Evaluating cultural variations in
attachment
Starter activity: True or false?
Instructions
1. Write down numbers 1-10 on a piece of paper.
2. Read each statement carefully.
3. Answer each statement with either “true” or “false”
4. If the statement is “false” state why.
5. Two questions will have additional marks for extra
details.
Good luck!
1.
Individualist countries emphasise the importance
of the individual.
2. The USA is an example of a collectivist culture.
3. Ainsworth was interested in seeing if there was
evidence of inter-cultural differences in attachment
between countries.
4. A problem with cross cultural studies in attachment
is that the strange situation is culturally biased (extra
point for saying what this means)!
5. Fox observed attachment styles in an Israeli kibuttz.
6. A criticism of Fox’s research stated that Fox was
accused of Observer Bias.
7. Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg found most
infants in Uganda were cared by several adults and so
formed multiple attachments.
8. One problem with the study by Van Ijzendoorn and
Kroonenberg was that 27 of the studies were carried
out on non-western countries and only 5 on western
countries.
9. An imposed etic is when behaviour is studied from
outside the culture.
10. The strange situation technique can be seen as
culturally biased. (Extra point for saying why)
Questions (True or false)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Individualist countries emphasise the importance of the individual.
The USA is an example of a collectivist culture.
Ainsworth was interested in seeing if there was evidence of inter-cultural
differences in attachment between countries.
A problem with cross cultural studies in attachment is that the strange
situation is culturally biased (extra point for saying what this means)!
Fox observed attachment styles in an Israeli kibutz.
A criticism of Fox’s research stated that Fox was accused of Observer
Bias.
Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg found most infants in Uganda were
cared by several adults and so formed multiple attachments.
One problem with the study by Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg was
that 27 of the studies were carried out on non-western countries and only
5 on western countries.
An imposed etic is when behaviour is studied from outside the culture.
The strange situation technique can be seen as culturally biased. (Extra
point for saying why)
Learning objectives
 To consider important research and to use this
research to evaluate cultural variations in
attachment.
 To outline and critically assess the strengths and
weaknesses of cultural variations research in
attachment.
Evaluating cultural variations in attachment
Criticisms
Criticism
1. Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988) research is
non representative and culturally biased.
Why?
 The strange situation may not be a valid measure in all
countries as the values in each different culture.
(Individualistic vs collectivist cultures)
 Example: sensitivity in Japan is different from the US
 Therefore: it is not a valid measure of attachment.
Example 1
 The sensitivity hypothesis
 Ainsworth and Bowlby state that secure attachment
relies on the caregiver being responsive and
sensitive.
 However Rothbaum et al (2000) argue that they only
consider the western view of promoting
independence.
 Whereas in collectivist cultures such as Japan
competency is based on being group-oriented.
Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg
2. Attachment theory is based on individualist
cultures ideas.
 Therefore research is culturally biased.
 This is an imposed etic (the use of a technique
designed in one culture but imposed on another) as
Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg looked at several
studies of attachment behaviour which had been
studied from outside the culture.
 We cannot make assumptions about other cultures.
Example 2.
 The Continuity hypothesis.
 Ainsworth and Bowlby believe secure attachment
leads to more social and emotional competency.
 However Rothbaum et al (2002) suggest that the
view of competency is biased as it is about
independence.
 In Japan competency is based on being group
oriented.
Exam question
 Explain one criticism of investigating cultural
variations in attachment using the “strange
situation” (3 marks)
Exemplar answers: three mark answer
 Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg’s findings for
evidence of inter-cultural differences in attachment
between countries came from 18 different studies.
(Mark 1 for identifying a criticism) We can’t be sure
that all of the studies were carried out in the same
way. (2 mark for elaboration) It is possible that the
“strange situation” or ways of categorising types of
attachment were different in the different studies.
One mark answer
 One criticism of investigating cultural variations in
attachment using the “strange situation” is that you
can’t apply this for all countries.- 1 Mark
 No explanation of the criticism
 No elaboration
Peer marking activity
 Read your participants answer and:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Highlight the key words in the question.
Highlight the key psychological words in each
answer.
Underline the key evaluation point.
Using the mark scheme provided, score their
answer out of 3.
Justify each mark given and state how you may
improve the answer.
Task
 In pairs, look back at your notes of the strange
situation.
 Identify two strengths of the strange situation as a
way of measuring attachment.
 Using your notes of Fox (1977) and Van Ijzendoorn
and Kroonenberg (1988) write these two strengths
from the strange situation.
 Consider how you would apply these strengths when
answering a question on cultural variations in
attachment (you will need this for the next task).
Essay plan.
 “Outline and evaluate research into cultural variations in
attachment”- 12 marks.
 Write an essay plan of how you would answer this





question.
Look at the essay plan grid on the board for help.
Remember you should include both AO1 and AO2 in your
answers.
Working independently.
You have 15 minutes to do this.
These will be taken in at the end of the lesson.
H0mework
 Make revision notes for cultural variations into
attachments.
 These will be taken in at the beginning of next
lesson.
Plenary activity: stand up sit down activity
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
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……………believe secure attachment leads to more social and emotional
competency. (Ainsworth and Bowlby)
Collectivist cultures focus on the importance of the ……… (group)
A weakness of Van Ijzendoorm and Kroonenberg was that ……
The sensitivity hypothesis states that……..
What does culturally biased mean?
What is an “imposed etic”?
What is an example of a collectivist culture?
What is a criticism of Fox’s research?
What is the most common found attachment type across all studies?
Who looked at an Israeli Kibbutz?
What is the continuity hypothesis?
How many criticisms should you give for a 3 mark question?
Give me 1 mark you would get for a 3 mark evaluation qu.
Give a second/third mark example?
Give a strength of the strange situation?
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Evaluating cultural variations in attachment PP