Consciously identified attachment hierarchies: Cognitive accessibility of attachment figure names as a function of threat primes in a lexical decision task

Sam Carr, Sean Landau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies have linked the subliminal priming of threat-related words to heightened cognitive accessibility directed towards the names of identified attachment figures. The present study used a lexical decision task to examine the cognitive accessibility of names of individuals who formed part of participants’ self-reported attachment hierarchies. We did not find support for heightened accessibility in relation to the names of (a) consciously identified attachment figures in general, (b) full blown attachment figures, or (c) primary attachment figures. However, our data revealed that participants showed increased accessibility to mothers’ names in response to threat primes. This effect was even identified in individuals who did not consider mothers to occupy a primary position in their attachment hierarchy. Results are discussed in the context of attachment system activation in early adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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