The Defensive Characteristics of Negative Emotional Information Processing of Avoidant Attachment
Abstract: Accurate processing of emotional information plays an important role in the management of in-terpersonal relationship and social function. Insecure attachment style effects the process of threaten related information. Individuals with avoidant pattern of attachment are assumed to repress threaten-related signals. They are assumed to have one internal working model associated with anxiety, operating out of awareness at early, automatic stages of information processing, and another positive model operating at later, cognitively controlled stages of processing. This paper discussed the defensive characteristics of negative emotion processing of avoidant attachment. Automatic vigilance followed by effortful inhibition as a cognitive defense for avoidant attachment to processing the threaten-related signals, which is expressed in a specific dual-process model of avoidant defenses included vigilance in early automatic process and avoidance in later controlled process. The evidences from various behavioral experimental paradigms included emoticon mimicry task, morph task, perceptual threshold task, as well as emotional cueing task provided support for the point of view that attachment avoidant individuals have the capacity to detect the threaten related information in certain circumstance in the early stage of information processing. This characteristic was also proved by the evidences from event-related potentials (ERP) components, which are mainly reflected in more strong amplitude in attention vigilance related components (N1, P2) and early components related to visual features-based emotion processing when presented negative emotion information in attachment avoidant individuals. However, individuals with avoidant attachment style processed negative emotion with attention inhibition at the cognitively controlled level of processing. The avoidant individual’ tendency to “smiling” in response to the angry face at the controlled level was interpreted as a repression of their earlier, automatically evoked negative emotional reaction. Coincidentally, consistent with the proposal that avoidant individuals limit attention to potentially distressing information, attachment avoidance was associated with reductions in emotional Stroop (ES) interference for threatening related stimulus. These individuals exhibited limited cognitive resources which were devoted in this phase. The evidences from functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that during the processing of negative emotion, these individuals with attachment avoidant exhibited more strong activities in brain region in charge of advanced cognitive and control function, such as the right hemisphere superior frontal gyms (rSFG), the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the orbital frontal cortex (OFC) and so on. It can be explained that effectively avoiding processing threaten related information is based on the heightened state of vigilance for attachment avoidance. The defense strategy of attachment avoidance was considered as a secondary strategy with cognitive effort to sustain in later stage of emotion information processing. This characteristic of cognitive resource consumption made the strategy ineffective when the cognitive resource deficit. Future studies can further explore the causal basis for the relationship between avoidant attachment and vigilance-inhibi- tion attention pattern, pay attention to the impact of defensive emotional processing on individual health and the maintain of intimate relationship, explore the neural mechanism and effectiveness of the deactivation strategy and further study the application of avoid defense in clinical treatment to provide new inspiration for the treatment of attachment disorder and related clinical strategies.
文章引用: 唐清婷 , 胡 佳 , 陈 旭 , 刘 颖 (2017) 回避型依恋者对消极情绪信息防御性加工特征。 心理学进展， 7， 199-206. doi: 10.12677/AP.2017.72026
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