Psychology essay 16 marksWatch this thread
The strange situation by Mary Ainsworth is used to determine and analyse attachment behaviour and types. The strange situation is conducted from 8 episodes where stranger anxiety, separation anxiety and reunion behaviour is tested. The observers analyse the movement every 15 seconds using five behavioural categories and measure the intensity of the action on a scale from 1-7.
The study discovered three types of attachment: secure, insecure avoidant and insecure resistant. Securely attached children use their caregiver as a secure base to explore from. They show some stranger and separation anxiety but are easily comforted by a caregiver. Insecure avoidant children do not need the support of the caregiver to explore and do not have any separation anxiety. They avoid social interaction and intimacy. Insecurely resistant children resist and seek social interaction. They have low levels of exploratory behaviour and become very distressed due to high levels of separation and stranger anxiety. They aren’t comforted by their caregiver easily.
One strength of the strange situation is it has real world application. The findings of the study may help intervene in children’s lives so that they can form secure attachment. In the circle of security project by the Cooper et al study, they taught the caregivers how to recognise signs of infant’s distress. As a result, more children were securely attached and less caregivers were recognised as disordered. The helps improve the lives of children as they will have better strength of relationship with their caregivers.
A limitation of the study is that it may not analyse the type of attachment properly. According to Main and Weston, the children reacted differently in the strange situation when they were with different parents. Due to this, the strange situation may not determine the attachment type of the child, but the quality of a singular relationship. Therefore, these effects the internal validity of the study.
A strength of the study is that its findings are very reliable. The study had .94 inter-observer reliability. This means that the observers of the study almost always agreed with the findings. Therefore, the study’s findings have a high chance of accuracy and reliability. This means that the strange situation is a good way of analysing attachment behaviours and determining attachment types.
Another limitation of the study is it may not provide a complete explanation of all attachment types. Main and Solomon discovered a fourth type of attachment insecure disorganised that is not categorised in the original Ainsworth study. Insecure disorganised attachment included a mix of avoidant and secure behaviours. Due to this, the strange situation may not be able to determine all attachment types competently.
The strange situation is good source for measuring attachment behaviour and three types of attachment types. However, it suffers from validity issues which questions the accuracy of the study.
For example, for real life application.
Start off by saying that 'the strange situation is highly controlled, meaning it reduces any extraneous and confounding variables, thus making it highly artificial, meaning it is very much unlike real life (lacks mundane realism) and therefore lacks external validity, problematic to generalize this study to real life situations.'On the other had it has real life application (INSERT EXAMPLE YOU HAVE USED) , this has provided high ecological validity (Ecological validity is a type of external validity that refers to the extent to which the findings can be generalized to a real-life setting.) Thus supports that the strange situation can be applied to real life situations.'I would say really show off what you know, you have got great evidence but try to elaborate on methodological criticisms, this makes your paragraph more juicy, rich in detail, and makes up 10 marks worth of evaluation. Hope this helps
I would also like to say, the last sentence is too 'vague' when you talk about validity- what type? as I mentioned above this is how you could improve and make your paragraph more elaborative. In psychology it is best to find 3 strong evaluation points when it comes to 16 markers. If struggling to explain a point there is no need to write it, write in detail what you already know and show it off! For example for AO3 you could do this stucture:
1) Highly controlled - lack external validity and mundane realism.
2)Real life application - on the other hand high ecological validity.
3) Another awesome example.
When you finish evaluation point use sentences such as
- 'Thus, it is hard to generalize the strange situation to everyday life.-
-'Thus, challenges the extent to which we can generalize the strange situation to real-life settings'
- Remember to use evaluative terminology such as 'On the other hand' 'However' 'Therefore'
xxx hope i could be of help, your essay is amazing and would score well, I would say it is roughly in the higher marks catergory, anywhere from 10marks, for those full marks you could use some of my suggestions to go the extra mile