Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 681–696 | Cite as

Dysregulation in High-Anxious Female Prisoners: Attentionally Mediated?

Article

Abstract

Psychopathy is associated with specific information processing anomalies that hamper self-regulation (e.g., poor passive avoidance) in male offenders, but recent studies have found that anxiety—rather than psychopathy—appears to predict poor passive avoidance in female offenders. To clarify the association between attention and dysregulation in anxious offenders, this study used a computerized picture–word task to test 2 competing perspectives on how anxiety moderates attention to distracting cues in female inmates. The 3-pathway model (J. P. Newman & J. F. Wallace, 1993) hypothesizes that anxious individuals (identified as neurotic introverts) will show narrowed attention to relevant task cues and thus will show less interference due to irrelevant distractors. The second perspective, derived from substantial evidence that anxious individuals are vigilant to threat cues, suggests that neurotic introverts will show vigilance to irrelevant distractors only if they are threatening. Results suggest a synthesis between the two perspectives that clarifies both the attentional mechanisms involved in anxiety and their relation to dysregulation.

attention regulation anxiety female prisoners 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Bachorowski, J. A., & Newman, J. P. (1990). Impulsive motor behavior: Effects of personality and goal salience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(3), 512-518.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Carter, C. S., MacDonald, A. M., Botvinick, M., Ross, L., Stenger, V. A., & Noll, D. C. J. (2000). Parsing executive processes: Strategic vs. evaluative functions of the anterior cingulate cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97(4), 1944-1948.Google Scholar
  3. Caseras, X., Avila, C., & Torrubia, R. (2003). The measurement of individual differences in behavioural inhibition and behavioural activation systems: A comparison of personality scales. Personality and Individual Differences, 34(6), 999-1013.Google Scholar
  4. Ehlers, A., Margraf, J., Davies, S., & Roth, W. T. (1988). Selective processing of threat cues in subjects with panic attacks. Cognition and Emotion, 2(3), 201-219.Google Scholar
  5. Eysenck, H. J. (1967). The biological basis of personality. Springfield, IL: Thomas.Google Scholar
  6. Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, M. W. (1985). Personality and individual differences: A natural science approach. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  7. Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, S. B. G. (1975). Manual of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. San Diego, CA: Educational and Industrial Testing Service.Google Scholar
  8. Gernsbacher, M. A., & Faust, M. E. (1991). The mechanism of suppression: A component of general comprehension skill. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 17(2), 245-262.Google Scholar
  9. Gray, J. A. (1981). A critique of Eysenck's theory of personality. In H. J. Eysenck (Ed.), A model for personality(pp. 246-276). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  10. Gray, J. A. (1982). The neuropsychology of anxiety. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gray, J. A. (1987). The psychology of fear and stress (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gray, J., & McNaughton, N. (2000). The neuropsychology of anxiety: An enquiry into the functions of the septo-hippocampal system(2nd ed., Oxford Psychology Series No. 33). Oxford: University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hare, R. D. (1991). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  14. Larsen, R. J., & Ketelaar, T. (1989). Extraversion, neuroticism and susceptibility to positive and negative mood induction procedures. Personality and Individual Differences, 10(12), 1221-1228.Google Scholar
  15. Larstone, R. M., Jang, K. L., Livesley, W. J., Vernon, P. A., & Wolf, H. (2002). The relationship between Eysenck's P-E-N model of personality, the five-factor model of personality, and traits delineating personality dysfunction. Personality and Individual Differences, 33(1), 25-37.Google Scholar
  16. Lavie, N., & Tsal, Y. (1994). Perceptual load as a major determinant of the locus of selection in visual attention. Perception and Psychophysics, 56(182), 183-197.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lykken, D. T. (1957). A study of anxiety in the sociopathic personality. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 55, 6-10.Google Scholar
