Part 1 (essay) Evaluate the usefulness of the Strange Situation procedure to our understanding of attachment. 70 per cent of the mark Word limit: 1000 words Part 2 (DE100 project report) Write the Design, Participants and Materials subsections of the Method section of your DE100 project report. 30 per cent of the mark Word limit: 400 words Part 3 (reflective component) Reflect on your writing skills and consider how they are developing as you progress through the module. Not graded, but 5 marks deducted if not completed. Word limit: 100 words On the following pages you will find: student notes for each part of this assignment learning outcomes addressed by this assignment a checklist to ensure you have done everything required for this assignment. Previous: The assignment Student notes for Part 1 You are asked to ‘evaluate the usefulness of the Strange Situation procedure to our understanding of attachment. The main difference between the type of essay which you will be writing for this assignment and that which you wrote for TMA 02 lies in what is expected of you. The essay for TMA 02 required you to outline the similarities and differences between two studies. This time you are expected to begin to engage in the more advanced activity of ‘evaluation’. The ability to evaluate material is an important skill, both in academic study and in many occupations. This part of the assignment gives you an opportunity to develop this skill. Before you start work on your essay, you need to make sure you understand exactly what the question requires. This means identifying and understanding the process and content words. Process and content words In this question there is one process word: ‘evaluate’. It is this process word that directs you to more than just describing something. Evaluation involves constructing an argument about the importance and/or implications of the points being made. Further, evaluation requires you to consider arguments both for and against a certain question/claim; for example, in this case, whether the Strange Situation procedure is useful for understanding attachment. As with all academic writing, your points should be supported with evidence and referenced appropriately. The content words are ‘the usefulness of the Strange Situation procedure for understanding attachment’. This means that the essay has a very specific focus on the work of Mary Ainsworth, which you came across in Chapter 5 of Investigating Psychology, as well as some of the more recent research on animals, which is discussed in Chapter 5 of Investigating Methods. Relevant material You will find relevant material in Chapter 5 of Investigating Psychology and Chapter 5 of Investigating Methods. There is a great deal of potentially useful information in these chapters, so you will need to be selective about which points you want to focus on. Chapter 5 of Investigating Psychology: Section 4.2 introduces the Strange Situation procedure and discusses its development in the early 1970s. Section 4.3 is likely to be especially important, as it contains an evaluation of the use of attachment categories, while Section 4.4 introduces some recent work on attachment in animals. In evaluating the Strange Situation procedure, you may also want to draw on some of the points raised in Section 5 of this chapter, where the notion of flexibility of attachment is discussed. Chapter 5 of Investigating Methods: Section 3 of this chapter introduces a study by Prato-Previde et al. (2003) which adapted the Strange Situation procedure to examine the relationship between dogs and their owners. As such, this material builds on some of the points raised in Chapter 5, Section 4.4 of Investigating Psychology. Because the focus of Section 3 is on the method (namely coding in observational research) not all of it will be relevant, but you may want to consider Sections 3.1 and 3.5. Also Section 4 provides an alternative way of studying attachment which you might find useful when evaluating the Strange Situation procedure. You may also find the audio Mary Ainsworth from Week 15 useful as well as the video demonstration of the Strange Situation procedure, which you watched in the same week. The content words specify that the focus is on the Strange Situation procedure and its usefulness for understanding attachment. However, in showing how or why the Strange Situation procedure is, or is not, useful for understanding attachment, you will probably need to draw on other studies described in Chapter 5 of Investigating Psychology and Chapter 5 of Investigating Methods. However, when mentioning any specific study, avoid lengthy descriptions which will not be directly relevant to the focus of this essay. Rather, you should use any additional material as a way of providing evidence in support of your evaluation of the Strange Situation procedure. There is a lot of information which you could include, so you will need to be selective in what you choose to include. You cannot cover all of the possible points and you are not expected to. Therefore keep the precise wording of the essay question in mind and focus on selecting those points you consider to be most important and for which you can provide evidence to support your argument. Below you will find tips for writing your essay, but before you start working on this part of the assignment, you should make sure that you have completed these online activities: Online Activity 13.2: Constructing an argument. This activity deals with how to present material in an assignment in a logical and coherent way, so that it addresses the question. This is especially important when writing an essay that focuses on evaluation. Online Activity 18.2: Preparing for TMA 03 (Part 1) takes you through the process of gathering, selecting and evaluating evidence. Before you begin to plan this essay, it would be good to review the feedback you received from your tutor for your TMA 02 essay, to see if there is any advice about the essay structure/content etc. that you could apply to this essay. Tips for writing your essay Having worked through the online activities, and having identified the process and content words in the essay, it will be helpful to reread the relevant material and make notes with the particular essay question in mind. When making notes, it may be helpful to specifically label which points support the idea that the Strange Situation procedure is useful for understanding attachment, and which points suggest otherwise. As with Part 1 of TMA 02, it is advisable to use an essay plan to help to organise the points you want to make into a logical structure. Constructing an essay plan will help you to ensure that the essay is addressing the evaluative component of the question. Remember that while you are required to consider alternative sides of the argument, it is not necessary to have equal numbers of points supporting both sides. If you are unsure of what to include in the essay, it may be useful to consider the following questions: How and why did Mary Ainsworth develop the Strange Situation procedure? How did she carry out her research? How has the Strange Situation been used since it was developed? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure? How has this work been taken up by other researchers? Remember that the task of the essay is to ‘evaluate’; so while you may want to include some background information, it is important to consider carefully how much background information the reader requires. The bulk of your essay must be directly focused on evaluating the usefulness of the Strange Situation procedure for understanding attachment. Ensure that: you pay attention to signposting your essay – make it clear whether you are making a point suggesting that the Strange Situation procedure is useful to understanding attachment, or whether you are making a point which shows limitations; a balanced essay will consider both before you come to a conclusion once you have completed your essay, you go back to your introduction and make sure that it sets up your essay well and accurately outlines how you will be addressing the question and what you will be arguing your conclusion, whatever that conclusion is, provides a clear and direct response to the essay question set and follows from the evidence you presented. With all assignments, taking the time to reread the essay prior to submission is of great value in helping to pick up on spelling and grammatical errors, while also helping you to check that your argument is coming through clearly. If you are still unsure whether you have responded directly to the question, it is worth challenging yourself to consider whether you would be able to guess the essay question simply from what you have written – you could perhaps ask a family member or friend to test this for you. Remember that citations should be included both within the essay, and references at the end. Also, remember to distinguish between primary sources (those you have read yourself, such as the textbook chapters) and secondary sources (those you have read about in the chapters). This is another area where reviewing the feedback you received on previous assignments is recommended. If you are still unsure how to reference, you should revisit Online Activity 7.3: Referencing (Part 1) – Why reference? and Online Activity 8.3: Referencing (Part 2) – How to reference. Remember to state the word count at the end of your answer. When marking Part 1 your tutor will be looking for: evidence of understanding of the relevant material evaluation of the material good paraphrasing skills and evidence of writing in your own words the ability to follow a logical structure for an essay clear and concise writing points and arguments that are backed by evidence referencing of sources keeping within the word limit of 1000 words. Next: Student notes for Part 2 Student notes for Part 2 You are asked to write the Design, Participants and Materials subsections of the Method section of your DE100 project report. By this point you should have run the DE100 project experiment on two participants, collected the data and submitted it to the collaborative forum to be combined with data from other students. You do not need to have analysed the data in order to write your Method section. You will be conducting the analysis in the weeks ahead. Note: As part of the DE100 project, you were required to collect data from two participants. This was to enable you to gain experience of running an experiment and to give you a clearer sense of the design of the experiment, the materials used, the procedure involved, and what it is like to conduct research with participants. Note, however, that for this part of the assignment, you are required to write the Methods subsection based on participant data supplied by the DE100 team, not on data that you and other students in your group collected. The data for this assignment is set out in TMA 03: DE100 project participant information [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip) ] , which is in the Assessment resources section of the module website. The Method section of a research report usually comprises four subsections: Design, Participants, Materials and, finally, Procedure. For this assignment you are only required to write the first three. Subsection Contents Source of information Word limit Design Details of the design and number and type of variables. DE100 project online activities (see below). 150 Participants Details of who the participants were, how many there were and how they were recruited. DE100 project online activities (see below). TMA 03: DE100 project participant information. 100 Materials Details of the stimuli and any materials used to record the responses of participants. (Remember you do not need to include information about the Procedure in this subsection.) DE100 project online activities (see below). 150 Total 400 Relevant material The most important source of information for this part of the assignment is Online Activity 18.3: Preparing for TMA 03 (Part 2), which provides examples of a Design subsection, a Participant subsection and a Materials subsection, along with a detailed account of what information you should include in each. The summary to the online activity contains a checklist to help you ensure you have covered each point. Some of the other DE100 project-related online activities which you completed in previous weeks also contain useful information, including: Online Activity 14.4: DE100 project – Introduction Online Activity 16.2: DE100 project – Procedure Online Activity 17.2: DE100 project – Collecting data. If you have not already done so, you should complete these online activities before you attempt this part of the assignment. In addition, you will need to access the document TMA 03: DE100 project participant information, which contains the details of the participants (the overall number, age and gender) and how they were recruited, which you will need in order to write the Participant subsection.. For the purposes