Stages of Attachment (Longitudinal study (Schaffer and Emerson observed…
Stages of Attachment
Schaffer and Emerson observed mothers and infants every week for a year.
Observed same children as they grew up.
Good internal validity
No confounding variables of individual differences between ppts
Quicker alternative would be a cross-sectional design
Observe different children at each age.
Problem assessing multiple attachments
Just because baby gets distressed when person leaves the room, doesn't mean they are attached to them
Bowlby suggested infants might be distressed and cry when a playmate leaves the room
Doesn't necessarily show they are a true attachment figure.
Stages of attachments don't distinguish between attachments to secondary caregivers and playmates.
Hard to know when multiple attachments are actually formed.
Problem studying asocial stage
Describe first few weeks as asocial stage
Important interactions take place
Young babies have poor coordination and are immobile
Hard to make judgements based on observations of their behaviour.
Babies may be quite social
Due to flawed methodology, they seem more asocial.
Conflicting evidence about when multiple attachments are formed
Bowlby argues that infants form a specific attachment to primary caregiver before forming multiple attachments.
In collectivist cultures, multiple attachments are the norm
Appear from younger ages.
Families work together jointly in everything
Most observations taken at home by mother in everyday situations and reported to researcher.
Behaviour of babies unlikely to be affected by presence of researcher.
Highly likely ppts behaved in a natural way while being observed
Shows study has good external validity as it can apply to everyday situations.