Attachment is defined as an emotional bond between people, and individuals with an internal working pattern of secure attachment adopt a relatively open approach to processing both positive and negative information associated with attachment. Among individuals with insecure attachment, individuals with attachment anxiety will adopt hyperactivating strategy to confirm the stability of the relationship, while individuals with attachment avoidance will adopt deactivating strategy to protect themselves from the influence of negative information. Attachment security priming enables individuals to display the advantages of attachment security by activating attachment related cognitive schemata. In this study, two experiments were conducted to investigate the processing of negative attachment words after attachment secure priming, and to examine the interaction between attachment secure priming and attachment style.
In Experiment 1, we used the signal detection method to investigate the classification of attachment security priming on negative attachment words processing, and the interaction between attachment security priming and attachment style. A total of 132 participants completed online questionnaires and experimental tasks. Results :(1) Attachment-secure priming had a tendency to improve the subjective response bias of the words, and the subjects in the control group and the security group were more likely to evaluate the target words as not negative. (2) Individuals' attachment style can predict response bias. The higher the score of attachment avoidance have the lower the response bias. The higher the score of attachment anxiety have the lower the response bias of the subjects. the individuals with high avoidance or high anxiety tend to evaluate the word as negative. (3) Attachment security priming decreased the tendency of high attachment avoidance individuals to evaluate words as negative.
In Experiment 2, 175 participants completed an online questionnaire and a week later completed an online priming recall task (attachment secure priming group vs. control priming group). And 50 negative words (24 negative attachment words and 26 general negative words) were rated on a 0-20 point scale (the higher the score, the stronger the psychological pain experience). Results:(1) the higher the level of attachment anxiety have the stronger the subjective pain experience induced by negative attachment words. (2) Attachment security priming increased the painful experience of attachment avoidant individuals to negative attachment words, and reduced the inhibition of negative feelings.