ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

中国科学院心理研究所

• 研究报告 •

### 情节模拟对预期伴侣反应性及依恋安全感的影响

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 E-mail:wangdahua@bnu.edu.cn
• 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 E-mail:wangdahua@bnu.edu.cn

Abstract:

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.