16 7 Not Secure - citeseerx.edu C 1Attachment Security, Compassion, and Altruism Mario Mikulincer' and Phillip R.
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Give a brief statement that defines what the author mean by the term "attachment security"?

  1. refer to the graph on page 36 and identify the independent variables.
  2. Refer to the graph on page 36 and identify the dependent variables.
  3. According to the graph on page 36, what was the mean rating of distress in the "security priming" group?
  4. According to the graph on page 36, what was the mean rating of compassion in the "security priming" group?
  5. Refer to the graph on page 37 and identify the independent variables.
  6. Refer to the graph on page 37 and identify the dependent variables.
  7. Describe what the information in the article suggest about the relationship between secure attachment, compassion, empathy, and helping others?F4B6F250-9C19-4BC7-85A2-D8F838576BD7.png67CC3D33-E93C-4D75-B5B0-9C2E66B61E4E.pngF757A3A6-B4EC-40BC-9910-53E973A74433.png090F6FE0-DCCB-4C4F-861E-F814EBF0670B.png

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8:16 7 Not Secure - citeseerx.ist.psu.edu Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver 0.7 CONCLUSIONS Security Prime 0.6 O Close-Person Prime Overall, our research suggests that attachment security pro- Acquaintance Prime rides a foundation for compassion and caregiving, whereas two major forms of attachment insecurity interfere with compas- sionate caregiving. The findings are compatible with our theo- Proportion of participants who were willing to help retical reasoning that the state of the attachment system affects the operation of the caregiving system. Attachment theory therefore provides a well-validated conceptual framework for 0.2 - further exploration of the developmental and social-relational 0.1 roots of compassion and altruism, as well as further examination of the processes and mechanisms that underlie compassionate behavior. More research is needed to create better measures of Subliminal Priming compassion and to determine how the attachment dimensions relate to other measures of prosocial personality and moral Fig. 2. Proportion of participants who were willing to help a distressed person as a function of priming condition (Mikulincer, Shaver, Gillath, & development. It would also be interesting to see whether par- Nitzberg, 2004, Study 1). Participants were primed subliminally with the ticipation in compassionate activities can alleviate attachment name of an attachment figure (security prime), the name of a close person insecurity, by bolstering a person's sense of being loved and who was not an attachment figure, or the name of an acquaintance. needed, and by bolstering prosocial working models of self. It will also be important to explore how various experiences and techniques, including psychotherapy, family therapy, skilled We (Gillath et al., 2004) have also examined the effects of meditation, and participation in religious or charitable organi- attachment security on altruistic behavior outside the labora- zations, might enhance a person's sense of security and thereby tory. In particular, we assessed engagement in various altruistic foster compassion and altruism. Such procedures, when com- activities, such as caring for the elderly or donating blood. We bined effectively and continued over an extended period of found that avoidant attachment was negatively associated with time, might allow human beings to achieve a noble goal: to free engaging in such activities. Anxious attachment was not di- all sentient beings from their suffering (Dalai Lama, 2001). rectly related to overall involvement in volunteer activities, but it was associated with egoistic motives for volunteering (e.g., to make oneself feel better, to enjoy a sense of belonging), another Recommended Reading indication of anxious individuals' self-focus. Bowlby, J. (1979). The making and breaking of affectional bonds. To examine the actual decision to help or not to help a person London: Tavistock. in distress, we (Mikulincer, Shaver, Gillath, & Nitzberg, 2004, Gilbert, P. (Ed.). (2004). Compassion: Its nature and use in psycho- therapy. London: Brunner-Routledge. Study 1) created a laboratory situation in which participants Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P.R. (2003). (See References) could watch a confederate while she performed a series of in- creasingly aversive tasks. As the study progressed, the con- federate became very distressed by the aversive tasks, and the actual participants were given an opportunity to take her place, Acknowledgments-Preparation of this article was facilitated in effect sacrificing themselves for the welfare of another. by grants from the Fetzer Institute and the Positive Psychology Shortly before making the choice, participants were sublimi Network. nally primed with either representations of attachment security (the name of a security-providing attachment figure) or attach- REFERENCES ment-unrelated representations (the name of a close person Batson, C.D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social-psycho- who did not function as an attachment figure or the name of a logical answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. mere acquaintance). We found that momentary, subliminal ac- Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment (2nd ed.). tivation of the sense of attachment security