Mary Ainsworth's Ethical Aspects Of The Strange Situation Process

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The strange situation procedure was presented by Mary Ainsworth in 1965, where she assessed attachment of mothers and their babies. The procedure consists of 7, three-minute episodes in which children are put in different scenarios with and without their mother and with a stranger. The strange situation procedure is used mostly to assess infants between 12-24 months (Investigating psychology p217). The seven episodes involve the mother and infant entering an unfamiliar room, the mother leaving the room, mother and stranger in the room and stranger and infant alone in the room. Each episode lasts three minutes but is intervened if the child becomes too upset - this is due to ethical reasons. Ainsworth and Bell (1970) put all the children from …show more content…
The final 15% were classified as anxious-avoidant where the children were just completely distant and didn 't care who was in the room with them at any particular time. Since Ainsworth’s first observations, another category was invented which was ‘disorganised’ which showed infants being confused and indecisive. The strange situation procedure has been conducted in many different parts of the world, in which each place got different results, for example, Israeli children raised in a residential community showed a much higher percentage of children being ‘anxious-resistant’ with a third of children fitting into the category. On the other hand, in Germany, 40% of children were categorised as securely attached, whilst 49% showed anxious-avoidant tendencies leaving the remaining 11% anxious-resistant which shows German children are shown to be independent of a very young …show more content…
The behaviours were made up of three scenarios; “whether the dogs play and exploration lessened in the presence of he stranger when alone but recovered after reunion with their owner, whether the dogs stopped exploring and returned to the owner’s side when the stranger entered the room, and finally, whether the dogs engaged in play with the stranger while the owner was in the room but stopped once the owner left” (Prato-Previde et al 2003). These three behaviours are similar to Ainsworth’s seven episodes to decide whether baby treated their mother as a secure base (attachment bond). The conclusion to Prato-Previde et al had come to was that they found the behaviour of dogs mimicking the behaviour of the infants in Ainsworth’s strange situation procedure experiment. Prato-Previde et al concluded that dog-human relationships were based upon an affectionate bond but they could not conclude it was an attachment bond like infants and their

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