Mary Ainsworth's Strange Situation

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What is the aim of the strange situation?
To see how infants behave under conditions of mild stress and novelty.
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What does the strange situation test?
Stranger anxiety & separation anxiety
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What does the strange situation encourage?
Exploration
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Describe episode 1 of the strange situation?
Parent sits while infant plays (tests exploration + secure base)
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Describe episode 2 of the strange situation?
Stranger enters and talks to parent (tests stranger anxiety)
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Describe episode 3 of the strange situation?
Parent leaves, infant plays, stranger offers comfort if needed (tests separation anxiety)
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Describe episode 4 of the strange situation?
Parent returns and strangers leaves (tests reunion behaviour)
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Describe episode 5 of the strange situation?
Parent leaves so infant is alone (tests separation anxiety)
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Describe episode 6 of the strange situation?
Stranger enters and interacts with infant (tests stranger anxiety)
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Describe episode 7 of the strange situation?
Parent returns and offers comfort (tests reunion behaviour)
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What % of infants were securely attached in the Strange Situation?
66
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What % of infants were insecurely attached in the strange situation?
Insecure avoidant (22) - Insecure resistant (12)
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What is Type A attachment?
Insecure Avoidant
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What is Type B attachment?
Secure
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What is Type C attachment?
Insecure-resistant
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Give some characteristics of insecure-avoidant?
Not bothered when caregiver comes back; explores freely; not bothered about stranger; not upset when caregiver goes.
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Give some characteristics of insecure-resistant?
Does not like stranger at all; cross with caregiver on return; not easily comforted; does not explore; extremely upset when caregiver leaves.
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Give some characteristics of secure?
Moderately upset when caregiver leaves; explores happily when caregiver present; readily comforted by caregiver on return; quite wary of stranger.
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Who provides support for the classifications of attachment?
Prior & Glaser (2006)
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Why does the Strange situation raise ethical issues?
Infants experience distress.
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Why might the Strange Situation be culturally biased?
It was created and tested in the USA.
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Which study shows cultural differences in the SS?
Van Ijzendoorn et al
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What does the strange situation test?

Back

Stranger anxiety & separation anxiety

Card 3

Front

What does the strange situation encourage?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Describe episode 1 of the strange situation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Describe episode 2 of the strange situation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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