ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (12): 2154-2163.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.02154

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Attachment Styles and the Processing of Emotion Faces


  1. (Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University; Research Center of Mental Health Education, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2013-05-28 Online:2013-12-15 Published:2013-12-15
  • Contact: CHEN Xu


The processing of emotion faces reflects the coping styles of individuals with different attachment styles during social interaction. Attachment styles are now often being conceptualized by researchers in terms of a two-dimension model or a four-category model. Regarding the emotion face processing of people with different attachment styles, there are four new experimental paradigms, namely, morph task, perceptual threshold task, RMET and spatial cueing task. The findings of these studies all indicate that people with different attachment styles tend to have different ways in processing emotional information from the outside. Researches centered on the neurophysiological mechanism have further confirmed the conclusions from behavioral studies, and they have also found that the brain’s reaction to emotion faces is influenced not only by the features of the faces, but also by the meaning of the faces in social context. Linking threatening information to one’s sense of security might be a way to alter one’s insecure attachment style. Based on the limitations of the existing researches, future studies may have multiple research possibilities.

Key words: attachment style, emotion face, experimental paradigms, neurophysiological mechanism