The Strange Situation

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  • Created by: meredith
  • Created on: 21-09-13 17:45
Natural experiment, Controlled Observation
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Independent Variable
Types of attachment (naturally occuring IV)
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Dependent Variable
Reunion behaviour
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Extraneous variables
Standardised procedure in controlled observation e.g. separations from CG and stages lasted set amount of time to limit effect of EV
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Target population
All american infants
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Potential that mothers suffer distress if realised cause for concern if an appropriate attachment hasn't yet formed or its weak
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Controlled observation with 8 stages which lasts 20 mins
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Procedure 1
Quality of interaction
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Quality of interaction
Communication, exploration, proximity, eye contact?
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Procedure 2
Separation from CG
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Separation from caregiver
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Procedure 3
Reaction to stranger
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Reaction to stranger
Stranger anxiety?
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Procedure 4
Reunuion behaviour
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Reunion behaviour
Settling quickly?
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Secure Attachment (70%)
Good interactions with CG, separation protest, stranger anxiety, joy at reunion and settles quickly
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Anxious Insecure Avoidant Attachment (20%)
No interaction, no separation protest, no stranger anxiety, no reunion behaviour, Approach Avoidance and Distant CG
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Anxious Ambivalent Resistant (10%)
Some initial exploration, very distressed at separation, stranger anxiety, reunion behaviour clingy but also angry, doesn't settle quickly, Insecure Relationship
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To investigate different types of attachment
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Valid and relaiable test of attachment type- secure better for emotional, cognitive and social development- infant feels less anxiety- less blockage to stimulation- Anxiety blocks stimulation and development as it takes attention away
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Strength 1
Implications are it could be used as a tool to identify CG's who require extra support to improve relationship and development of infant
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Strength 2
Gathers lots of info on attachment behaviours in small time (time efficient)
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Strength 3
Replications of research and other measures of attcachment type suggest its valid and reliable measure of attachment
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Limitation 1
Main and Soloman (1990) published finfings few years after ** and found infants could be classified as 4th category- Disorganisation- so some infants were missclassified as D attachment was probably confused with AAR so lower validity in these years
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Unable to organise response to distress
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Limitation 2
** developed in USA so may not be suitable for measuring attachment types in other cultures so might not have POPULATION VALIDITY and must be cautious before generalising results
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Miyake et al (1985)
said Japanese infans weren't used to separation so were very distressed in ** therefore look AAR- thus may not work well or in valid way in Japan
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Independent Variable


Types of attachment (naturally occuring IV)

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Dependent Variable


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Extraneous variables


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Target population


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