Mario Mikulincer

Mario Mikulincer
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya | IDC · Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology

PhD

About

434
Publications
518,100
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36,646
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2007 - present
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya
Position
  • Provost

Publications

Publications (434)
Article
Objective: This study prospectively assesses the implication of (a) exposure to distant trauma of war captivity, (b) stressful life events across the life span, and (c) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trajectories and current PTSD, on substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: One hundred and twenty Israeli ex-prisoners of war (ex-...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: According to the motivated helplessness hypothesis, thinking that there is nothing to do to avoid the coronavirus may make people less afraid of being infected (Lifshin et al., 2020). Previous correlational evidence indicated that high levels of helplessness were associated with diminished fear of COVID-19 (Lifshin et al., 2020; Lifsh...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has linked people’s relational attachment orientations to emotional reactions and coping during crises, and to social trust and trust in societal institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis for which collective efforts, such as social distancing, are necessary to stop the spread of the virus. During previous pandemics,...
Article
Attachment security has consistently been found to correlate with relaxed exploration, openness, and mindful attention to incoming information. The present studies explored whether contextually infusing a sense of attachment security (security priming) can improve hearing in young and older adults. In Study 1, participants (29 young, 30 older) perf...
Article
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Emotional support in the context of psychological caregiving is an important aspect of human–human interaction that can significantly increase well-being. In this study, we tested if non-verbal gestures of a non-humanoid robot can increase emotional support in a human–human interaction. Sixty-four participants were invited in pairs to take turns in...
Preprint
In this paper, we set an agenda for a psychedelic science of spirituality and religion, based on a synthesis of attachment theory with the Relaxed Beliefs Under pSychedelics (REBUS) model. Attachment theory proposes that people develop internal working models (IWMs) of interactions with others from their relational experiences with caregivers. Such...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we set an agenda for a psychedelic science of spirituality and religion, based on a synthesis of attachment theory with the Relaxed Beliefs Under pSychedelics (REBUS) model. Attachment theory proposes that people develop internal working models (IWMs) of interactions with others from their relational experiences with caregivers. Such...
Article
Full-text available
Leadership styles in work contexts play a role in employees’ well-being, contributing to better health or, on the contrary, being a source of stress. In this study we propose that security providing leadership may be considered as a resource to prevent employees’ job burnout. First, we examine the relationship between employees’ perception of their...
Article
Full-text available
The psychosocial stressors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have been shown to lead to an exacerbation of suicide risk. The present study aims to examine (a) the contribution of mental pain intensity to psychological distress and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic and (b) the protective role of mental pa...
Article
Attachment theory provides a useful framework for understanding emotional reactions to separation and loss and the process of adapting to these painful events. In this paper, we review adult attachment studies that have examined emotional reactions and adjustment to separation and loss in romantic and marital relationships. We begin with a brief ac...
Article
Background and Objectives Stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic are risk factors for psychopathology, but psychosocial protective factors might play a crucial role in buffering the pathogenic effects of the outbreak. Design In the current study, we examined the association of inner resources and potential external sources of support for copin...
Article
According to attachment theory, the propensity of human beings to care for others is governed by an inborn caregiving behavioral system that aims to promote welfare and reduce the distress of other people through effective provision of care. However, some individuals may develop non-optimal caregiving strategies, such as anxious hyperactivation and...
Article
Attachment theory emphasizes both the importance of supportive relationship partners, beginning in infancy, for developing a sense of security, and the adaptive benefits of this sense. In this article, we consider bolstering the sense of attachment security as a means of reducing and overcoming prejudice, discrimination, and racism. We review basic...
Article
The goal of the present study was to assess the trauma-induced experience of subjective aging for trauma survivors and their spouses in relation to the bidirectional effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attachment insecurities. One hundred and seventy Israeli combat veterans from the 1973 Yom Kippur War and their wives reported their...
Article
Full-text available
According to the motivated helplessness hypothesis, a sense of helplessness in coping with threats in a specific domain can serve an anxiety-buffering function. The purpose of this study was to test this hypothesis in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Argentina, using data collected before and during the pandemic. Findings suppo...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic and aligned social and physical distancing regulations increase the sense of uncertainty, intensifying the risk for psychopathology globally. Anxiety disorders are associated with intolerance to uncertainty. In this review we describe brain circuits and sensorimotor pathways involved in human reactions to uncertain...