increased partici- New York: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969) pants' willingness to take the distressed person's place (see Fig. Brennan, K.A., Clark, C.L., & Shaver, P.R. (1998). Self-report mea- 2). In a second study (Mikulincer et al., 2004, Study 2), con- surement of adult attachment: An integrative overview. In J.A. scious enhancement of attachment security (asking people to re- Simpson & W.S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment theory and close re- member experiences of being cared for and supported by others) lationships (pp. 46-76). New York: Guilford Press. had the same effect. In both experiments, high avoidance scores Dalai Lama. (2001). An open heart: Practicing compassion in everyday life (N. Vreeland, Ed.). Boston: Little, Brown. were associated with less willingness to help a distressed per- Gillath, O., Shaver, P.R., Mikulincer, M., Nitzberg, R.E., Erez, A., son, corroborating our study of real-world volunteering. & van Ijzendoorn, M.H. (2004). Attachment, caregiving, and Volume 14-Number 1 37 Attachment Security, Compassion, and Altruism volunteering: Placing volunteerism in an attachment-theoretical base promotes endorsement of self-transcendence values. Basic framework. Manuscript submitted for publication. and Applied Social Psychology, 25, 299-312. Hazan, C., & Shaver, P.R. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P.R. (2001). Attachment theory and inter- attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, group bias: Evidence that priming the secure base schema at- 52, 511-524. tenuates negative reactions to out-groups. Journal of Personality Kunce, L.J., & Shaver, P.R. (1994). An attachment-theoretical ap- and Social Psychology, 81, 97-115. proach to caregiving in romantic relationships. In K. Bartholomew Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P.R. (2003). The attachment behavioral system & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 5, in adulthood: Activation, psychodynamics, and interpersonal pro- pp. 205-237). London: Kingsley. cesses. In M.P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psy- Mikulincer, M., Gillath, O., Halevy, V., Avihou, N., Avidan, S., & chology (Vol. 35, pp. 53-152). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Eshkoli, N. (2001). Attachment theory and reactions to others' Mikulincer, M., Shaver, P.R., Gillath, O., & Nitzberg, R.E. (2004). needs: Evidence that activation of the sense of attachment secu- Attachment, caregiving, and altruism: Boosting attachment secu- rity promotes empathic responses. Journal of Personality and rity increases compassion and helping. Manuscript submitted for Social Psychology, 81, 1205-1224. publication. Mikulincer, M., Gillath, O., Sapir-Lavid, Y., Yaakobi, E., Arias, K., Westmaas, J.L., & Silver, R.C. (2001). The role of attachment in re- Tal-Aloni, L., & Bor, G. (2003). Attachment theory and concern ponses to victims of life crises. Journal of Personality and Social for others' welfare: Evidence that activation of the sense of secure Psychology, 80, 425-438.

8:16 7 Not Secure - citeseerx.ist.psu.edu Attachment Security, Compassion, and Altruism Overall, these studies demonstrated convincingly that con- textual activation of the sense of attachment security leads Security Priming 4.5 people to respond more like people who are dispositionally Positive Affect Priming secure. For example, we found that contextual activation of Neutral Affect Priming attachment security reduced negative reactions to out-group 3.5 members (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2001). Compared with a control group, people whose momentary sense of security was height- 3- ened were more willing to interact with a member of a poten- 2.5 tially threatening out-group (e.g., an Israeli Arab who had Mean written a derogatory essay about the study participants' Israeli 21 Jewish in-group), were less threatened by the social and eco- 1.5 nomic threats aroused by recent Russian Jewish immigrants to Israel, and were less discriminatory toward homosexuals. In these studies, security enhancement strikingly reduced in- 0.5 group/out-group differences that were evident in control groups and groups of participants who received experimental induc- Compassion Distress tions of positive affect unrelated to attachment (such as through reading a comic story or imagining winning a lottery). Fig. 1. Means of compassion and personal-distress ratings after reading Another experiment examined the effects of attachment se- about a student whose parents had been killed in an automobile accident. Results are shown separately for participants who had previously read curity on compassionate responses toward other people's suf- an attachment-security story (security priming), a comic story (positive- fering (Mikulincer et al., 2001, Study 1). In this study, dis- affect priming), or a neutral story (neutral priming; Mikulincer et al., positional attachment anxiety and avoidance were assessed with 2001, Study 1). Ratings were made on a 7-point scale, with higher ratings indicating higher levels of compassion and personal distress. the Experience in Close Relationships scale (ECR; Brennan et al., 1998), and the sense of attachment security was activated (primed) by having participants read a story about a student who was in trouble, sought help from his or her parents, and received and measuring different dependent variables (e.g., participants' support, comfort, and