The role of attachment schemata in false recognition of relational information

Heather Yeghnazar, Fordham University


Using both dimensional and categorical measurements of attachment, this study sought to clarify how secure and insecure types of attachment might influence specific biases in false recognition of emotionally valenced relational information as presented in a vignette. Furthermore, the role of relational context was investigated in a second study through the addition of varied reading conditions. Confidence analysis was also performed in both studies. A total of 461 participants were recruited through Mechanical Turk and completed an online survey through Surveymonkey. The results of these studies collectively indicated that secure attachment predicts the lowest rates of false recognition overall. One exception was found, however, when relational context was added to the reading condition. Specifically, under these conditions secure attachment predicted greater rates of false recognition errors for positively valenced foils, but only within the positive reading condition. Consistent with the categorical approach to attachment classification, analysis of dimensional measures of attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety separately indicated that low scores on both dimensions were correlated with fewer false recognition errors. Taken together, these findings are supportive of attachment theory and the expectation that secure attachment promotes a less defensive approach to schema incongruent information, with the exception of positively valenced information. Furthermore, the results of the confidence analysis indicated greater confidence for positive foils across participants. Other findings indicated that overall more false recognition errors were made for relational information as compared to general information across attachment types. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Personality psychology

Recommended Citation

Yeghnazar, Heather, "The role of attachment schemata in false recognition of relational information" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10112627.