge stranger/separation anxiety. 

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The Strange Situation Evaluation

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