Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Lorne Campbell


Two studies examined how attachment relates to information seeking strategy preference in established romantic relationships using a hypothetical scenario (Study 1) and an experiment (Study 2). In both studies, we tested hypotheses examining 1) if highly anxious individuals prefer to seek information indirectly (vs. directly) in potentially relationship-threatening situations, and 2) if these individuals tend to associate direct information seeking with negative outcomes. Study 1 revealed that as predicted, highly anxious individuals were more likely to endorse indirect information seeking strategies but less likely to endorse a direct approach. The negative association between attachment anxiety and direct strategy endorsement was fully mediated by expected outcomes. In contrast, in Study 2 highly anxious individuals in the threat condition reported greater desire to directly seek information from their partners. These conflicting results suggest that the conditions influencing highly anxious individuals’ strategy preferences may be quite complex and warrant future research.