Ainsworth - A Strange Situation
Aim: To produce a method of assessing quality of attachment by placing infant in a situation of mild stress (encouraging seeking comfort behaviour) and of novelty (encouraging exploration behaviour).These two behaviours are indicators of quality of attachment.
- 100 middle-class American infants and mothers took part.
- A method of controlled obersation was used. This meant observing infants with their mothers in a set of predetermined activites. All sessions, exculding the first one, took three minutes.
- Mother and child are in the room together in room, child can play with the toys left in the room.
- Stranger enters the room and attempts to interact with the child.
- Mother leaves the room, stranger still interacting with the child.
- Mother returns to the room, stranger leaves.
- Mother leaves the room again, child left on their own.
- Stranger returns and attempts again to interact with the child.
- Mother returns, stranger leaves again.
- Observers record the behaviour of bother mother and child, in particular the following:
- Seperation anxiety: the unease the infant shows when the caregiver leaves.
- Infant's willingness to explore.
- Stranger anxiety: infant's response to presence of…