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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Goodvin, Rebecca

Second Advisor

Graham, James M.

Third Advisor

Hyman, Ira E.

Fourth Advisor

McLean, Kate C.


The present study experimentally investigated the effects of recalling romantic relationship memories on forecasts for future romantic relationships for people of different attachment orientations. I assessed 133 college students not in a romantic relationship at the time of the study for their attachment group membership and asked them to recall and write about either their most vivid positive or negative romantic relationship memory. I measured the effects of recalling the memory on mood and asked participants to make a series of predictions, or forecasts, concerning the quality of an imagined future relationship in which they were a part. I expected secure individuals’ lack of defensive processing would lead to mood changes congruent with the valence of the memory they recalled, but that their stable positive relationship attributions would result in uniformly positive forecasts. I expected dismissive individuals to be emotionally indifferent to their memories and consistently negative in their forecasts. Finally, I hypothesized that preoccupied individuals’ hypervigilance to relationship information would lead to memory-congruent mood changes that would carry over to differentiate the quality of their forecasts. I generally found support for my hypotheses. Secure individuals’ mood changes differed dependent on the memory they recalled, but their positive forecasts did not. Memory valence did not change or differentiate dismissive individuals’ mood, but memories unexpectedly did affect the quality of dismissive individuals’ forecasts. Preoccupied individuals, finally, did experience mood changes as expected, and their forecasts generally changed congruent with the valence of the memory they recalled. Overall, secure individuals’ forecasts of an imagined future relationship were more positive than their insecure counterparts’.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Intimacy (Psychology); Recollection (Psychology); Interpersonal relations




masters theses




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