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Flashcards in Attachment Deck (92):

Briefly explain Bowlby's attachment theory

It's an evolutionary theory that states children come in to the world pre programmed to form attachment with others as this will help them survive.


What did Harlow's study disprove?

The secondary drive theory of love, monkeys still crave comfort.


What system develops during the first year of life?

The innate behavioural system; attachment behavioural system.


What is the condition under which the attachment behavioural system activates

Under threat


Give examples of internal and external threat

Internal: hunger, sick, pain
External: loud noises, stranger, alone


When the attachment system is activated, what system is deactivated?

The exploration system


What do individual differences in attachment depend on?

Quality of care.


What are the three attachment types according to Ainsworth 'Strange Situation'?



What attachment style does positive view of self and positive view of others belong to?



What attachment style does rejecting caregiver belong to?



What attachment style does inconsistent caregiver belong to?



Which attachment style do the following two features belong to; adaptive to the situation your in and an organized strategy



Who proposed the concept of disorganized attachment?

Main and Solomon, 1990


How would you describe the behaviour of the caregiver for someone who meets the criteria of disorganized attachment?

The source of care is also the source of threat, the child is subjected to inconsistent or contradictory behaviours.


Academically what is the difference between secure and insecure children?

Secure predicts academic achievement, more engaged in joint reading and develop better pre-reading skills. Insecure have shorter attention spans and do not perform as well on cognitive tasks


How is data for adult attachment obtained?

Interview- 'narrative measures'


What did Hazen & Shaver do in 1987?

Newspaper advertised a love quiz, adult love can be divided into the same categories as the 'strange situation' attachment.


Who distributed attachment style in to four categories?

Bartholamew & Horowitz (1991)


What scale did Brenan, Clark & Shaver (1998) devise? What did they find?

The experiences in close relationships scale (ECR).
Two dimensions tally with Bartholamew four styles;
Preoccupied (Ambivalent)
Fearful (Avoidant) fear of hurt
Dismissive (Avoidant) don't need intimacy


Fraley & Shaver did what study?

Airport study; Observed couples separating measured contact seeking behaviour, then administered a questionnaire. Those separating showed more contact and proximity seeking behaviour.


In Fraley & Shaver's study how were avoidant and anxious different?

Avoidant men and women less likely to maintain proximity to their partners and less likely to provide care and support.
Highly anxious women less likely to report more distress, highly anxious men less likely to maintain contact.


Name three intrapersonal correlated and consequences of attachment avoidance and anxiety

Mental Health
Percieved social support
Physical Health
Pain tolerance
Emotion regualtion


Name three interpersonal correlates and consequences of attachment avoidance and anxiety

Prosocial behaviour


What is an Internal Working Model? Who used this term?

The cognitive structures that hold the information comprising of our attachment styles, devised by Bowlby.


What's another way of thinking of IWM?

A schema for how relationships operate; secure or insecure.


What do hyper activating strategies emphasize?

Negative effect


What did Baldwin et al (1996) propose that attachment style is based on?

It is based on a whole range of experiences and the cognitive availability and accessibility of these experiences. Global at the top and specific at the bottom.


If attachment is thought of as a schema it can be...

primed (subliminally/supraliminal).


Rowe & Connelly (2003) primed attachment styles and found?

Primed with attachment security remember more positive attachment than those who had been negatively primed.


What characteristics were the experiences of secure, avoidant and anxious adults hypothesised to have? Hazan & Shaver, 1987

Secure - confident, trust, friendship and positive emotions.
Avoidant - fear, closeness, doubtful and lack of trust.
Anxious - preoccupying, painfully exciting struggle to merge with another person, fall in love frequently and find it difficult to fall in love easily.


Hazan & Shaver 1987 findings?

The researchers predicted that the romantic relationships of secure individuals would be characterised by trust, friendship, and positive emotions. In contrast, avoidant individuals were hypothesised to experience these relationships with fear of closeness and lack of trust. Those with an anxious attachment style were expected to experience romantic relationships as a painfully exciting and preoccupying struggle to merge with the other person (Hazan & Shaver, 1987).


What were the findings in relation to this hypothesis?

Hazan and Shaver (1987) found that their results broadly supported their hypotheses. Secure participants reported that their most important relationship was happy, friendly, and trusting, accepting, and supportive. They reported warm relationships with their parents. Avoidant participants reported fearing intimacy, emotional highs and lows, and jealousy. They reported that their mothers were cold and rejecting. Anxious participants reported obsession, desire for reciprocation, emotional highs and lows, and extreme attraction and jealousy. They reported that their fathers were unfair.


What are the views of self, and views of others hypothesised in each of the 4 cells of the proposed typology? Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991)

According to Batholomew and Horowitz’s (1991) model of attachment styles, cell 1 describes the secure style. The secure style has a positive view of self (self as lovable) and a positive view of others (others as accepting and responsive). Cell 2 describes the preoccupied style. This style has a negative view of self (unworthy, unlovable) and a positive view of others. Cell 3 reflects the fearful-avoidant style. This style has a negative view of self (unlovable, unworthy) and a negative view of others (untrustworthy and rejecting). Cell 4 reflects the dismissive-avoidant style, which has a positive view of self (self as worthy of love) and a negative view of others.


Briefly describe each of the 4 groups using the descriptive results from study 1. Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991)

The secure group had high interview coherence, friendship intimacy, warmth, balance in friendships, and involvement in romantic relationships. The dismissing group had high self-confidence and control in relationships, and low elaboration, emotional expressiveness, crying frequency, warmth, closeness, caregiving, self-disclosure, intimacy, level of romantic involvement, reliance on others, and use of others as secure base. The preoccupied group had high elaboration, self-disclosure, emotional expressiveness, crying frequency, reliance on others, use of others as secure base, crying in presence of others, caregiving, and romantic involvement, but low coherence and balance of control. The fearful group had low self-confidence, balance of control, self-disclosure, intimacy, level of involvement in romantic relationships, capacity to rely on others, and to use of others as secure base (Bartholomew & Horwitz, 1991).


What strategies are proposed to be used by dismissing and preoccupied styles to cope with unwanted social information? Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991)

Preoccupied individuals may blame themselves for rejections they perceive from others. This enables them to retain a generally positive view of others, despite their experience. Dismissing individuals may deny the importance of others who have rejected them. This enables them to maintain high self-regard despite their experience.


Why do the authors argue for a 4-way typology, rather than Hazan & Shaver’s 3-way typology?

Bartholomew & Horowitz (1991) argue for a 4-way typology rather than 3 because their data showed that working models of self and working models of other can be different. That is, they are separate dimensions. The valence of view of self and other does not have to be the same for the models to be mutually confirming.


What do IWM's and view of self comprise of?

Appraisals of self-worth and self-competence
Defensive self-enhancement
Sustaining self-related beliefs (and vulnerabilities)
Hopeless cognitive style
Patterns of feedback seeking


IWM's and view of others?

Others generally


What's the link between secure attachment and self -esteem?

Positive correlation.


What's the link between anxious and self-esteem

negative correlation


Avoidance and self-esteem?

Mixed evidence


Schmitt and Alik, 2005 - What experiment did they conduct?

Rosenberg Self -Esteem Scale showed a negative association between anxiety and self-esteem. In 2003 the same experimenters found a negative correlation between avoidance and self-esteem.


Why is there inconsistent results for avoidance ?

Different measurement methods or different kinds of avoidance (dismissing vs fearful).


Pietro & Barret (19970 study showed?

Self evaluations over the course of a week through interactions with others. Anxious reported more negative self evaluations after everyday social interactions, even non conflictual ones. Avoidant fell between anxious and secure results.


What phenomenon do avoidant individuals engage in?

Defensive self enhancement


Define self enhancement

A person who has been forced to deal with lives difficulties with out adequate mental representations of attachment security and they struggle to maintain a sense of self-worth. Positive view of selves and negative view of others. (Muklincer and Shaver, 2008)


What are the characteristics of avoidant attachment?

Poor self-clarity (Davilla & Lobb, 2003)
Defensive self-enhancement under conditions of threat


Outline Mikuline study in 1998?

Used a pretend cognitive task with feedback, placed electrodes of participants arms they were either subjected to neutral or negative feedback but were told the electrodes were lie detectors or measure muscle activity. Then asked to rate whether 60 adjectives a mix of positive or negative described them. Then given a surprise memory test for the adjectives. Failure feedback is akin to mild threat. Anxious more negative traits, Avoidant used more positive tratis. Wiped out effects of defensive self enhancement for anxious. Conclude that avoidant individuals will act as if they have high self-esteem but may have negative slef views.


