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trollsmurf t1_iuvzys9 wrote

"Does heightened attachment insecurity lead to greater negative attribution bias or does greater negative attribution bias led (sic!) to heightened attachment insecurity?"

Wouldn't chronological order of occurrence give obvious clues?


futureshocked2050 t1_iuwbz5k wrote

Not necessarily. Unfortunately attachment disorders can often be linked to personality disorders and it's a chicken/egg scenario.

For instance it has been found that very finicky babies do have a strong leaning towards having narcissism or borderline disorder in adulthood. But is that what causes the NPD/Borderline?

On the one hand, Finicky behavior that makes parenting more difficult could affect attachment (many parents end up being quite ashamed to admit that there's one child or just parenting in general that they don't like because dealing with certain babies can be rough), leading to NPD.

At the same time, the finicky behavior could just be genetic temperament.


learningdesigner t1_iuwxtib wrote

I'm honestly shocked that there is a study that measured baby temperaments, and then had the longevity to study their personality traits as an adult, and was sensitive enough to actually diagnose narcissistic personality disorder. Outside of people complaining about their parents or mother in laws on Reddit, it's pretty hard to diagnose NPD.


Enfants t1_iuxn63x wrote

Thats cause NPD isn't real clear distinctive disorder. Its a label of certain behaviors, up to human interpretation.


futureshocked2050 t1_iuyfcxw wrote

I know everyone likes to dog pile onto things like the DSM, but what you're saying is only true to an extent when it comes to practice in the field.

I'd say that the "disorder" part is where you do have to draw a line and call a spade a spade after a certain point. Like when a person is clearly burning their life down over and over...


[deleted] t1_iuygcsg wrote

totally true but the issue is that it's basically a disease without a concise disease process, we generally have an idea but most treatment like CBT is about addressing symptoms. In many ways it's a lot like low back pain haha


Enfants t1_iuyg3v8 wrote

Why is it only true to "an extent"? It's literally what it is. There is no scientific definition of these disorders or any objective way to test them. It's entirely an interpretation of a human being based on the words of another human being.

Sure certain behaviors of patterns could be destructive. But I don't see any practical use of categorizing and labeling a complex set of behaviors into "NPD" or "not NPD". Is there a clear cut off line of what is NPD and what isn't? Surely it is a spectrum, and everyone has some of these traits, which can even be exacerbated by social/environmental factors (where one person whose "not NPD" can be NPD under certain environments and vice versa).

Also its possible one person with the same exact behavioral patterns as another could be widly successful in a different environment. Does that mean one has NPD and the other does not?


tornpentacle t1_iuz5zx3 wrote

It is not true with an unbiased assessor.

This sort of rampant anti-intellectualism is going to lead to the downfall of civilization as we know it.

Godsake, have you actually read the diagnostic criteria? I get the impression that you haven't, especially when considering that there are neural and genetic correlates of NPD.


Enfants t1_iuz6pnz wrote

What unbiased assesor? Its a human intepretation of another human. The diagnostic criteria is entirely up to interpretation and changes nothing Ibe said.

Its not anti intellectualism. Look at psychology 50-100 years wrong and how far its changed since then. Youd be silly to think the same thing isnt going to happen 50 years from now. You should be critical of modern practices. Thats how science progresses.


[deleted] t1_iv04d7h wrote

Science progresses through the work of scientists. It's almost completely unaffected by conversations like this one.


futureshocked2050 t1_iv1lyl7 wrote

Well you're asking like 20 PhD level questions here so bear with me while I try to answer. Right now the question of "what to do with narcissism" is the therapy equivalent of asking 'what is gravity'. Really no one knows fully but we can measure it's effects (because we have statistics on things like rape, assault, crime, bigotry, racism, etc) and if I can sum up decades of amateur research I'd say it's at the root of most poor human behavior. So trying to wrap our minds around this beast is important and incredibly complicated.

>Why is it only true to "an extent"? It's literally what it is. /Surely it is a spectrum

The 'to an extant' part is me referencing that it is indeed a spectrum.

>It's entirely an interpretation of a human being based on the words of another human being.