reassurance from them. In comparison spontaneous descriptions of feelings elicited by others' suffer- conditions, participants read a comic story (positive-affect ing, accessibility of memories in which participants felt com- priming) or a neutral story (neutral priming). Following the passion or distress). priming procedure, participants rated their current mood, read a These findings also indicated that the effects of security-re- brief story about a student whose parents had been killed in an lated priming and attachment-style differences could not be automobile accident, and then rated how much they experi- explained in terms of conscious mood. Although the priming of enced compassion-related feelings (e.g., compassion, sympathy, positive affect reduced personal distress, it did not significantly tenderness) and feelings of personal distress (e.g., tension, affect compassion, nor did changes in mood mediate the effects worry, distress). of security priming and dispositional attachment security on As predicted, participants primed with an attachment-secu- compassion and personal distress. The effects of attachment rity story reported higher levels of compassionate feelings than security were not the same as the effects of the positive-affect participants in the positive-affect and neutral conditions, and induction and were not explicable in terms of simple mood lower levels of personal distress than participants in the neutral changes. condition (see means in Fig. 1). In addition, dispositional at- Contextual activation of attachment security affects not only tachment anxiety and avoidance were inversely related to compassion toward people in distress, but also broader value compassion, and attachment anxiety, but not avoidance, was orientations. In three experiments (Mikulincer et al., 2003), positively related to personal distress. This latter finding sup- enhancing attachment security (asking participants to recall ported our idea that personal distress interferes with anxious personal memories of supportive care or exposing them unob- individuals' compassionate reactions to others' needs. Attach- trusively to a picture of a supportive interaction), as compared ment anxiety seems to encourage self-preoccupation and with enhancing positive affect or exposing participants to a heighten a form of distress that, even if initially triggered in part neutral control condition, strengthened endorsement of two self- by empathy, fails to facilitate compassionate responses. The transcendent values, benevolence (concern for people who are indings were conceptually replicated in four additional studies close to oneself) and universalism (concern for all humanity). (Mikulincer et al., 2001, Studies 2-5), using different tech- Moreover, avoidant attachment, assessed with the ECR, was niques for heightening security (e.g., asking participants to inversely associated with endorsement of these two prosocial recall personal memories of supportive care, subliminally ex- values, supporting our notion that deactivating strategies foster posing them to proximity-related words such as love and hug) lack of concern for other people's needs. 36 Volume 14-Number 1 Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver CONCLUSIONS 0.7 Security Prime O Close-Person Prime Overall, our research suggests that attachment security pro- Acquaintance Prime vides a foundation for compassion and caregiving, whereas two major forms of attachment insecurity interfere with compas- sionate caregiving. The findings are compatible with our theo- Proportion of participants who were willing to help retical reasoning that the state of the attachment system affects the operation of the caregiving system. Attachment theory therefore provides a well-validated conceptual framework for 0.2 - further exploration of the developmental and social-relational 01 roots of compassion and altruism, as well as further examination of the processes and mechanisms that underlie compassionate behavior. More research is needed to create better measures of Subliminal Priming compassion and to determine how the attachment dimensions Fig. 2. Proportion of participants who were willing to help a distressed relate to other measures of prosocial personality and moral person as a function of priming condition (Mikulincer, Shaver, Gillath, & development. It would also be interesting to see whether par- Nitzberg, 2004, Study 1). Participants were primed subliminally with the ticipation in compassionate activities can alleviate attachment name of an attachment figure (security prime), the name of a close person who was not an attachment figure, or the name of an acquaintance. insecurity, by bolstering a person's sense of being loved and needed, and by bolstering prosocial working models of self. It will also be important to explore how various experiences and techniques, including psychotherapy, family therapy, skilled We (Gillath et al., 2004) have also examined the effects of meditation, and participation in religious or charitable organi- attachment security on altruistic behavior outside the labora- zations, might enhance a person's sense of security and thereby tory. In particular, we assessed engagement in various altruistic foster compassion and altruism. Such procedures, when com- activities, such as caring for the elderly or donating blood. We bined effectively and continued over an extended period of found that avoidant attachment was negatively associated with time, might allow human beings to achieve a noble goal: to free engaging in such activities. Anxious attachment was not di- all sentient beings from their suffering (Dalai Lama, 2001). rectly related to overall involvement in volunteer activities, but it was associated with egoistic motives make oneself feel better, to enjoy a sense of belonging), another Recommended Reading

