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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Aug;75(2):436-48.

Adult attachment style and affect regulation: strategic variations in subjective self-other similarity.

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Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.


Six studies examined the link between adult attachment style and subjective self-other similarity. In Studies 1-3, data were collected on representations of self-other similarity in the realms of traits and opinions. Studies 4-5 examined the effects of affective inductions on the link between attachment and self-other similarity. Study 6 examined the cognitive maneuvers people differing in attachment style use for changing self-other similarity upon distress arousal. Whereas avoidant persons underestimated self-other similarity and anxious-ambivalent persons overestimated it, secure persons provided more accurate similarity scores. These differences were exacerbated by negative affect and mitigated by positive affect. Insecure persons' distortions resulted from transformations they made in representations of the self and others. Results are discussed in terms of attachment theory.

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