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Psychology AS Attachment lesson 3

The strange situation and types of attachment

Amanda Lane

on 23 November 2014

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Transcript of Psychology AS Attachment lesson 3

Mary Ainsworth
Ainsworth worked alongside Bowlby in the 1950's. She developed a method of measuring the quality of attachment by using a procedure known as
The Strange Situation
Using the information from the video clip and the sheet, outline in your own words the experiment using these sub-headings:
Aim of the experiment
How the experiment was conducted
Findings (results) of the experiment
Evaluation (good and bad points)
What is the INDEPENDENT VARIABLE (IV) in the Ainsworth experiment?
Validity refers to whether a test of measurement actually measures what it is intended to measure. For example, the strange situation is intended to measure attachment types, however psychologists argue that it merely measures the quality of the parent-child relationship.
Reliability refers to the consistency of the experiment method. For example if the experiment was to be conducted again would the results be the same?
The variable in the experiment that is controlled by the researcher
The variable that is not controlled by the researcher and has been affected by the IV
Strange situation evaluation AO2
additional research suggests that the strange situation method can be applied to the same child at different ages with the same outcome in attachment type classification. This shows that this method is RELIABLE.
Differences that do occur can be explained with changes in family situations such as changes in caregivers.
Further research also suggests that attachment type can also depend on WHO the child is with. A child can display secure attachment with the mother, but insecure attachment with the father.
This would suggest that the strange situation lacks VALIDITY as it implies that it measures particular relationships to a particular person and not attachment type.
Is attachment type CAUSED by the behaviour of the caregiver?
Why are some children securely attached when others are not?
Caregiver sensitivity hypothesis
Temperamnet hypothesis
Secure attachments are the result of caregivers being warm and loving to an infants needs.
A child's innate temperament may affect their ability to cope with stressful situations
Would the results be different if the strange situation was conducted using children and parents from different cultural backgrounds?
In Japan, mothers traditionally carry their children on their backs until the age of 2. Japanese children also sleep and bathe with their parents and experience less separation than american children where the strange situation was first conducted.
Takahashi (1990)
Conducted the strange situation experiment on 60 Japanese children. These results were as follows:
68% were classified as SECURELY ATTACHED
32% were classified as RESISTANT INSECURE
There were no AVOIDANT INSECURE children
Some psychologists argue that the Takahashi's experiment lacks VALIDITY...
Why do you think this is?

It can be stated that the VALIDITY of this experiment has been compromised. In this situation, the behaviours observed are the result of STRESS, and not normal attachment behaviour. Japanese children have rarely been in this situation which causes them high levels of stress which is manifested through the behaviour they display. Therefore classifications maybe inaccurate.
Attachment type
Associated behaviours
Type A
Type B
Securely attached
Type C
Copy and complete the table!
Within German culture on the other hand, it is considered the norm to have some distance between child and caregiver.
Therefore as the strange situation classification was developed using American children, brought up using American cultural values, it cannot be transferred to other children from different cultures as they APPEAR to display insecure attachment behaviours
Therefore children were more likely to be classified as insecurely attached as they do not display proximity-seeking behaviour during the strange situation.
This discrepancy is referred to as
Cross-cultural variations
Lesson Objective:
To analyse and evaluate research into attachment types including cross-cultural variations.
How could you test the RELIABILITY of the strange situation?
What could be said about the ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY of the strange situation?
In what ways could you say that the strange situation experiment lacked VALIDITY?
What type of experiment is being conducted?
What is the DEPENDENT VARIABLE (DV) in the Ainsworth experiment?
OUTLINE and EVALUATE studies into attachment type
(AO1 4 marks + AO2 4 marks)
Research into attachment types
Grade Mark
A 8
B 7
C 6
D 5
E 4
U 0-3

AO1 = Briefly describe aspects as indicated in the question

AO2 = Compare aspects as indicated in the question by identifying strengths, weaknesses and issues.
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