Basic Emotion Recognition According to Clinical Personality Traits
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Disturbances in the ability to recognize emotional faces have been attributed to individuals with specific personality disorders. Considering the importance of the dimensional models of psychopathology, studies involving healthy participants are becoming increasingly relevant in the domain of personality disorders. In this context, our main goal was to assess how clinical personality traits affect the ability to recognize basic emotions in a sample of subclinical participants. Photographs of faces expressing six basic emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust and surprise) were presented to 72 undergraduate students (42 women; M age = 23.3 yr., SD = 3.4), whose dominant personality traits (narcissistic, histrionic and compulsive) were assessed using the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III. Data were analyzed using both a whole sample regression approach (relating personality traits with emotion recognition performance) and a group comparison approach (comparing groups of participants with dominant personality - narcissistic, histrionic and compulsive - as well as comparing groups with subclinical symptomatology for anxiety and hypomania). The main results suggested a poor recognition of sadness in narcissistic participants and a higher difficulty for anger recognition in participants with anxiety symptoms. These results are discussed within the theoretical framework suggesting that the difficulties in basic and social emotions recognition have implications in interpersonal interactions experienced in different social contexts.
KeywordsBasic emotion recognition Clinical personality traits Symptomatology
This work was partially supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia (CBMR project: UID/BIM/04773/2013).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
All the authors declare no conflict of interest
All the procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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