What is the strange situation?
The way you can test children's attachment types
What did Ainsworth and Bell do?
They observed 100 American middle class babies and mothers to test their attachments, however it wasn't obvious but the mother was aware of the observation. They placed them in a room with toys and a chair and followed 8 steps (3 mins each) to see how they reacted.
What are a few of the stages in the research?
Separation anxiety, reunion behaviour, stranger interaction, if the baby explored/played
What were the results?
Securely attached: 66% and mothers were sensitive.
Avoidant: 22% and mothers occasionally ignored infant.
Resistant: 12% and mothers had very mixed behaviour.
Conclusion of Ainsworth and Bell's study
Behaviour of baby is caused by the behaviour of the mother
Strengths of the study
Highly controlled so all babies results could be compared because they were all put through exactly the same thing. No confounding/extraneous variables to affect results. The set up of the room made it less obvious they were being observed.
Weakness' of the study
Only did the research with mothers and they may not be the primary attachment which Schaffer and Emerson proved (children aged 1 and over can have other bonds with other people).
Mother may be showing demand characteristics and there may be extraneous/confounding variables because it was a quick study which wasn't very detailed therefore LOW ecological validity