Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Attachment, Attachment to God, Attachment to God Inventory, Priming
Counseling | Counselor Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Conner, Kevin, "Priming and the Activation of the God Attachment System" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1213.
Attachment theorists seek to understand the development of attachment bonds in childhood and how these bonds serve as the foundation of continued close-relationship development in adulthood. These attachment bonds are established early through the development of internal working models of attachment, yet they may continue to be susceptible to change when opposing attachment information is received. Due to the potential plasticity of attachment bonds, researchers have considered priming, the introduction of cues in order to interact with attachment working models, as a means to stimulate change toward more secure attachment representations, resulting in potential health benefits. In religious individuals, one key close relationship that is impacted by attachment-style development is an attachment to God. This study investigated whether implicit priming impacts scores on a self-report measure of attachment to God. This study used a 3 × 2 analysis of covariance, with a factorial design of prime type (neutral, secure, insecure) by sensory input (verbal/words, nonverbal/pictures). After the prime was administered, participants were measured on attachment to God through the Attachment to God Inventory. This study found no statistically significant main effects or interaction for prime type and sensory input. Further research is needed to gain a better understanding of how priming interacts with attachment models to encourage change.