Emotion Perception in Borderline Personality Disorder: The Role of Mood and Personality
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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most studied psychological disorders in psychology, and it is also one of the most detrimental to the individual. Research on BPD has consistently found that those with the disorder often experience volatile interpersonal interactions, and several areas of research have been dedicated to the understanding of the mechanisms behind these interpersonal struggles. One of the most common theories is that emotion dysregulation and affective instability, two core traits of BPD, may impact these interpersonal interactions in a negative manner. Several researchers have attempted to identify how those with BPD perceive the emotional states of others, but have obtained mixed results. The purpose of the current study was to examine emotion perception in those with borderline personality features using a paradigm which has not been used in any of the existing literature, as well as to explore the differences between the effects of mood state and personality traits on emotion perception, as those with BPD experience high levels of negative mood. A modified version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Task was utilized in combination with a mood induction method and a measure of borderline personality to determine the roles of both affective state and personality traits in emotion perception. Results indicated that although mood was unable to be effectively manipulated in the current sample, several findings emerged which offer support to various theories of the potential mechanisms behind emotion perception in BPD, including evidence for impulsivity as a potential influencing factor in accurate emotion perception. In addition, the current study highlights key areas of future research which may provide a greater understanding of how both affect and personality traits influence the interpersonal experiences of those with BPD. An examination of the results, potential mechanisms behind study findings, and future directions are discussed.
Meyer, Justin Kenneth (2013). Emotion Perception in Borderline Personality Disorder: The Role of Mood and Personality. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from