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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00684

Effects of nonverbal priming on attachment-style activation

  • 1Yonsei University, South Korea
  • 2Seoul National University, South Korea

Using an affective priming procedure, two experiments examined the effects of nonverbal cues on activating attachment styles. In Study 1, the secure attachment group, which was primed nonverbally, showed higher levels of self-esteem, interpersonal competence, and positive affect than the insecure attachment group, which was also primed nonverbally. In contrast, no significant difference was found between the two attachment groups that were primed verbally. In Study 2, using a different priming method and adding a neutral group, similar interactions between priming modality (nonverbal or verbal cues) and attachment styles were found: The differences in self-esteem, interpersonal competence, and positive affect between the secure attachment group, neutral group, and insecure attachment group were greater when primed nonverbally than when primed verbally. Finally, the limitations of the research and recommendations for follow-up study are discussed.

Keywords: nonverbal cues, Attachment Style, Affective Priming, self-esteem, Interpersonal competency, positive affect

Received: 24 Sep 2018; Accepted: 12 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Gianluca Castelnuovo, University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy

Reviewed by:

Barbara Colombo, Champlain College, United States
Mario Mikulincer, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel  

Copyright: © 2019 Sim, Shin and Sohn. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Young Woo Sohn, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, ysohn@yonsei.ac.kr