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Personal Ment Health. 2016 Nov;10(4):261-273. doi: 10.1002/pmh.1345. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Primary emotional traits in patients with personality disorders.

Author information

1
Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. wkarteru@online.no.
2
Oslo University Hospital, Ullevaal, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo, Norway. wkarteru@online.no.
3
Oslo University Hospital, Ullevaal, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo, Norway.
4
Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
5
University of North Carolina Charlotte, Department of Psychology, Charlotte, NC, USA.
6
Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA.

Abstract

There is a longstanding tradition that connects temperament pathology and personality disorders. Emotions are the major constituents of temperament. In mammals, seven primary emotions have been identified: SEEKING, FEAR, CARE, RAGE, SADNESS/PANIC, LUST and PLAY. The study aimed at exploring the relationship between primary emotions and personality disorders (PDs). Five hundred forty-six patients with different degrees and qualities of personality pathology, admitted to treatment in specialized PD services, were diagnosed according to Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders, and their primary emotional profiles were assessed by the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales. The Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales explained 19% of the variance in borderline and avoidant criteria. The DSM-IV PD categories displayed different patterns of association to the primary emotions, e.g. the borderline PD profile suggested low thresholds for RAGE and SADNESS, but on the positive side a propensity for SEEKING. In contrast, the dependent PD profile suggested a low threshold for SADNESS but a high threshold for RAGE and SEEKING. The results are promising for a more coherent and evolution-based overall theory of PDs, and the correlations found in this study indicate testable causal pathways to PDs.

KEYWORDS:

Affective Neuroscience Personality Scale; personality disorders; personality traits; primary emotions; temperament

PMID:
27257161
DOI:
10.1002/pmh.1345
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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