Moving toward greater security: The effects of repeatedly priming attachment security and anxiety

Nathan W. Hudson, R. Chris Fraley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Contemporary models of personality development suggest that state-level changes that are maintained for long periods of time have the potential to coalesce into more enduring trait-level changes. In this research, we explored whether repeatedly increasing participants’ state-level attachment security via priming might educe trait-level changes over the course of four months. Results indicated that both repeated security and anxiety primes were effective in reducing participants’ trait levels of attachment anxiety over time. In contrast, neither prime generally affected participants’ well-being. The fact that both primes had similar results suggests that one “active ingredient” in attachment priming may be reflecting upon close relationships—irrespective of the valence of those relationships. Moreover, our findings are compatible with the notion that repeated or prolonged changes to state-level security have the potential to coalesce into trait-level changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Adult attachment
  • Attachment priming
  • Personality development
  • Personality processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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