Article
Rationale It has been recognized that exposure to mass trauma tends to increase the time spent watching television (TV) news. Yet, research on the effects of this tendency on individuals’ well-being yielded inconclusive findings. Objective The aim of this longitudinal study is to examine the effects of prior trauma and posttraumatic stress disorde...
Article
This study assessed the contributions of prior war captivity trauma, the appraisal of the current COVID-19 danger and its resemblance to the prior trauma, and long-term trajectories of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to risk for PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Capitalizing on a 29-year longitudinal study with four previous assessments, two...
Article
Full-text available
The main goal of the study was to evaluate Orbach’s multidimensional model of mental pain in Italy, while constructing a reliable and valid Italian version of the 40-item Orbach and Mikulincer Mental Pain scale (OMMP) in a non-clinical sample. The sample consisted of 544 Italian adults. Findings indicated that the original 8-factor structure of the...
Article
Full-text available
Background The aim of this study was to examine whether exposure to previous traumatic events is a risk factor for stress reactions during this pandemic. Capitalizing on a 29-year longitudinal study of Israeli ex-prisoners of war (ex-POWs) and combat veterans, we examined whether captivity is a risk factor for fear of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVI...
Article
The present two-study investigation is the first to examine whether experimentally boosting attachment security (security priming) affects attitudes in the parenting domain for both parents and non-parents. Mothers (n = 72) and childless undergraduates (n = 82) were randomly assigned to a neutral or a secure prime condition and then completed measu...
Article
Full-text available
Background: War captivity is one of the most severe human-made traumatic events which lead to self-amplifying cycle of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and attachment insecurities. Solid evidence in the literature pointed out on the intergenerational transmission of PTSD symptoms. However, no research has been conducted on the interge...
Article
The goal of the two studies reported here was to examine the contribution of adolescents’ attachment orientations (anxiety, avoidance) and their perception of teacher’s responsiveness to persistence in academic tasks. In Study 1 (N = 160), we assessed self-reports of persistence in schoolwork. In Study 2 (N = 240), we manipulated the symbolic prese...
Article
Introduction: We tested the hypothesis that feelings of helplessness — i.e., the perception that one is unable to control and prevent negative events — may serve a protective psychological function against fear and anxiety arousal in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted a large scale study with participants from different co...
Article
Full-text available
Attachment theory deals with the development and dynamics of interpersonal affectional bonds. It also provides a framework for understanding individuals’ relationship with God, which is central to religion. We review basic concepts of attachment theory and survey research that has examined religion both in terms of normative attachment processes an...
Code
SPSS Syntax Code for Motivated Helplessness in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Data file is available both here an on OSF: https://osf.io/63t94/ Read More: https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/10.1521/jscp.2020.39.6.479
Data
SPSS data file for: Motivated Helplessness in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic: Evidence for a Curvilinear Relationship Between Perceived Ability to Avoid the Virus and Anxiety The Syntax file with the code is also available on Research Gate and OSF (note that this file includes raw data and excluded participants and the filter should be used...
Preprint
Full-text available
According to the motivated helplessness hypothesis, a sense of helplessness in coping with threats in a specific domain can serve an anxiety-buffering function (Lifshin, Mikulincer, & Kretchner, 2020). The purpose of this study was to test this hypothesis in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Argentina, using data collected befor...
Article
Mental pain and tolerance for mental pain have been receiving international recognition as transdiagnostic constructs related to many psychiatric conditions as well as increased probability of suicide. The purpose of this study was to adapt and validate the Tolerance for Mental Pain Scale (TMPS) in Italian and to examine its protective role in depr...
Article
The main goal of the current study was to empirically study one of the central constructs in Kohut’s self-psychology—self-fragmentation. For this purpose, we constructed a new self-report scale (the Fragmented Self Inventory [FSI]) tapping fragmentations along each of the two major axes of the self—grandiosity and idealization. Across six independe...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: In two studies, we tested an anxiety-buffer disruption approach to depression, examining the effects of attachment insecurities, worldview threat, and death concerns on depression-related feelings. Method: In both studies, Israeli undergraduates reported on their attachment insecurities (anxiety, avoidance), were exposed to a worldvie...
