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Title:The impact of attachment anxiety on susceptibility to false memories
Author(s):Hudson, Nathan W.
Director of Research:Fraley, R. Chris
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fraley, R. Chris
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Cohen, Dov; Benjamin, Aaron S.; Derringer, Jaime L.; Kraus, Michael W.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):adult attachment
false memories
personality processes
Abstract:Previous research shows that people's attachment styles predict memory functioning. For example, people with relatively insecure attachment styles tend to forget relationship-relevant information, as well as negatively bias their emotional evaluations of interpersonal experiences over time. An emerging body of research has also begun to suggest that attachment anxiety in particular relates to people's propensity to experience false memories. The present dissertation describes two randomized experiments which attempted to examine a causal link between attachment anxiety and false memories. Furthermore, the present studies attempted to isolate whether attachment anxiety causes false memories during memory maintenance or retrieval processes. Participants were primed with either (1) high attachment anxiety, (2) low attachment anxiety, or (3) were not primed prior to retrieval (Study 1) or during maintenance (Study 2). The experimental primes had no main effects on false memories in either study. This may indicate that attachment anxiety does not cause false memories during maintenance or reconstruction. However, future research should explore whether attachment anxiety might cause false memories during encoding processes. Alternatively, it may be the case that the priming paradigms used failed to appropriately manipulate participants' attachment security, which would render the present findings ambiguous. Current procedures for priming attachment security and future directions for studying links between attachment anxiety and false memories are discussed.
Issue Date:2016-02-02
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Nathan W. Hudson
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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