Attachment Orientation Theory

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The topic of interest that was investigated by researchers in this study was whether or not romantic mental representations of their attachment orientation alter individuals’ memories of incidents in their relationship. Adult attachment orientations in this research are examined mainly on two dimensions: attachment avoidance and anxiety. Researchers constructed their hypothesis based on the attachment theory which states an individual’s attachment system shapes their thoughts and behavior when distressed. The researchers hypothesized that individuals with avoidant attachment orientations would recall being less supportive and more emotionally distant than they were, when asked how they acted in a previous conflicting event. Furthermore, they hypothesized that individuals with anxiety attachment would recall being more supportive and less emotionally distant when asked about a past incident. Namely, individuals would have altered memories of past distressing situations due to their attachment orientation. The researchers expected that these effects would stay meaningful even if controlled for observers’ ratings. The first procedure part …show more content…
Results show that avoidant individuals recalled themselves to be less supportive and more distant during their distressing discussions. Correspondingly, anxious individuals were rated to be less supportive and more distant. Even though they would like to be more supportive, distressing situations make it difficult for anxious individuals to exhibit their intended desires. These results mean that memories are proven to be altered by attachment orientations when created in distressful situations. Discussed implications of these results state that attachment-based memory are dependent on the levels of distress when the memory was

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