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Do my emotions show or not? Problems with transparency estimation in women with borderline personality disorder features

De Meulemeester, C; Lowyck, B; Boets, B; Van der Donck, S; Luyten, P; (2022) Do my emotions show or not? Problems with transparency estimation in women with borderline personality disorder features. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Transparency estimation, that is, estimating the extent to which one’s mental states are observable to others, requires the simultaneous representation of the self and of others’ perspective on the self. Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have difficulty integrating multiple perspectives when mentalizing, which may be reflected in impaired transparency estimation. A total of 62 participants high and low in BPD features watched emotionally evocative video clips and estimated the transparency of their emotional experience while facial expression coding software (FaceReader) quantified their objective transparency. Individuals high in BPD features showed a larger discrepancy between estimated and objective transparency than individuals low in BPD features, showing that they both over- and underestimated their transparency. Indeed, estimated transparency positively predicted objective transparency in individuals low in BPD features, but not in individuals high in BPD features. Moreover, the ability to estimate intraindividual variability in one’s own objective transparency was moderated by self-reported arousal in the participants high in BPD features. Impairments in transparency estimation were correlated with self-report measures of borderline features, attachment, and mentalizing. In conclusion, we found that borderline features relate to a reduced capacity to estimate the extent to which one’s own emotional states are observable to others. Although replication in clinical samples of BPD patients is needed, the present study provides evidence for problems in mentalizing the (embodied) self from another person’s perspective in BPD.

Type: Article
Title: Do my emotions show or not? Problems with transparency estimation in women with borderline personality disorder features
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1037/per0000504
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126703
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