8:16 7 Not Secure - citeseerx.ist.psu.edu 2 of 5 Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver attachment avoidance, reflects the extent to which a person with one's own or a relationship partner's distress (Mikulincer & relies on deactivating strategies. The other dimension, attach- Shaver, 2003). This inner sense of security helps to explain why ment anxiety, reflects the degree to which a person relies on in many emergencies some parents focus first on their children's hyperactivating strategies. People who score relatively low on safety even if it means putting themselves in harm's way. both dimensions are said to be secure or to have a strong sense With this theoretical analysis in mind, we began a program of of security. Although attachment style is conceptualized as a research on attachment, compassion, and altruism. Our main global orientation toward close relationships, there are theo- hypothesis was that people who are dispositionally secure, or retical and empirical reasons for believing that an individual's whose level of security has been contextually enhanced (e.g., global style is just the top node in a hierarchical network of by experimental manipulations, such as reading a story about a attachment-related thoughts, some of which apply only to cer- supportive person), would be more likely than relatively inse- tain kinds of relationships and others of which apply only in cure people to empathize with and provide care for others. We certain relational contexts (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2003). These also hypothesized that although both anxious and avoidant attachment-related thoughts, which can be activated by actual people are conceptualized in attachment theory as insecure, or imagined encounters with supportive or unsupportive people, different psychological mechanisms would underlie their re- can be incongruent with a person's global attachment style (e.g., sponses to other people's suffering. In a number of studies, Mikulincer & Shaver, 2001). Batson (1991) has shown that lack of empathy or compassion can be due either to lack of prosocial motivation toward other people THE CAREGIVING SYSTEM AND ITS INTERPLAY WITH or to the arousal of what he calls "personal distress," a form of THE ATTACHMENT SYSTEM self-focused agitation and discomfort that is not translated into effective helping. We expected that people who scored high on According to Bowlby (1969/1982), the caregiving behavioral attachment avoidance and pursued deactivating strategies would system was crafted by evolution because it provided protection distance themselves from others' suffering, so that they would and support to individuals who were either chronically de- have sharply decreased empathy and compassion. In contrast, pendent or temporarily in need. "Caregiving" refers to a broad we expected that people who scored high on attachment anxiety, array of behaviors that complement a relationship partner's at- and were therefore easily distressed in a self-focused way, would tachment behaviors or signals of need. In the parent-child rela- react to others' suffering with personal distress. tionship-the prototypical relationship in which the caregiving behavioral system is manifested-the goal of the child's at- RECENT STUDIES OF ATTACHMENT, COMPASSION, tachment system (proximity that fosters protection and provides AND ALTRUISM security) is also the aim of the parent's caregiving system, and signals of increased security on the child's part can reduce the Even before we undertook our studies, there were hints in the parent's caregiving behaviors. If one extends this conceptual- literature that attachment security would be associated with ization to the broader realm of compassion and altruism, the aim compassion and altruistic caregiving. Kunce and Shaver (1994), of the caregiving system is to alter a needy person's situation or for example, found that secure individuals (as compared with condition in order to foster his or her safety, well-being, and their insecure counterparts) described themselves as more security. sensitive to their romantic partners' needs and more likely to Beyond explaining this complementarity between a support provide emotional support. In a recent study, Westmaas and seeker's attachment system and a support provider's caregiving Silver (2001) found that higher scores on avoidance and anxiety system, Bowlby (1969/1982) also discussed the interplay be- were associated with less inclination to care for a confederate of tween these two systems within a person as he or she alternates the experimenter who had been diagnosed with cancer. between needing and providing support. According to Bowlby, Although such studies consistently revealed an association because of the urgent need to protect oneself from imminent between attachment security and compassionate behavior, they threats, activation of the attachment system inhibits activation were correlational in nature and did not necessarily indicate that of other behavioral systems and thereby interferes