Outline the key features of hopeless cognitive style (Abramson et al, 1989)

Self -defeating attributional style
Reinforces self- blame, hopelessness, passivity and helplessness
Perceived lack of ability needed to alter unpleasant experiences
Major risk factor for depression
Academic and interpersonal problems or failures to lack ability (amsden et al, 1990)


Sustaining self-related vulnerabilities, what do you expect in terms of feedback?

Feedback that validates our self-knowledge (Swann's, 1990) self-verification hypothesis


Outline Breman's and Mom's (1997) study

Asked participants to imagine their partner being asked questions about them, how positive or negative they would be. Insecure and avoidant more likely to assume negative feedback than secure.


What is the term for insecure individuals with negative view of self and who keep seeking continuation of negative information?

Self-perpetuating cycle


What are the principles behind view of others generally?

Experiences with attachment figures become internalised into working models of other (Bowlby,1973)
Models can be generalised across relationships
We can treat new relationship partners similarly to how we have experienced past relationships (Brumbaugh & Fraley, 2006)


What did Collins & Reed,1990 state about avoidant individuals?

Less likely to believe human beings are altruistic; willing to stand up for their beliefs and able to control their lives.


What was the outcome for anxious and avoidant individuals in the face-perception study?

Saw fewer positive traits. Avoidant saw more negative traits (Meyer et al, 2004) Insecure attachment see things that aren't there, biasing visual perception.


What did Hazen & Shaver, 1987 newspaper study reveal?

There are attachment style differences in memories or parents attitudes and behaviours toward self in childhood. Older avoidant p's suggested parents more negative.


Further study of Hazen & Shaver, 1987 found ...

50 + studies confirmed the findings of the newspaper study. 2/3 studies showed associations between anxiety and avoidance scores and more negative descriptions of parents.


Romantic partners usually...

primary attachment figures


How do partners view anxiety and avoidant in relationships?

Unpredictability, undependable and unfaithful (Collins & Read,1990)


Collins & Feeney, 2004 did...

VIdeotaped speech
Supportive or ambiguous note
No significant attachment style difference in appraisals of supportive notes
Insecure p's rated the ambiguous note as less supportive more upsetting and more negative than secure.


Explain the reason for the results of Collins and Feeney, 2004

Ambiguous notes activated attachment related worries and heightened access to negative working models of others and negatively biased insecure p's appraisal of the note causing them to negatively reconstrue their partners supportiveness during the interaction before speech. Secure p's not affected by ambiguous note but did rate it as less supportive but didn't negatively reconstrue the events of the past.


What did Baldwin et al (1993) do, outline briefly? And what did he find?

Lexical decision task
RT measure the accessibility of words
Secure shorter RT to positive words
Insecure faster RT to negative words
Secure p's had mental access to positive expectations insecure p's had easier access to pessimistic expectations.


What are the universal, normative features of the attachment behavioural system, as suggested by the authors’ findings? (2 steps) SHaver & Mukilincer,2002

In response to threat, two things occur: Step 1- mental models of attachment figure(s) become activated. Step 2: the individual tries to seek proximity (physically or psychologically) to the attachment figure(s).


. When does avoidant individuals’ capacity to suppress proximity-related worries break down?SHaver & Mukilincer,2002

The attachment concerns of avoidant individuals become accessible under condition of high cognitive load. That is to say, cognitive load causes avoidant defences to break down.


What are the three components of the model of activation and dynamics proposed in this paper?

Component 1: monitoring of threat
Component 2: monitoring the responsiveness of the attachment figure to bids for proximity
Component 3: monitoring the viability of proximity-seeking as a strategy for dealing with distress


What are the three components of Muklincer and SHavers model of the attachment behavioural system?

1. Activation of the attachment system and resultant primary strategy or proximity seeking.
2. Consequences of proximity seeking - helpful or not?
3. Secondary strategies that can be used if the primary strategy fails


in attachment system functionig, neural circuits supporting each pathway around the model are...

reinforced overtime through repeated use.


The model tells us about anxious (hyperactivating) and avoidant (deactivating) styles but not secure and avoidant. How would it be possible to apply it to those?

It can be used rarely for secure attachment.
Oscillates awkwardly between one or two in the case of fearful attachment style.


The model is influenced by context. What effect will reminding an insecure person of a time when they were supported by their attachment figure have?

They will momentarily feel more secure.


what is the 'broaden and build cycle of security'?

When attachment figures are appraised as available and responsive, individuals are able to manage their distress and recover from threat.
Repeated experiences of this lead to positive working models of self and other, and positive memories of having regulated distress, leading to hope and optimism


What is procedural knowledge on how to deal with stress?

'Secure base script' Acknowledging and appropriately communicating distress, seeking proximity and intimacy and engaging in problem solving.


What constitutes as threat?

Threat can be attachment related or attachment unrelated


What are the consequences of threat?

Activates the attachment system, heightens access to working models of attachment and associated tendencies, increases likelihood of seeking proximity. Subject to the individual differences of hyper activating and deactivating pathways.


What is perception based on?

Hyperactivating and deactivating strategies.


In which instances can threat come from within?

Thinking about one's own mortality (Greenberg et al,1987)
Presenting the word death subliminally (Mukilincer et al,2000)
Imagining an argument with an attachment figure


In adulthood, what constitutes as proximity seeking?

The attachment system is activated preconsciously with heightened access to attachment related thoughts, conscious thoughts of seeking proximity
In childhood movement for 1 to 2 years is rapid might also be satisfied mentally rather than behaviourally (thinking about attachment figures might not be enough to restore felt security) In adulthood thresholds are higher and it takes much longer.


Define emotions

Emotions are functional organized systems of evaluative thoughts and action tendencies. Supported by physiological changes some of which have perceptible consequences.


What effects are the generation and expression of emotions affected by?

Regulatory efforts


State the process of regulatory efforts

Noteable change or event in the internal or external world
Appraisal of the event in relation to goals, wishes and concerns
Emotion-specific thoughts, action tendencies and underlying physiology
Facial expression, thoughts, behaviours, subjective feelings.


Shaver et al 1987 found...

Individual differences in attachment style. This affects how we appraise emotion - eliciting events, regulate, experience and express emotion in thought, feeling, action tendencies and behaviour.
Attachment security: Healthy, flexible and 'reality-attunded' regulatory processes that allow emotions to be experienced without defensive distortion.
Attachment insecurities; Distortion or denial of emotional experiences unconscious suppression of potentially functional emotions, dysfunctional rumination of threat and poor coping skills.


Muklincer at al (2000) did...

presented either subliminal prime of either neutral, separation or proximity seeking words in an LDT. All p's had faster RT to proximity seeking words after subjected to the threat prime. Secure and avoidant had slower RT to separation after threat prime.Anxious p's had faster RT's to all conditions.


Mukilincer et al (2000) what happened when cognitive load was introduced?

When cognitive load was introduced through headphones avoidant p's showed faster RT's to separation words after threat prime under cognitive load the defensive strategy breaks down.


What do findings of Muklincer,2000 show?

Findings show that anxious p's hyperactivating strategies keep rejection related thoughts available in working memory (even under no threat)
Avoidant p's worries about rejection and separation seemed generally to be mentally inaccessible but such worries became accessible under threat.


What has social cognition research shown?

This has showed that cognitive load increases the accessibility of maternal that person is trying to supress (Wegner et al,1993)


Secure attachment and stress...
Anxiety and stress

More likely to efficiently deal with stress.
Distress intensifying response


Feeny et al (2005) found that

Secure found chronic pain less threatening then dismissing or fearful and catastrophized less than fearful ,preoccupied and dismissing


What makes avoidant and secure different?

Avoidant breaks down under cognitive load.


Kirkpatrick et al measured ...

Women's responses to stress through physiological responses such as heart rate or blood pressure. Performing a stressful task with or without partner. Secure women showed the lowest physiological response with or without a participant. Insecure women showed the worse response in the presence of their partner.


What did Diamond et al find?

In co habiting couples, ECR measured avoidance and anxiety. P's then give relationship description. Describe thought and feeling during anticipated or hypothesized separation. Then serial subtraction and then job interview task. Finally anger recall. Avoidance was consistently related to greater skin conductance reactivity more so on females. Low in avoidance reported distress in the subtraction task and skin conductance were positively correlated. For high in avoidance there was no difference between self reported distress and skin conductance reactivity. Avoidant don't always show the full picture of what's going on.


Facial expression study amongst different attachment styles

Dismissing avoidant levels of attachment and mimicry reactions at different levels of information processing.


When avoidants are under threat

Attachment system deactivates.



Deactivating AR strategies
Hyper activating AR strategies
Balanced proximity seeking (Broaden and build cycle)
Oscillating between hyperactivation and deactivation