Describe and Evaluate Psychological Research Into Attachment

1626 Words7 Pages
Being attached to someone means that you have formed an emotional relationship to that person. This is important thorough out our lives but particularly important during the vulnerable period of infancy when babies rely on caregivers to meet their needs (Cardwell, Clark & Meldrum, 2003). Forming an attachment to a primary caregiver is an innate behaviour and insures survival of the infant. This essay will describe and evaluate Ainsworth’s (1970) Strange Situation procedure and will discuss the types of attachments infant form. The psychologist John Bowlby (1969) suggested that infant attachments influence their emotional development through an internal working model which acts as a template for future relationships. In 1970, psychologist Mary Ainsworth developed a method to measure the quality of infant attachments to their mother called the Strange Situation procedure (Ainsworth 1970). The procedure takes place in a laboratory: At different stages of the study the infant is left on her own, with her mother and with a stranger. Ainsworth (1970) was interested in how the child interacts with her mother, her reaction when she is left on her own, the behaviour the infant shows towards the stranger and particularly the reunion between the infant and the mother. She found three types of attachment: secure; avoidant-insecure and resistant-insecure. The majority of infants (70%) were classified as securely attached (Type B). When the mother left the room the infant became distressed but was easily comforted when the she returned; the infant was also wary of the stranger and could not be comforted by them. 20% (Type A) of infants studied were classified as having avoidant-insecure attachment. They were not upset by the mother’s absence, avoided the stranger and did not take much notice of the mother when she returned. 10% (Type C) of infants were classed having a

More about Describe and Evaluate Psychological Research Into Attachment

Open Document