  18. McCleary, R. A. (1966). Response-modulating function of the limbic system: Initiation and suppression. In E. Stellar & J. M. Sprague (Eds.), Progress in physiological psychology(Vol. 1, pp. 209-271). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  19. MacCoon, D. G., & Newman, J. P. (2003). Poor Passive Avoidance in Female Prisoners: Anxiety and Impulsivity. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  20. MacCoon, D. G., Wallace, J. F., & Newman, J. P. (in press). Self-regulation: Context-Appropriate Balanced Attention. R. F. Baumeister, & K. D. Vohs (Eds.). Handbook of Self-Regulation Research. Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  21. MacLeod, C., Mathews, A., & Tata, P. (1986). Attentional bias in emotional disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95(1), 15-20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Martin, M., Williams, R. M., & Clark, D. M. (1991). Does anxiety lead to selective processing of threat-related information? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 29(2), 147-160.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Mathews, A., & Klug, F. (1993). Emotionality and interference with color-naming in anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 31(1), 57-62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Mathews, A. M., & MacLeod, C. (1985). Selective processing of threat cues in anxiety states. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 23, 563-569.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Miller, E. K., & Cohen, J. D. (2001). An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 24, 167-202.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Newman, J. P., & Kosson, D. S. (1986). Passive avoidance learning in psychopathic and nonpsychopathic offenders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 257-263.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Newman, J. P., Patterson, C. M., & Howland, E. W. N. S. L. (1990). Passive avoidance in psychopaths: The effects of reward. Personality and Individual Differences, 11(11), 1101-1114.Google Scholar
  28. Newman, J. P., & Schmitt, W. A. (1998). Passive avoidance in psychopathic offenders: A replication and extension. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107(3), 527-532.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Newman, J. P., Schmitt, W. A., & Voss, W. D. (1997). The impact of motivationally neutral cues on psychopathic individuals: Assessing the generality of the response modulation hypothesis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106(4), 563-575.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Newman, J. P., & Wallace, J. F. (1993). Diverse pathways to deficient self-regulation: Implications for disinhibitory psychopathology in children. Clinical Psychology Review, 13, 699-720.Google Scholar
  31. Newman, J. P., Wallace, J. F., Strauman, T. J., Skolaski, R. L., Oreland, K. M., Mattek, P. W., et al. (1993). Effects of motivationally significant stimuli on the regulation of dominant responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(1), 165-175.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Newman, J. P., Widom, C. S., & Nathan, S. (1985). Passive avoidance in syndromes of disinhibition: Psychopathy and extraversion. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 48, 1316-1327.Google Scholar
  33. Nichols, S. L., & Newman, J. P. (1986). Effects of punishment on response latency in extraverts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(3), 624-630.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Patterson, C. M., & Newman, J. P. (1993). Reflectivity and learning from aversive events: Toward a psychological mechanism for the syndromes of disinhibition. Psychological Review, 100(4), 716-736.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Shipley, W. C. (1940). A self-administering scale for measuring intellectual impairment and deterioration. Journal of Psychology, 9, 371-377.Google Scholar
  36. Siegel, R. A. (1978). Probability of punishment and suppression of behavior in psychopathic and nonpsychopathic offenders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87, 514-522.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Tellegen, A. (1985). Structures of mood and personality and their relevance to assessing anxiety, with an emphasis on self-report. In A. H. Tuma & J. Maser (Eds.), Anxiety and the anxiety disorders(pp. 681-706). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  38. Torrubia, R., Avila, C., Molto, J., & Caseras, X. (2001). The Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ) as a measure of Gray's anxiety and impulsivity dimensions. Personality and Individual Differences, 31, 837-862.Google Scholar
  39. Usher, M., Cohen, J. D., Servan-Schreiber, D., Rajkowski, J., & Aston-Jones, G. (1999). The role of the locus coeruleus in the regulation of cognitive performance. Science, 283, 549-554.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Vitale, J. E., MacCoon, D. G., & Newman, J. P. (2003). Psychopathic females: Tests of validity in three domains. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  41. Wallace, J. F., Bachorowski, J. A., & Newman, J. P. (1991). Failures of response modulaton: Impulsive behavior in anxious and impulsive individuals. Journal of Research in Personality, 25(1), 23-44.Google Scholar
  42. Wallace, J. F., & Newman, J. P. (1997). Neuroticism and the attentional mediation of dysregulatory psychopathology. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 21(2), 135-156.Google Scholar
  43. Wallace, J. F., Vitale, J. E., & Newman, J. P. (1999). Response modulation deficits: Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathy. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 13(1), 55-70.Google Scholar
  44. Zachary, R. A. (1986). Shipley Institute of Living Scale: Revised manual. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Madison–WisconsinMadison
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Madison–WisconsinMadison

Personalised recommendations