Adults with different attachment orientations rely on different areas of life to maintain self-views. This paper reports two studies that examine the link between attachment and feedback-seeking patterns in interpersonal and competence-related domains. Participants in Study 1 imagined receiving feedback from a friend. Participants in Study 2 completed dyadic tasks and were promised feedback from interpersonal- and competence-relevant sources.
Across both studies, secure individuals consistently chose the most positive feedback. Individuals high in attachment avoidance sought negative feedback over positive, although dismissing-avoidant individuals sought positive hypothetical feedback about autonomy.
Study 2 further suggested that highly avoidant individuals were more open to negative feedback than positive feedback than were secure individuals.
Moreover, individuals high in attachment anxiety failed to seek positive interpersonal feedback but pursued interpersonal over competence feedback.
Results highlight the role of feedback-seeking in maintenance of positive or negative self-views for adults with different attachment orientations.”
Erica G. Hepper, Katherine B. Carnelley. Adult attachment and feedback-seeking patterns in relationships and work. European Journal of Social Psychology. Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 448–464, April 2010. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.636.