Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Corr I 230
Behavior/Attachment theory/Shaver/Mikulincer: In the case of the attachment behavioural system, Bowlby (1982/1969)(1) focused on the fundamental need for care and protection and the innate predisposition to search for and maintain proximity to protective and caring others in times of need. The set-goal of the attachment system is the attainment of actual or perceived protection and security; hence, the system is automatically activated when a potential or actual threat to one’s sense of security is noticed. Under these conditions, a person tends automatically to turn for protection and comfort to supportive others (whom Bowlby called attachment figures), and to maintain proximity to these ‘stronger and wiser’ figures until a state of protection and security is attained.
Corr I 239
Behavior/attachment theory/Shaver/Mikulincer: Both anxiety and avoidance are (…) associated with negative expectations concerning a partner’s behaviour (e.g., Baldwin, Fehr, Keedian et al. 1993)(2). Similar attachment-style differences have been found when research participants are asked to explain other people’s behaviour. For example, Collins (1996)(3) asked people to explain hypothetical negative behaviours of a romantic partner and found that more anxious and avoidant people were more likely to provide explanations that implied lack of confidence in the partner’s love, attribute partner’s negative behaviours to stable and global causes, and view these behaviours as negatively motivated.



1. Bowlby, J. 1982. Attachment and loss, vol. I, Attachment, 2nd edn. New York: Basic Books (original edn 1969)
2. Baldwin, M. W., Fehr, B., Keedian, E., Seidel, M. and Thompson, D. W. 1993. An exploration of the relational schemata underlying attachment styles: self-report and lexical decision approaches, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 19: 746–54
3. Collins, N. L. 1996. Working models of attachment: implications for explanation, emotion and behaviour, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71: 810–32



Phillip R. Shaver and Mario Mikulincer, “Attachment theory: I. Motivational, individual-differences and structural aspects”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Attachment Theory
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-02-23
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