with many a sense of attachment security was active while study partici- nonattachment activities, including caregiving. Under condi- pants were responding to other people's needs. We therefore tions of threat, adults generally turn to others for support, rather adopted an experimental strategy more appropriate for testing than thinking first about providing support to others. Only when causal predictions about the effects of attachment security on they feel reasonably secure themselves can people easily direct compassion and altruism. Using well-validated cognitive tech- attention to others' needs and provide support, even in a general niques-for example, subliminally exposing study participants context of danger. In threatening situations, possessing greater to security-related words (love, hug) or instructing them to imag- attachment security may allow people to provide more effective ine a scenario in which they felt safe and secure-we momen- care for others, because the sense of security is closely related tarily activated representations of attachment security and then to optimistic beliefs and feelings of self-efficacy when coping assessed their psychological and behavioral effects. Volume 14-Number 1 35 Attachment Security, Compassion, and Altruism Overall, these studies demonstrated convincingly that con- textual activation of the sense of attachment security leads Security Priming 4.5 people to respond more like people who are dispositionally OPositive Affect Priming secure. For example, we found that contextual activation of 4- Neutral Affect Priming attachment security reduced negative reactions to out-group 3.5 members (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2001). Compared with a control group, people whose momentary sense of security was height- 3- Ratings ened were more willing to interact with a member of a poten- 2.5- tially threatening out-group (e.g., an Israeli Arab who had written a derogatory essay about the study participants' Israeli 2 - Jewish in-group), were less threatened by the social and eco- 1.5 nomic threats aroused by recent Russian Jewish immigrants to Israel, and were less discriminatory toward homosexuals. In these studies, security enhancement strikingly reduced in- 0.5 group/out-group differences that were evident in control groups 0 and groups of participants who received experimental induc- Compassion Distress tions of positive affect unrelated to attachment (such as through reading a comic story or imagining winning a lottery). Fig. 1. Means of compassion and personal-distress ratings after reading Another experiment examined the effects of attachment se- about a student whose parents had been killed in an automobile accident. Results are shown separately for participants who had previously read curity on compassionate responses toward other people's suf- an attachment-security story (security priming), a comic story (positive- fering (Mikulincer et al., 2001, Study 1). In this study, dis- affect priming), or a neutral story (neutral priming; Mikulincer et al., 2001, Study 1). Ratings were made on a 7-point scale, with higher ratings positional attachment anxiety and avoidance were assessed with indicating higher levels of compassion and personal distress. the Experience in Close Relationships scale (ECR; Brennan et al., 1998), and the sense of attachment security was activated (primed) by having participants read a story about a student who was in trouble, sought help from his or her parents, and received and measuring different dependent variables (e.g., participants' support, comfort, and reassurance from them. In comparison spontaneous descriptions of feelings elicited by others' suffer- conditions, participants read a -affect ssibility of memories in which participants felt com- priming) or a neutral story (neutral priming). Following the passion or distress

8:16 7 Not Secure - citeseerx.ist.psu.edu C 1Attachment Security, Compassion, and Altruism Mario Mikulincer' and Phillip R. Shaver Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, and University of California, Davis ABSTRACT-Theoretically, people who have the benefits of ATTACHMENT THEORY: BASIC CONCEPTS secure social attachments should find it easier to perceive and respond to other people's suffering, compared with According to Bowlby (1969/1982), human beings are born with those who have insecure attachments. This is because an innate psychobiological system (the attachment behavioral compassionate reactions are products of what has been system) that motivates them to seek proximity to people who will called the caregiving behavioral system, the optimal protect them (attachment figures) in times of need. The opera- functioning of which depends on its not being inhibited by tion of this system is affected by an individual's social experi- attachment insecurity (the failure of the attachment be- ences, especially with early caregivers, resulting in measurable havioral system to attain its own goal, safety and security individual differences in attachment security. Interactions with provided by a caring attachment figure). In a series of attachment figures who are available and responsive, especially recent studies, we have found that compassionate feelings in times of need, promote optimal functioning of the attachment and values, as well as responsive, altruistic behaviors, are system, create a core sense of attachment security (a sense based promoted by both