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Suboptimal Decision Making in Borderline Personality Disorder: Effect of Potential Losses

  • Juan P. Sánchez-Navarro (a1), Joshua A. Weller (a2), Jose M. López-Navarro (a3), Jose M. Martínez-Selva (a1) and Antoine Bechara (a4)...


This research explored the underlying processes mediating risky decisions for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). We tested whether BPD patients were more apt to take risks compared to a matched comparison group. We used two controlled tasks designed to assess risky decision-making, both to achieve gains and to avoid losses. Overall, BPD patients showed increased risk-taking compared to the comparison group (p = .011, η2 = .224), and were especially likely to be risk-seeking when the decision was framed as a potential loss (p < .0001, d = 1.77). When the outcome involved pure losses, BPD patients were insensitive to the relative expected value between choice options resulting in suboptimal decision making (p = .004, d = 1.24), but did not differ from the comparison group when taking risks to achieve gains (p = .603, d = 0.21). We discuss these results in the context of behavioral and neuropsychiatric research suggesting abnormalities BPD patients’ ability to effectively regulate affect.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Juan P. Sánchez-Navarro. Facultad de Psicología. Universidad de Murcia. 30100. Murcia (Spain). Phone: +34–868887707. FAX: +34–868884111. E-mail:


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Suboptimal Decision Making in Borderline Personality Disorder: Effect of Potential Losses

  • Juan P. Sánchez-Navarro (a1), Joshua A. Weller (a2), Jose M. López-Navarro (a3), Jose M. Martínez-Selva (a1) and Antoine Bechara (a4)...


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