AS Psychology - A Grade Essay Answers

Updated on May 18, 2013

Tips!

When writing 12 mark essays make sure you remember the following things:

  • Try to make the outline part of the essay around the same length as the evaluate part - an unbalanced essay can lose you marks!
  • Use a strength and a weakness to make sure your argument is balanced and not biased.
  • Try and write it in around 12 minutes - the exam is slightly more than a mark a minute, you don't want to spend too long on it and not have enough time to do the other questions.
  • Plan your answer in the space they give you before you actually write it - the content is not the only important aspect, structure will gain you marks too.
  • Sometimes, instead of saying 'outline and evaluate' the question will say 'discuss' - don't get confused they essentially mean the same thing!

Outline and evaluate Ainsworth's strange situation (12 Marks)

(outline)

The strange situation was devised in order to measure and test the nature of attachment between an infant and their caregiver. The strange situation was used to see how infants react under stressful situations such as separation from the caregiver (causing separation anxiety) and also the presence of a stranger (stranger anxiety). It also aimed to encourage exploration by putting the infants into a novel situation and thus testing the secure base concept of Bowlby's theory of attachment. Observers watched the behaviours displayed between the infants and caregiver from behind one way mirrors and collected data every 15 seconds on various different criteria, they also measured the intensity of the behaviour on a scale of 1-7. The strange situation procedure consisted of 8 different episodes that were devised to highlight/provoke certain behaviours. Some of the behaviours included the parent leaving the room, and stranger being presented and the parent returning. The data was then collected from several studies and the results combined to make a total of 106 middle-class infants that were observed. They found that 62% of the children showed secure attachment, 15% insecure-avoidant, 15% insecure-disorganized and 8% insecure-resistant.

(Evaluate)

The biggest flaw of Ainsworth's strange situation is the fact that it may not measure the attachment type of the infant but rather the quality of the relationship between the infant and caregiver. A study conducted by Main and Weston concluded that infants behave differently depending on which parent they are with. This could mean that the strange situation doesn't fully measure what it is supposed to which ultimately decreases the validity of the strange situation as a measurement of attachment type. However it could be argued that the only relationship that matters is that of your primary caregiver which is the parent that partakes in the strange situation and the attachment with this primary caregiver determines the overall attachment type of the infant. It was also found that the strange situation was very reliable because the results of the observers were consistent with one and other and there was almost a perfect inter-observer agreement (0.94%). This increases the validity of the strange situation as a way of measuring attachment type and means that the results can be generalised and applied to similar situations.

Outline and evaluate the learning theory of attachment (12 marks)

(outline)

The learning theory of attachment focuses of two concepts; operant and classical conditioning. Classical conditioning as an explanation for attachment describes the baby receiving food (and unconditioned stimulus) and producing an unconditioned response (happiness) and the mother feeding the baby will be the neutral stimulus. The baby will then experience the mother giving them food (and therefore happiness) a number of times and then learn to associate the mother (now a conditioned stimulus) with the feeling of happiness (a conditioned response) and thus an attachment will form. Operant conditioning describes attachment as a reinforced response. When a baby gets food it's discomfort will become happiness and the baby will associate this feeling with food and therefore food will become the primary reinforcer. The person feeding the baby will also be associated with the happiness and therefore become the secondary reinforcer and an attachment will form.

(evaluate)

Even though the learning theory of attachment provides an adequate explanation of attachment it is flawed. Research evidence, such as that of Harlow's monkey study, opposes the idea of learning theory as an explanation of attachment. Harlow's monkey study involved giving a baby monkey the choice of either food or comfort (food was portrayed by a wire 'monkey' with a feeding bottle attached to it and comfort was portrayed by a wire 'monkey' covered in cloth). According to the learning theory of attachment the monkey should have spent most of his time on the food 'monkey, however the opposite was true - the monkey spent the majority of his time on the comfort 'monkey'. This decreases the validity of the learning theory of attachment as an explanation for attachment because the findings of Harlow's monkey study opposed what it suggested. However, the monkey study was conducted on monkeys and it could be argued that this is not an accurate representation of human attachment. Humans are a lot more complex than animals and so therefore research on animals to study behaviour cannot be applied to human behaviour.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        zzz 

        21 months ago

        thanks for doing my psychology homework ;)

      • profile image

        Rayleigh 

        3 years ago

        Thank you so much! Really Helpful

      • profile image

        3 years ago

        Soooo straightforward and helpful!

      • Philanthropy2012 profile image

        DK 

        5 years ago from London

        Awesome, I learned so much!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)