Cognitive Processing

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 317–321

Are anxiously attached women better mindreaders?

  • Thomas Hünefeldt
  • Fiorenzo Laghi
  • Francesca Ortu
Short Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10339-013-0556-2

Cite this article as:
Hünefeldt, T., Laghi, F. & Ortu, F. Cogn Process (2013) 14: 317. doi:10.1007/s10339-013-0556-2


This research was aimed at providing first evidence concerning the relationship between adults’ self-reported attachment style and their performance on a standard ‘theory of mind’ task. Based on adult attachment theory, we hypothesized that the two dimensions of self-reported adult attachment, anxiety and avoidance, are differently related to ‘theory of mind,’ and that this relationship is moderated by variables concerning the ‘theory of mind’ stimuli. The ‘Experiences in Close Relationships’ questionnaire and the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ test were administered to 132 young women. In line with our expectations, women’s attachment-related anxiety was associated with better mind reading concerning stimuli that were emotionally neutral or difficult to recognize.


AttachmentAnxietyAvoidanceTheory of mindWomenIndividual differences

Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Hünefeldt
    • 1
  • Fiorenzo Laghi
    • 2
  • Francesca Ortu
    • 3
  1. 1.ECONA, Interuniversity Centre for Research on Cognitive Processing in Natural and Artificial SystemsSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Clinical and Dynamic Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly