Date of Degree

6-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Michele Galietta

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology

Keywords

BPD, Emotion perception

Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic disorder characterized by pervasive difficulties in the emotion regulation system. While it is clear that individuals with BPD frequently exhibit intense emotional reactions, lack abilities to effectively manage such emotions, and often engage in serious maladaptive behaviors as a consequence of intense emotions, many aspects of the process by which this sequence occurs are not well understood. One crucial aspect of emotion regulation is the processing and perception of cues from the environment. To date, processing of emotional cues in individuals with BPD has been understudied. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is twofold. First, a thorough overview of the literature on the development of both emotion regulation and emotion processing will be presented. Next, theories linking emotion processing, emotion regulation and the development of BPD will be critically analyzed. Finally, a study designed to investigate perception and processing in individuals with BPD versus a healthy control group will be presented, and the results will be discussed. The study presented is the first known study to not only examine emotion perception in BPD using a unitary measure of facial and auditory emotion perception, but to also compare the emotion perception measure to a measure of social perception.

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