Attachment working models twist memories of relationship events

Jeffry A. Simpson, W. Steven Rholes, Heike A. Winterheld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

The information that people remember about their relationships should be affected by their attachment orientations. This study investigated changes in individuals' memories of their own behavior during conflict-resolution discussions with their romantic partners. One week after each couple engaged in two videotaped conflict discussions, each partner's memory of the discussions was assessed. Memory biases were systematically related to attachment orientations. More avoidant individuals, for example, remembered being less supportive than they reported initially if they were relatively distressed during the discussions, whereas the opposite was true of less avoidant persons. More anxious individuals remembered being less emotionally distant than they reported initially if they were relatively distressed during the discussions, whereas the opposite was true of less anxious persons. We discuss the implications of these memory changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Conflict resolution
  • Memory
  • Working models

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