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Social feedback processing in borderline personality disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2015

C. W. Korn
Affiliation:
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich, Switzerland
L. La Rosée
Affiliation:
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany Neuro-Cognitive Psychology Department, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany
H. R. Heekeren
Affiliation:
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
S. Roepke
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Germany
Corresponding

Abstract

Background

Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) show negative and unstable self- and other-evaluations compared to healthy individuals. It is unclear, however, how they process self- and other-relevant social feedback. We have previously demonstrated a positive updating bias in healthy individuals: When receiving social feedback on character traits, healthy individuals integrate desirable more than undesirable feedback. Here, our aim was to test whether BPD patients exhibit a more negative pattern of social feedback processing.

Method

We employed a character trait task in which BPD patients interacted with four healthy participants in a real-life social interaction. Afterwards, all participants rated themselves and one other participant on 80 character traits before and after receiving feedback from their interaction partners. We compared how participants updated their ratings after receiving desirable and undesirable feedback. Our analyses included 22 BPD patients and 81 healthy controls.

Results

Healthy controls showed a positivity bias for self- and other-relevant feedback as previously demonstrated. Importantly, this pattern was altered in BPD patients: They integrated undesirable feedback for themselves to a greater degree than healthy controls did. Other-relevant feedback processing was unaltered in BPD patients.

Conclusions

Our study demonstrates an alteration in self-relevant feedback processing in BPD patients that might contribute to unstable and negative self-evaluations.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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