The Social Psychology of Personal Relationships

By William Ickes; Steve Duck | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
A Process Model of Adult Attachment Formation

Debra Zeifman

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

and

Cindy Hazan

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Imagine that while dining out one evening, you were to observe the interactions of three different couples. One (couple A) is standing at the bar, having a superficial discussion of mundane topics. Nevertheless, each person seems intensely interested in and enthusiastic about everything the other has to say. Their animated conversation is interrupted by frequent laughter and awkward silences. The man reaches for his drink and “accidentally” brushes his arm against the woman's; they lock eyes briefly, smile at each other, and then the woman looks down at her drink and begins stirring it nervously. Across the room, a second couple (B) is seated at a corner table. They seem unaware of the banter and bustle of activity around them. Their eyes are locked in mutual gaze, and their hands mingle playfully atop the table. They are speaking in hushed tones and appear to be totally absorbed in each other. They seem not to notice or care that the soup the waiter had placed in front of them is getting cold. Nearby, a third couple (C) sit across from each other studying their menus. After ordering, they speak in normal tones about the day's events.

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