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Attachment Insecurity as a Filter in the Decoding and Encoding of Nonverbal Behavior in Close Relationships

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In this article, I have focused my comments on the possible associations between the cognitions related to different attachment styles, and the impact that those cognitions are likely to have on nonverbal encoding and decoding. I see attachment insecurity as acting as a filter, distorting both encoding and decoding processes. In terms of decoding, an insecure individual may appraise the situation as more threatening than it actually is, may see the attachment figure as more or less available than he or she actually is, and may make an inappropriate decision about the viability or desirability of seeking proximity to the attachment figure. Attachment insecurity is also likely to inhibit the distressed individual from expressing their distress in a way that is understood by the attachment figure and that increases the likelihood that the attachment figure will engage in supportive behavior.

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Correspondence to Patricia Noller.

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Noller, P. Attachment Insecurity as a Filter in the Decoding and Encoding of Nonverbal Behavior in Close Relationships. J Nonverbal Behav 29, 171–176 (2005).

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