Major Movements in Psychology

Attachment Theory

How do preoccupied adults behave?

Preoccupied adults correspond to resistant infants. In contrast to dismissing adults who attempt to minimize the effect of attachment, preoccupied adults cannot turn their attention away from attachment; they are preoccupied with it. These adults are flooded with memories of attachment relations but cannot take the distance necessary to create a coherent, objective narrative. They provide contradictory, rapidly alternating views of their attachment relationships (“She was loving, no she was really selfish.”) accompanied by a gush of vivid memories (“I remember on my senior prom. It’s always about her. It was my night but she kept inserting herself. I wanted to wear my blue heels but she said they made my legs look fat.”) In this case emotion predominates over rational thought.


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