This study was designed to examine how working models of attachment are transferred to novel relationships. Two targets were created that resembled either participants' romantic partner or their parent. A third control target did not share overlapping features with participants' significant others. Both global and specific working models of attachment influenced how participants perceived new people. The target manipulation also had a main effect on feelings toward the targets: Priming the representation of one's partner evoked fears of rejection (attachment-related anxiety) and reduced defensiveness (attachment-related avoidance). Furthermore, relative to the control target, participants had a more positive overall attitude toward targets that resembled a partner but did not feel more positively toward targets that resembled a parent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies