An insecure base: Attachment style and orienting response to positive stimuli

Claire I. Yee, Michelle Shiota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In adults as in infants, psychological attachment to close others provides a "secure base" for exploration and pursuit of opportunities. Insecure attachment is likely to interfere with this function. The present study examined the association of individual differences in adult attachment style with peripheral physiological measures of automatic orienting to several kinds of positive, rewarding stimuli. Attachment style was largely unrelated to extent of heart rate deceleration in response to the appearance of positive emotion-eliciting images. However, attachment avoidance was associated with reduced skin conductance responding to the onset of several kinds of positive stimuli. These findings suggest that working models of relationships with close others have complex implications for the early stages of responding to opportunities for reward presented by the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-909
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Adult attachment
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Emotion
  • Physiological orienting
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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