ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (8): 982-992.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00982

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


曹贤才, 王大华(), 王岩   

  1. 北京师范大学发展心理研究院, 北京 100875
  • 收稿日期:2019-05-31 出版日期:2020-08-25 发布日期:2020-06-28
  • 通讯作者: 王大华
  • 基金资助:
    * 教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地重大项目资助(13JJD190001)

The effects of episodic simulation on expected responsiveness of partner and attachment security

CAO Xiancai, WANG Dahua(), WANG Yan   

  1. Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2019-05-31 Online:2020-08-25 Published:2020-06-28
  • Contact: WANG Dahua


当依恋对象不在身边时, 个体可以通过内部表征的方式通达依恋对象的可得与反应性, 获得依恋安全感。然而, 现有研究对内部表征通达途径的考察忽略了情节模拟的作用。该研究采用实验组控制组前后测设计, 考察是否可以通过依恋相关的情节模拟通达依恋对象的可得与反应性, 帮助个体获得依恋安全感。研究招募正处于恋爱关系中且恋爱时长超过6个月的大学生46名。前测评定依恋相关的困境情境; 3天后实验组被试进行依恋相关的情节模拟任务, 控制组被试进行情境结果的撰写任务, 并再次对情境进行评定。结果发现, 相比于控制组, 情节模拟组预期伴侣的反应性和依恋安全感有更大提升。以上的研究结果表明, 依恋相关的情节模拟可以通达伴侣可得与反应性并帮助个体获得依恋安全感。

关键词: 成人依恋, 依恋控制系统, 情节模拟, 伴侣反应性, 依恋安全感


The control-system model of attachment is the most commonly used model to characterize the function of the adult attachment system. It posits that the way for individuals to attain security is to access information on the availability and responsiveness of the attachment figure. According to previous attachment theory, when the attachment figure is absent, the information related to their availability and responsiveness is acquired by accessing the secure base script. However, the function of episodic representation is overlooked during this process. Inspired by the research on episodic simulation and attachment theory, we hypothesized that episodic simulation is an effective episodic representation that could help individuals access information on their partner's availability and responsiveness, and attain security in the attachment control system.

This study investigated whether episodic simulation could promote the expected responsiveness of a partner and attachment security through an experiment. A total of 46 young adults currently involved in a romantic relationship for more than six months were recruited as participants. All of the tasks were arranged into two sessions. In session 1, the participants completed a scale related to attachment orientations, then rated six scenarios related to distressful situations that frequently occurred in close relationships from four aspects, namely, distressful feeling, willingness to ask one's partner for help, expected responsiveness of one's partner, and state attachment security. Three days later, the participants were randomly arranged into an experimental group and a control group to complete the tasks of session 2. For each distressful situation, participants in the experimental group needed to simulate and write down how they asked their partner for help and how they would solve the distressing problem with the help of their partner. Participants in the control group needed to write down the possible outcomes when the situation happened in a regular couple. Subsequently, all participants rated the situation again from the four aspects in session 1.

The results revealed no rating differences between the two groups in the pre-test. In the post-test, the experimental group had higher ratings in expected responsiveness of their partner and state attachment security compared with the control. When considering the changes from the pre-test to the post-test in each rating (calculated using the scores in the post-test minus that in the pre-test), we found the promotion in expected responsiveness of partners significantly correlated with the promotion in state attachment security. Moreover, the experimental group had higher promotions in their rating of expected responsiveness of their partner and state attachment security, as well as higher reduction in state attachment avoidance, compared with the control group. However, no group differences were observed in the rating changes related to distressful feelings, willingness to ask one's partner for help, and state attachment anxiety. All of the results were the same after controlling for attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety, which are rooted in individuals' stable attachment script.

The results indicated that episodic simulation could function independently of the attachment script in the attachment control system. The episodic simulation could help individuals access information related to the responsiveness of their partner and attain security. This study provided a supplement for the attachment control-system model.

Key words: adult attachment, control-system model of attachment, episodic simulation, responsiveness of partner, attachment security