dispositional and experimentally in- on expectations that key people will be available and support- duced attachment security. These studies and the theo- ive in times of need), and result in the formation of positive retical ideas that generated them provide guidelines for working models (mental representations of self and others). enhancing compassion and altruism in the real world. When attachment figures are not supportive, however, a sense of security is not attained, negative working models are formed, KEYWORDS-attachment; caregiving; compassion; altruism and other, secondary strategies for regulating distress are adopted. In a world burdened by international, interethnic, and inter- These secondary strategies are of two major kinds: hyperac- personal conflict, all people of goodwill wish it were possible to tivation and deactivation of the attachment system. (We reviewed foster compassion and willingness to help others rather than evidence for these strategies in Mikulincer & Shaver, 2003.) ignore others' needs and exacerbate their suffering. Many have Hyperactivation refers to intense efforts to attain proximity to probably entertained the intuitive notion that if only people attachment figures and ensure their attention and support. could feel safer and less threatened, they would have more People who rely on hyperactivating strategies compulsively seek psychological resources to devote to noticing and reacting fa- proximity and protection, are hypersensitive to signs of possible vorably to other people's suffering. While conducting research rejection or abandonment, and are prone to ruminating on per- guided by seminal ideas first articulated by John Bowlby (1969/ sonal deficiencies and threats to relationships. Deactivation 1982) in his books on attachment theory, we have demonstrated refers to the inhibition of proximity-seeking inclinations and the usefulness of enhancing attachment security as a method of actions, and the suppression or discounting of any threat that fostering compassion and altruism. In this article, we briefly might activate the attachment system. People who rely on these describe some of our recent studies after providing the theo- strategies tend to maximize distance from others, experience retical essentials necessary to understand them. discomfort with closeness, strive for personal strength and self- reliance, and suppress distressing thoughts and memories. In studies of adolescents and adults, tests of these theoretical ideas have focused on attachment style-the systematic pattern of relational expectations, emotions, and behaviors that results Address correspondence to Mario Mikulincer, Department of Psychol- from a particular history of interactions with attachment figures ogy, Bar-llan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel; e-mail: [email protected] (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). Attachment styles vary along two di- mail.bin.ac.il. mensions (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998). One dimension, 34 Copyright 2005 American Psychological Society Volume 14-Number 1 Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver attachment avoidance, reflects the extent to which a person with one's own or a relationship partner's distress (Mikulincer & relies on deactivating strategies. The other dimension, attach- Shaver, 2003). This inner sense of security helps to explain why ment anxiety, reflects the degree to which a person relies on in many emergencies some parents focus first on their children's hyperactivating strategies. People who score relatively low on safety even if it means putting themselves in harm's way. both dimensions are said to be secure or to have a strong sense With this theoretical analysis in mind, we began a program of of security. Although attachment style is conceptualized as a research on attachment, compassion, and altruism. Our main global orientation toward close relationships, there are theo- hypothesis was that people who are dispositionally secure, or retical and empirical reasons for believing that an individual's whose level of security has been contextually enhanced (e.g., global style is just the top node in a hierarchical network of by experimental manipulations, such as reading a story about a attachment-related thoughts, some of which apply only to cer- supportive person), would be more likely than relatively inse- tain kinds of relationships and others of which apply only in cure people to empathize with and provide care for others. We certain relational contexts (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2003). These also hypothesized that although both anxious and avoidant attachment-related thoughts, which can be activated by actual people are conceptualized in attachment theory as insecure, or imagined encounters with supportive or unsupportive people, different psychological mechanisms would underlie their re- can be incongruent with a person's global attachment style (e.g., sponses to other people's suffering. In a number of studies, Mikulincer & Shaver, 2001). Batson (1991) has shown that lack of empathy or compassion can be due either to lack of prosocial motivation toward other people THE CAREGIVING SYSTEM AND ITS INTERPLAY WITH or to the arousal of what he calls "personal distress," a form of THE ATTACHMENT SYSTEM self-focused agitation and discomfort that is not translated into A

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