Mary Ainsworth - Stranger Situation - Psychology Unit 1

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The Strange Situation

Stage 1: Observer takes mother and infant into room, then leaves them after 30 seconds

Stage 2: Mother allows baby to explore – stimulates play if necessary (3 minutes)

Stage 3: Stranger enters the room, stranger is silent (1 minute), talks with mother (1 minute), then approaches baby (1 minute)

Stage 4: Mother leaves and stranger interacts with baby (3 minutes or less if baby is destressed)

Stage 5: Mother returns and greats and/or comforts baby, settles baby in play, leaves, saying “bye, bye” (3 minutes or more if needs to settle the baby)

Stage 6: Baby is alone (3 minutes or less if baby is distressed)

Stage 7: Stranger enters and interacts with child (3 minutes or less if baby is distressed)

Stage 8: Mother enters to greet and/or comfort the child. Stranger leaves. Reunion behaviour is observed (3 minutes)

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Emily Moodie


There was a chart on here, but when i saved it the chart just turned into notes, hopefully you can still get the jist? I cant edit it now for some reason.

Tanya Parwany


i didnt get it as much, it was a bit confusing.

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