Attachment and information seeking in romantic relationships

W. Steven Rholes, Jeff Simpson, Sisi Tran, A. Mc Leish Martin, Mike Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Testing predictions derived from attachment theory, this research investigated how adult attachment orientations are associated with selective exposure to information about the self, one's partner, and one's relationship. The results of two studies revealed that (a) more avoidantly attached individuals have limited interest in knowing their partner's intimate thoughts and feelings, (b) more anxiously attached individuals selectively prefer information on intimate topics pertaining to their partner and relationship and focus on information that highlights their own as well as their partner's shortcomings, and (c) regardless of attachment orientation, individuals express interest in learning about the negative relationship behaviors and characteristics of their insecurely attached partners. These findings suggest that selective information seeking may have important effects on relationships and may help explain how attachment orientations affect important relationship outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-438
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Close relationships
  • Selective attention
  • Self
  • Working models

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