Article
Full-text available
Attachment theory emphasizes both the importance of the availability of caring, supportive relationship partners, beginning in infancy, for developing a sense of safety and security, and the beneficial effects of this sense of security on psychosocial functioning and physical and mental health. In this article, we briefly review basic concepts of a...
Chapter
Attachment theory emphasizes the importance to human beings of socio-emotional bonds with available, sensitive, and supportive others for effective emotion regulation, mental health, and psychosocial functioning. Originally, the theory focused on the quality of the infant–parent relationship, but it was extended to friendships and romantic relation...
Article
According to attachment theory, a sense of attachment security provides a foundation for mental health, social adjustment, and psychological thriving. In this article, we review what has been learned from laboratory experiments on the causal effects of contextually boosting a person’s sense of attachment security. We begin with a brief account of a...
Article
Avoidant attachment is associated with numerous negative interpersonal outcomes. The current study tested whether self-perceptions of impostorism intensify negative interpersonal outcomes of attachment-related avoidance. One hundred and twenty-nine male Israeli veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur War were assessed using self-report measures of attachme...
Article
Full-text available
In three studies we examined, from an attachment perspective, the utility and the validity of a scale assessing followers’ perceptions of leaders as security providers (LSPS). Based on the literature, we designed a 15-item scale tapping the five functions of a security-enhancing attachment figure (secure base, safe haven, proximity seeking, emotion...
Chapter
According to attachment theory (Bowlby in Attachment and loss: vol. 1. Attachment. Basic Books, New York, 1982), parenting is governed by two behavioral systems—attachment and caregiving. Our goal in this chapter is to summarize what we have learned about the link between the attachment and caregiving systems and the ways in which attachment securi...
Article
In this study, we examined the utility of attachment theory for explaining individual differences in dream experiences. Seventy-six Israeli undergraduates completed a measure of attachment anxiety and avoidance and participated in a daily diary study for 15 consecutive days. Each evening, they rated their daily sense of attachment security. Each mo...
Article
The goal of this study was to examine the contribution of teachers’ attachment orientations to the teacher–child relationship and to children’s adjustment to school during first grade. We sampled 539 first-grade children and their homeroom teachers ( N = 58), measured teachers’ attachment orientations and children’s attachment to mother at the begi...
Article
Objectives: The main goal of these studies is to provide an experimental test of a core hypothesis based on attachment theory: Working models of mother are active in adults' minds and can bias their views of self and romantic partners. Method: In two studies, we conducted clinical interviews to identify positive and negative core traits that par...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies indicate that death reminders elicit prosocial behavior, but also an urge to distance from physical disabilities. Here, we examine whether mortality salience will increase implicit aggression when one is explicitly requested to help a person with physical disability. This implicit negative response may address the need for self-pro...
Article
Introduction: We examined whether attachment orientations moderated the self-amplifying cycle of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and negative cognitions, decades after the trauma ended. Method: We sampled Israeli veterans from the 1973 Yom Kippur War and assessed PTSD severity and cognitions about the self and the world, twice—35 (T1) and 42 (...
Article
We report 2 preliminary studies examining attachment-related individual differences in the ways in which contextual reactivation of oedipal issues in adulthood affects men's sexual attraction to women. In these studies, we measured male participants' attachment orientations, subliminally primed oedipal or neutral issues, and examined the effects of...
Article
Objective: Ex-prisoners of war (ex-POWs) experience prolonged distress that in some cases may influence their cellular aging (telomere length). The current research examines whether attachment orientations of ex-POWs and their spouses can explain individual differences in telomere length 40 years after the experience of captivity. Methods: Eighty-e...
Article
Full-text available
In 8 studies, we examined the terror management function of self-sacrifice and the moderating role of attachment orientations. Studies 1-5 focused on readiness to self-sacrifice for a cause, whereas Studies 6-8 focused on self-sacrifice to save a relationship partner's life. In Studies 1-3 and 6, we examined whether mortality salience increases rea...
Article
The purpose of the present study was to analyze the factor structure of the Tolerance for Mental Pain Scale (TMPS) in a sample of United States adults and examine its associations with suicidal behavior and intensity of psychological pain. Data were collected through an online general population survey (N = 225), and statistical analysis consisted...
