The Role of Attachment Insecurity and Big Five Traits on Sensory Processing Sensitivity

Şengül İnal G., Kırımer Aydınlı F., Sümer N.

JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, vol.152, no.7, pp.497-514, 2018 (SSCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 152 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00223980.2018.1482255
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.497-514
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


This study examined the interplay between behavioral inhibition/

activation systems (BIS/BAS) sensitivity, attachment insecurity (i.e.,

anxiety and avoidance), and Big Five personality traits in predicting

sensory processing sensitivity (SPS). We have specifically tested three

alternative theoretical models to explain the process through which

BIS/BAS sensitivity link to SPS; unique effects of attachment dimensions

and personality traits, as well as moderating and mediating

role of these variables. Participants (N¼494) completed the highly

sensitive Person scale, BIS/BAS scales, experiences in close relationships-

revised scale, and big five inventory. The findings revealed the

complex role of attachment dimensions and personality traits on

SPS. Attachment avoidance, but not attachment anxiety, moderated

the effect of BIS activity on SPS indicating that, compared to those

with high BIS sensitivity, those with low levels of both BIS and

attachment avoidance reported lower level of SPS. Attachment anxiety,

neuroticism, extraversion, and openness partially mediated the

effects of BIS on SPS. Conceptual implications of the findings and

suggestions for future research are discussed.