Thrush, R. L. and Plaut, D. C. (2008). A parallel distributed processing model of accessibility of attachment knowledge. Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Abstract: Attachment theory is a prominent social psychological framework for understanding patterns of thinking about relationships. According to this theory, individuals gradually develop mental models of relationships, and these models influence subsequent information processing. Different experiences in relationships are posited to lead to differences in accessibility of particular mental models. The current work proposes that experience leads instead to knowledge about general tendencies in relationships, and that this knowledge is sufficient to explain outcomes thought to be associated with differences in accessibility of particular mental models. Specifically, we advance a connectionist account of the acquisition of attachment knowledge.

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