of writing this report you may assume that relevant ethical procedures were followed. Tips for writing In the first draft of your answer, use the summary checklist in Online Activity 18.3: Preparing for TMA 03 (Part 2) to make sure you have covered all the relevant points for each subsection. Then check your word count. It is likely that you will need to redraft the subsections several times before they fit within the word limits while ensuring that your account remains clear. Note that you do not need to submit a copy of the stimulus materials. Remember to state the word count at the end of each subsection. When marking Part 2 your tutor will be looking for: evidence of understanding of the relevant material – in particular, what information is required for each subsection good paraphrasing skills and evidence of writing in your own words logical structure that follows the conventions of a Method section of a report clear and concise writing keeping within the word limit for each section. Next: Student notes for Part 3 Student notes for Part 3 Your task is to reflect on your writing skills and consider how they are developing as you progress through the module. You should have reviewed the feedback you received on TMA 02 before attempting this assignment. Write a few sentences (not more than 100 words) on the following: What aspects of my writing did the tutor comment on in the feedback on TMA 02, and how have I tried to address this in TMA 03? What else could I do to improve my writing in the future? You will need to review the feedback you were given on TMA 02 and identify one or two aspects of your writing which your tutor suggested could be improved. For example: Was your referencing adequate and accurate? Did you provide evidence for the claims you were making? Did you write clearly? Was your essay well structured, and your introduction and conclusion clear and appropriate? Did you cover appropriate material, or were key points omitted, or too much unnecessary information included? When you have identified one or two aspects to focus on, explain how you have tried to improve. For example: Did you go back to any of the online activities to clarify any misunderstanding? Did you contact your tutor for further advice? Did you allow yourself more time to complete particular tasks? Did you spend more time planning or editing what you have written for TMA 03? It is important that you complete this reflective activity. Developing your writing skills will benefit you over the remaining assignments, and reflecting on your progress or any challenges you face will also help your tutor to provide feedback that addresses your specific needs. Remember to state the word count at the end of your answer. Note that you will lose 5 marks if you do not attempt this part of the assignment. Learning outcomes Each TMA is designed to help you to develop particular skills and knowledge. These are referred to as learning outcomes. By completing this assignment, you will have an opportunity to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. Knowledge and understanding Define key concepts and describe key theories, studies, methods and debates within psychology. Show awareness of the ways in which psychological knowledge is embedded in the historical, social and cultural context, and the way in which it develops through a process of questions, arguments, evidence and evaluation. Recognise and describe the main research methods and procedures undertaken by psychologists, and identify the merits of qualitative and quantitative approaches. Recognise the role of evidence in building psychological knowledge and how this relates to, and can be made relevant to, everyday experience and real-life social phenomena. Cognitive skills Select and interpret key information from a range of sources, and represent it accurately and appropriately. Analyse and evaluate types of evidence and methods, and identify some of their strengths and weaknesses. Interpret and integrate a range of evidence to develop an argument, including some primary sources. Key skills Write using a clear and logical sequence of sentences and paragraphs appropriate for the level of study, subject, purpose and audience. Plan and organise an essay and a research report with an appropriate structure and referencing. Demonstrate basic skills in the use of ICT, including accessing and searching web pages and using ICT tools appropriate to support distance learning (accessing email, learning from online-based study materials and using the eTMA system). Practical and/or professional skills Plan study sessions to manage a sequence of work that meets a deadline and complies with relevant academic conventions. Reflect on and evaluate own learning, both individually and through discussion with peers, and engage in development planning. Checklist Have I: Yes No, where can I look for guidance? looked at the feedback on my previous work? Your tutor will have commented on your previous TMA to provide you with some guidance about how to develop your skills for future TMAs. read all of the guidance notes for this assignment? Read through these assignment notes carefully to check you have followed all the advice and instructions. written in my own words? Online Activity 3.2: Summarising information in your own words contains useful information about how to avoid plagiarism. See also Online Activity 8.2: Writing in your own words. referenced my sources? See advice on referencing in Online Activity 7.3: Referencing (Part 1) – Why reference? and Online Activity 8.3: Referencing (Part 2) – How to reference, and check the summary sheet in the Study resources section on the DE100 module website, under ‘Instructions and guidelines’. checked my word count? The guidance notes tell you the word limit for each part of the TMA. An answer that is shorter than the word length by more than 10% is likely to be too short to have fully answered the question. For further information on writing to length go to Social Sciences Assessment Information. written the word count at the end of each part of my TMA? Check the word count and write that figure clearly at the end of each part of the assignment. set out my assignment properly? Read the conventions for presenting work in Section 3 of the DE100 Assessment Guidance. Submit all three parts of your TMA in one document, not in separate documents. completed each part of the TMA? Read through these assignment notes carefully to check you have followed all the advice and instructions.