Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

McLennan, Conor

Subject Headings

Aggressiveness, Reaction time, Avoidance (Psychology), Anxiety


A previous study using an Emotional Stroop task (EST) and a Visual Lexical Decision task (VLDT) determined that threat-related subliminal primes (for participantshigh in attachment anxiety) 1) heightened accessibility of representations of attachment figures, and 2) inhibited attachment representations (high attachment avoidance) whenthe threat prime was the word separation. The current study also used both tasks (EST and VLDT) to explore differences in reaction time (RT) without a subliminal prime for neutral, physical, and relational aggressive words as a function of attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety. Results showed that for the EST, higher avoidance reflected slower RTs to physical aggression words, whereas higher anxiety reflected faster RTs to all three word types. Also, for the VLDT, higher avoidance showed a faster RT to physical aggression words and a slower RT to relational aggression words compared to low avoidance. Furthermore, high anxiety reflected faster RTs to all three word types compared to low anxiety. Theoretical and practical implications of my results are discussed further in the General Discussion

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Psychology Commons