I think you're being unfair to the scale of the problem. I'm going to rant here but stick with me--if you want to semiotically break it down, 'narcissism', as defined by the inability to fully understand that another person or group of people, are indeed people, is probably responsible for most of humanity's issues today and throughout history. Racism? It's really just a type of narcissism. Pedophilia? Really just narcissism. Rape? Narcissism. And to complicate things, it's on a *spectrum of intensity* as well. A pedophile is not the same as an ephebophile, etc. Emotional abuse is a little different from physical abuse. But what all of these things have in common is that the narcissist violently breaks a boundary (emotionally, physically, financially, socially) because they don't really see another type of person as a person, just an object to be acted upon for gain, power, or entertainment.

So yeah, it's an interpretation coming from other humans, from outside, but we do have enough data on these behaviors (and narcissism research if anything is actually increasing) to see that they do hold up across many different types of pathologies. A wife abuser has a lot of similarities to a pedophile who has a lot of similarities to a serial rapist who is similar to a dirty cop...on and on.

>Sure certain behaviors of patterns could be destructive. But I don't see any practical use of categorizing and labeling a complex set of behaviors into "NPD" or "not NPD". Is there a clear cut off line of what is NPD and what isn't?

Well it's because it does help 'on the ground' in terms of therapy. For some background I have had a life-long interest in abnormal psychology and I have a side-gig where I run virtual workshops for a therapy institute. I'm not a professional but I get to sit in on a lot of workshops and hear therapists talking between each other and doing trainings.

>Also its possible one person with the same exact behavioral patterns as another could be widly successful in a different environment. Does that mean one has NPD and the other does not?

Your question is not disimilar to one I heard in a workshop with Dr. Laila Ramani who is an NPD expert. Her answer is that it's complicated. You have to hold what it means for something to be a disorder (negatively affecting a subjects life AND/OR the lives of those around them) ALONG WITH the idea that the disorder could be the comorbid expression of something else. ALONG WITH the idea that if it truly is NPD it just may not be treatable.

So for example, if someone walks into your clinic expressing depression and narcissistic traits that are both DISORDERING their life, when you treat them, you treat them for the depression and see what's left. It's a subtractive process. If the narcissistic behaviors also disappear, then what was happening was that their depression was causing them to 'turn inward' and become more and more 'narcissistic' in the sense that it's hard to care about others or yourself when you're in such an emotional hole. But as the depression goes away so does that poor behavior whether it's harming others or self.

BUT, and this is the fucked up part, if you treat the depression but the patient comes in and they're like "My job sucks, my partner is a worm, blah blah" then...that person actually kinda-sorta still does have narcissistic traits, it's just not *disordering* at the moment. If their partner is fully codependent, that partner will ignore or participant in their behavior. If their job is on wallstreet, it's likely rewarding their Machiavellianism.

So you've treated the depression...but now you have a happy narcissist. At the moment.

But there's always a high chance with these people that they will indeed hit some form of rock bottom, even if they do seem to 'get away with it' on the surface.

Dr. Ramani ended answering that question with a personal anecdote about a patient exactly like this. They just flat out had NPD, were basically successful externally, but kept burning through personal relationships.

They eventually self-isolated and was doing ok. Lonely and whatnot but OK. And Dr. Ramani was sad about that but also realized that may just be the actual solution.

But just personally, look we have nuclear weapons and all kinds of world-ending technologies coming down the pipe. If you have kids you'll realize these are not traits we can keep passing into the future unchecked.


[deleted] t1_iv049bl wrote

There is an entire sub-discipline dedicated to the study of personality which has been around longer than any of us have been alive. It's a fascinating space.


SimulatedPolitics t1_iuvqjea wrote


> This is the first meta-analysis to synthesize the literature on insecure attachment and negative attribution bias (NAB) from both developmental and social/personality attachment traditions. This meta-analysis is important because extant studies report inconsistent associations, making it difficult to draw conclusions about the nature of these associations. Based on 41 samples (N = 8,727) from 32 articles, we specify and compare the effect sizes of these associations across studies. Results confirmed positive associations between NAB and anxious and avoidant attachment dimensions and an insecure composite, with a medium effect size. Correlations were moderated by age group, type of attachment measurement, and cultural background. Our findings advance knowledge and build on attachment and attribution theories, reconcile mixed findings, and inform the development of NAB interventions. Important gaps in the literature are revealed that will inspire future research.

~ Li, D., Carnelley, K.B. and Rowe, A.C. (2022) “Insecure attachment orientation in adults and children and negative attribution bias: A meta-analysis,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, p. 014616722211176. Available at:


Sunlit53 t1_iux9qqn wrote

Yeah, this stuff is hell on people with RSD (rejection sensitive dysphoria).


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