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Describe one theory of attachment, and give two criticisms of the theory.

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As Psychology end of unit 3.2 assignment 1a) Describe one theory of attachment Schaffer & Emerson developed the stage theory of attachment. They measured attachment in infants during different intervals. They used two methods of measuring this attachment - separation protest and stranger anxiety. These are both signs that an attachment has formed. There are three main stages of attachment. Asocial stage 0-6 weeks, the infant has no attachment. Indiscriminate attachment 6 weeks - 7 months, the infant seeks attention from different people. Finally, specific attachments which is between 7- 11 months. The infant has a strong attachment to one person. 1b) Give two criticisms of the theory outlined in part (a) One criticism is that the data in which was collected during the study to get to the theory was recorded from mothers & direct observation. Therefore the information collected is prone to bias and inaccuracy. A second criticism is that the theory appears to be correct as the presence of separation and stranger anxiety occurs when a child is faced in the situation. ...read more.


This shows that American infants believe they are unworthy and their carer is rejecting more so than Japanese infants and carers. The strange situation test used in research and studies have led to various theories trying to identify the key cultural differences responsible for the variations in infant attachment from one culture to another. Van Iljzendoorn & Kroonenberg researched different databases for studies on attachment that had used the strange situation to classify attachment type. They conducted a meta-analysis on 32 of these studies. They were the first researchers to carry out a thorough Meta analysis to consider all cross culture findings using the Strange Situation Test. The Strange Situation Test is the only test of infant attachment that has been used in several countries. It could be argued that findings from test could be used to understand some of the main sub-cultural differences found within any given country. There have been many key findings as a result of the test. The most important was that the variation in attachment within cultures was 1-1/2 times greater than the variation between cultures. ...read more.


Additionally we have to be careful in drawing conclusions, regarding a culture from such a limited sample. The conclusions regarding the Chinese children are based on one study. We can't make generalisations regarding a population the size of China, on the results of just a handful of children. I feel there are many similarities across cultures for instance there was a considerable amount of consistency in the overall distribution of attachment types across all cultures and secure attachment was the most common type of attachments in all 8 nations researched in Van Iljzendoorn & Kroonenberg's study. Also the Western cultures dominant insecure type is anxious/avoidant and the non-western cultures dominant insecure type is anxious/resistant. However, there are of course differences, which are not accounted for in the Strange Situation Test. For instance China was the exception as anxious/avoidant and anxious/resistant were distributed equally. This shows that it is wrong to make such generalisations on the basis of the techniques used, as there are not just variations between cultures but within cultures also. Nicola Simms 12E Vivette Dyer Psychology ...read more.

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