Explanations of attachment (Attachment Model Answers) (Paper 1 Model Answers)
Briefly evaluate learning theory as an explanation of attachment. ( 4 marks)
One limitation is its reductionist nature, as it focuses on basic processes such as stimulus-response links and reinforcement, which may oversimplify the complex behaviors observed in attachment relationships. The theory also assumes that early learning experiences determine later attachment behaviors, neglecting the potential for change and development throughout the lifespan. Additionally, the learning theory is primarily based on animal research, and inferring conclusions about human attachment solely based on animal studies can be problematic due to the inherent differences between species and the complexity of human attachment dynamics.
Read the item and then answer the question that follows.
A group of researchers used ‘event sampling’ to observe children’s friendships over a period of three weeks at break times and lunchtimes during the school day.
Explain what is meant by ‘event sampling’. ( 2 marks)
'Event sampling' refers to a research method used to observe and record specific events or behaviours of interest within a given timeframe. In the context of the study mentioned, it involves observing children's friendships during break times and lunchtimes throughout a three-week period at school. Researchers using event sampling would systematically document instances of friendship-related interactions or behaviours that occur during these specific time intervals. This method allows for a focused and targeted collection of data, providing insights into the nature and dynamics of children's friendships in the school setting.
Briefly discuss how observational research might be improved by conducting observations in a controlled environment. ( 4 marks)
Firstly, a controlled environment allows for standardised conditions, reducing potential confounding factors and increasing the reliability of observations. Researchers can carefully design and manipulate variables to isolate specific behaviours or phenomena of interest.
Secondly, a controlled environment provides greater control over extraneous influences that might impact the observations, such as distractions or external stimuli. This allows researchers to focus solely on the target behaviours and minimise the likelihood of unintended biases.
Furthermore, a controlled environment enables the implementation of systematic and consistent data collection procedures, ensuring that observations are conducted in a standardised manner. Researchers can establish clear protocols, such as specific observation intervals or criteria for recording behaviours, which promotes consistency across observations.