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Keywords:

  • attachment style;
  • global and specific attachment;
  • inhibition;
  • attachment figure;
  • internal working models;
  • negative priming

Abstract

The present study investigated the distinctive effects of global and specific attachment styles on the processing of attachment-figure cues, focusing specifically on the role of cognitive inhibition. We manipulated the temporal accessibility of specific attachment styles and measured automatic inhibitory processes using a negative affective priming (NAP) task presenting positive and negative words. We also measured one's explicit attitude towards the attachment figure. Results showed that specific, but not global, attachment styles influenced the processing of attachment-figure cues. We also found that participants primed with a secure attachment style showed a better inhibition of negative traits than those primed with an insecure style. At the explicit level, the anxious attachment types showed a more negative evaluation of their attachment figure than primed secures. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.