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This chapter explains the concept of personality, emotion, psychopathology, and speech. Students of language have not been too successful in avoiding this.
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Are Emotions Different for Borderline Personality Disorder, MDD, and Bipolar Disorder?

More recently, a burgeoning empirical literature has emerged, documenting systematic and extensive overlap. Nevertheless, a fundamental barrier to understanding the nature and meaning of connections between personality and psychopathology stems from limitations of authoritative psychiatric nosologies such as the DSM. Classifications such as the DSM are influential as guides to conceptualizing psychopathology but are built on assumptions that may or may not reflect relevant evidence.

For example, the DSM asserts that psychopathologies are categorical, in the absence of evidence to support this assertion. Moreover, classifications such as the DSM are constructed using more sociopolitical as opposed to more purely empirical processes. Efforts to understand the organization of psychopathology more empirically have emerged in recent years, partly to redress limitations of the DSM.


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Of particular interest to personality psychologists, the constructs that emerge from these efforts bear a remarkable resemblance to constructs that organize our understanding of individual differences in personality. For example, psychopathological signs and symptoms group empirically into spectra that closely resemble constructs that also organize personality variation. Both literatures converge on structural groupings that are well understood as variants of well-established structural models of personality, such as the Five Factor Model FFM.

Indeed, this body of evidence has given rise to the formation of the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology HiTOP consortium, which seeks to organize and catalyze research on a structural approach to psychopathology. The overarching goal of this special section is to promote research on the connection between personality and psychopathology, particularly research framed by a structural approach akin to the approach adopted by the HiTOP consortium.

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Papers suited for the special section will provide novel perspectives on the nature and meaning of connections between personality and psychopathology. Empirical papers will use contemporary methods to illustrate how and why personality and psychopathology are connected. We particularly encourage submissions that seek to illustrate the validity of a structural approach e. Theoretical papers may also be appropriate, particularly if they provide insights that have the potential to frame new directions in empirical inquiry.

They also yielded some questions that compelled me to seek greater clarification of an issue. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. Buy eBook.

Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book Significant developments within the past few years have made possible the publication of this rather large volume focusing on specific emotions of human experience, such as interest, joy, anger, distress, fear, shame, shyness, and guilt. Show all. No significant correlations were found in the younger adult group see Table 2. In our older adult group we only found that the traits negative emotionality and conscientiousness were associated with significantly faster disengagement from sad faces medium effect sizes.

We also applied a non-parametric method to test whether the relationship between age group and attentional bias would be moderated by personality characteristics. For the effect sizes, we used the following rule of thumb: a difference between two z -scores larger than. The correlations between both negative emotionality and neuroticism, and disengagement from the happy face, and the correlation between neuroticism and engagement towards the sad face, differed significantly between both age groups see Table 3.

All these correlations were positive in the younger adult group and negative in the older adult group, although none of them were significant within each age group. We found that older adults engage their attention slower towards sad faces, compared to younger adults. This seems to confirm a positivity effect. However, this effect must be evaluated as a possible age-by-valence interaction and median reaction times for engagement towards happy faces were nearly the same as the reaction times for engagement towards sad faces in both age groups see Table 1.

Therefore, it is highly unlikely that an interaction effect would be present and that the above mentioned significant difference reflects a positivity effect. Moreover, we did not find significant within-group correlations between age and attention to emotional stimuli. A possible explanation for not finding the effect in the present study is that the engagement-disengagement task puts too high constraints on the viewing process. To correctly perform the task, participants were obliged to switch their attention towards the frames.

Such constraints are known to reduce the size of the effect [ 2 ]. Additionally, the engagement towards sad faces index had a low reliability in our older adult group, so results must be interpreted with caution. Moreover, the mean age gap between our groups, This also reduced our likelihood of finding the positivity effect: the smaller the age difference between younger and older samples, the smaller the positivity effect [ 2 ]. Unexpectedly, we did not find evidence for a trait-congruent attentional pattern in our younger adult group.

Previous studies frequently mentioned that the effect sizes for the relationship between personality and attention were rather small. Often one-tailed p -values were used and several times results did not reach significance, unless data were combined over several studies [ 15 ]. Taken that into consideration, it is not surprising that we did not find significant results given our rather small sample size.

However, when looking at the directions of our relevant correlations with an effect size above. In our older adult group, we expected non-congruent patterns to occur for the negative personality traits, in line with the earlier mood studies [ 11 , 12 ]. Two significant results were found in line with expectations : higher negative emotionality and higher conscientiousness were related to faster moving attention away from the sad face towards the neutral face. However, examining all correlations with neuroticism, negative emotionality and low positive emotionality above.

Moreover, all directions, but one, in the older adults group were negative, regardless of the different traits. Taken together, we did find some expected results in the older adult group, but given that our insignificant results seem to have quite random directions contrary to previous studies , we cannot conclude from these results that clear relationships between personality traits and visual attention to emotional faces were present in younger or older adults.

Emotions in Personality and Psychopathology | Carroll Izard | Springer

Because constraining the viewing process as in our first study might reduce the size of the positivity effect [ 2 ] we conducted a new study using a naturalistic viewing task. Additionally, we applied a more objective measure to screen for pathologies see Materials instead of simply asking participants whether they had psychological antecedents. Within-groups, we expected higher age to be associated to longer looking times at happy faces and to less viewing time to sad faces. Further, we hypothesized extraversion, positive emotionality, and conscientiousness to be related to longer looking times at happy faces and neuroticism and negative emotionality to be associated with longer looking times to sad faces.

We also expected age-differences in these relationships between personality and attentional processing, with older adults scoring higher on the more negative traits showing an attentional preference for positive information i.

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All participants completed an informed consent form. Those who reported uncorrected vision problems, known cognitive problems such as dementia, or current psychiatric disorders assessed with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview MINI: see materials , during telephone screening, were excluded. An additional seven younger and five older participants were excluded given that less than 50 percent of their eye movements were registered. Demographic variables are provided in Table 4. The samples in this study are representative for the general population based on gender and marital status but are higher educated than younger and older adults in the general population [ 22 ].

Except for one participant, who has Belgian-Turkish roots, all participants are Caucasian.

Emotions in Personality and Psychopathology

Candidate participants were screened for current psychiatric disorders, by using the MINI [ 34 ] Dutch version [ 35 ]. See also study 1. The scales of interest for this study, neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness showed good internal consistencies resp. The stimuli in the task existed of pictures of happy, sad, and neutral faces and were identical to the stimuli used by Sanchez and colleagues [ 32 ]. To record eye-movements, a Tobii tx eye-tracker system was used.

Each trial started by presenting a black screen Participants were instructed to focus on the cross and the task only advanced when they looked at the cross for at least ms. Hereafter, a black screen with two faces of the same person was presented during ms.


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One of the faces always had an emotional expression, while the other one was neutral. Emotional faces could equally appear on the left or right side of the screen and face pairs were randomly presented.

Emotions in Personality and Psychopathology

Participants were told to freely look at the screen as if they were watching television during this period to encourage naturalistic processing. Then, a new fixation cross appeared and a new trial was started. For the analyses, two indexes were calculated. The happy face index is the total time spent looking at the happy faces, divided by total time spent looking at both happy and neutral faces.

The sad face index is the total time spent looking at the sad faces divided, divided by total time looking at both sad and neutral faces.