Evaluations of emotional noninterpersonal situations by patients with borderline personality disorder.

S.H. Sieswerda*, A.R. Arntz, M. Wolfis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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According to cognitive models of borderline personality disorder (BPD), an important cause for the instability of patients with BPD is dichotomous thinking (DT). Object-relation theories assume that the similar phenomenon of splitting is central in BPD. Previous studies focusing on interpersonal situations found support for DT being prominent in BPD. The aim of this study was to investigate whether patients with BPD also make use of dichotomous and schema-specific evaluations in noninterpersonal situations. An experiment was designed in which a frustrating and rewarding situation was induced by computer games that subjects had to play. Participants evaluated both themselves and the games. Patients with BPD (n = 24) were characterized by somewhat more extreme game evaluations in the emotionally negative situations than normal controls (n = 25), participants with a cluster C (n = 10) or an antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) (n = 16). Patients with BPD appeared to be characterized best by a general negative evaluative style, more than by DT or splitting. ASPD participants showed a positivity bias in both conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-225
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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