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Ainsworth Strange Situations Essay

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´╗┐Describe and evaluate Ainsworths Strange situation Attachments are an emotional link between two people to show their relationship or behavior. There are two types of theories linked to attachments; the learning theory and the evolutionary theory. The learning theory looks into the nurture of the child and how they learn things over time and how that links to their attachments with several people. Whereas the evolutionary theory looks more into Nature, meaning what the child was born with and how that influences their attachments with others. John Bowlby looked into the evolutionary theory where he found out that early attachments influence our relationships with adults in later life. He also believed that attachments were formed by association, imitation and observation. However this theory had very little evidence that suggests attachments where formed by rewards. ...read more.


The stranger would comfort the child and carry on playing with them. After around three minutes again the mother would enter and at the same time the stranger would then exit the room. Another three minutes would pass and the mother would depart again leaving the baby in the room on their own. The stranger then re-enters to comfort the child and play with them; he would then leave whilst the mother is reunited with her child. In this procedure of stages, Ainsworth was able to observe the child in ?strange situations? and work out the infant?s different behaviors towards certain people. Ainsworth carried out these stages to look into separation anxiety, Stranger anxiety and then observed the child to recall if the infant used their mother as a ?safe base.? Ainsworth discovered that there were three type of attachment. ...read more.


The children who were examined were seen as having a negative self image and exaggerated towards the carer to gain an emotional response. The infants alternated between closeness and distance and where unsure at times. Overall I feel that the Ainsworths theory on strange situations had good reliability and showed consistent results. As well as this the method gave a great deal of information in a relatively short space of time about attachments in children. However some people have criticized Ainsworth theory and have stated that it lacks validity because of the unfamiliar and strange look of the play room. This is not the child?s home and not what?s its used to so will clearly act differently. There are also some ethical issues relating to this method. For example the infant might have been stressed due to the mother leaving a child and a stranger interacting with them. However the mother and the researcher would stop the test if the baby got too distressed. ...read more.

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