Article
Full-text available
Using data from 1,352 middle-school Israeli adolescents, the current study examines the interface of spirituality and character strengths and its longitudinal contribution to subjective well-being and prosociality. Participants were approached three times over a 14-months period and completed measures of character strengths, spirituality, subjectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - The New Psychology of Love - edited by Robert J. Sternberg
Article
In four studies, a behavioral system approach was adopted to understand prosocial behavior, and the contribution of caregiving orientations (hyperactivation, deactivation) to various aspects of volunteerism was examined. In Studies 1 and 2, conducted in Italy, engagement in volunteer activities and motives for volunteering were assessed. In Studies...
Article
We studied attachment-related variations in the process of apostasy (abandonment of religion) and compared these variations to those occurring in religious conversion. A sample of 280 Israeli Jews who had undergone religious change (apostasy or conversion) completed scales assessing attachment orientations, themes/motives and other characteristics...
Article
According to attachment theory, a sense of attachment security (confidence that others will be available and supportive when needed) facilitates the functioning of the caregiving behavioral system and the empathic provision of care to suffering others. In this article we review what has been learned during the last decade about attachment-related i...
Article
Full-text available
Compulsive sexual behavior comprises individual-based (e.g., sexual fantasies, compulsive sexual thoughts, masturbation) and partnered (e.g., interpersonal sexual conquests, repeated infidelity) facets. Most instruments for assessing compulsive sexual behavior, however, focus less on the individual-based facet and specifically on fantasies and comp...
Article
Research indicates that dispositional attachment security fosters empathy, and that short-term increases in security ("security priming") increase empathy and willingness to help others. In two experiments, we examined effects of recalling one's own vulnerability ( feeling hurt by a relationship partner) and security priming on empathy for a recipi...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research, using correlational and self-report methodologies, suggests that religion and public welfare function as alternate security/insurance systems. Consequently in countries with more expansive public welfare systems people report less religiosity. The present studies expand this field by utilizing experimental methodology and by replica...
Article
According to attachment theory, the main goal of the caregiving behavioral system is to relieve others’ distress and promote their health and welfare. This is accomplished through a set of caregiving behaviors that are the primary strategy of this system. However, some individuals develop nonoptimal or secondary strategies (hyperactivation or deact...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have documented links between sub-clinical narcissism and the active pursuit of short-term mating strategies (e.g., unrestricted sociosexuality, marital infidelity, mate poaching). Nearly all of these investigations have relied solely on samples from Western cultures. In the current study, responses from a cross-cultural survey of...
Article
The current research aimed at increasing existing knowledge about crying in adulthood. In 2 studies, we examined the contribution of individual differences in attachment orientation to the behavior and experience of adult crying. First, we examined links between attachment dimensions and different aspects of crying behavior. Second, we explored adu...
Article
Full-text available
Past research has shown that attachment orientations shape sexual processes within relationships. Yet, little has been done to explore the opposite direction. In the present research, we examined whether sexual desire and emotional intimacy reduce attachment insecurities over time in emerging relationships. In an 8-month longitudinal study, we foll...
Chapter
Full-text available
Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969/1982, 1973, 1980) is, at its core, a theory of prosocial behavior. It explains how, in early childhood, interactions with mindful, caring, and supportive parental figures (“attachment figures”) create and solidify children’s positive mental representations of others (as competent, dependable, and well intentioned), t...
Book
This must-have reference is a unique exploration of how the individual notion of 'self' and related constructs, such as early schemas and attachment styles, impact on psychopathology, psychotherapy processes and treatment outcomes for psychological disorders across DSM-5, such as depression, bipolar and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, anxiety and...
Article
Full-text available
Interviewers often face respondents reluctant to disclose sensitive, embarrassing or potentially damaging information. We explored effects of priming 5 states of mind on willingness to disclose: including 2 expected to facilitate disclosure (self-affirmation, attachment security), and 3 expected to inhibit disclosure (self-disaffirmation, attachmen...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested monotropy, hierarchy, independence, and integration conceptual models of adolescent–mother and adolescent–father attachment to explain adolescents' perceived social interrelationships with extrafamilial attachment figures (peers, teachers). Participants included 356 Israeli adolescents (12–15 years). More adolescents were signific...
Article
Full-text available
Research on emotional bonding, or ‘attachment,’ in close relationships, beginning with the infant–caregiver relationship, burgeoned following the publication of Bowlby’s (1973, 1980, 1982) three-volume analysis of attachment, separation, and loss. In recent years, research by personality/social psychologists has focused on attachment processes in a...