This paper explores the relationship of various trait emotions to the ethical choices of 189 college students who completed a managerial decision-making task as part of an in-basket exercise in a laboratory setting. Prior research regarding emotion influences on ethical decision-making and linkages between emotions and cognition informed hypotheses about how different types of emotions impact ethical choices. Findings supported our expectations that positive and negative emotions classified as active would be more strongly related to interpersonally-directed ethical choices than (...) to organizationally-directed ones, and that passive emotions would be less related to ethical choices than active emotions. Implications for ethical decision-making research and organizational practices are discussed. (shrink)
Background/Aims: Trait binge eating has been proposed as a ‘hedonic subtype’ of obesity characterised by enhanced food liking and wanting, and a preference for high-fat sweet foods in the laboratory. The current study examined the influence of trait binge eating in overweight or obese women on eating behaviour under laboratory and free-living conditions over a 48-hour period. Methods: In a matched pairs design, 24 overweight or obese females (BMI: 30.30 ± 2.60kg/m2; Age: 25.42 ± 3.65yrs) with high or (...) low scores on the Binge Eating Scale were divided into one of two groups; Obese Binge (O-B) and Obese Non-binge (O-NB). Energy intake was assessed using combined laboratory energy intake measures and 24-hour dietary recall procedures. Liking and wanting were assessed using the Leeds Food Preference Questionnaire. Results: There was a significant association between overall energy consumed, and energy consumed from snack foods under laboratory and free-living conditions. O-B exhibited a greater preference for sweet snack foods in their laboratory and free-living eating behaviour. These findings were supported by greater laboratory-based measures of wanting and craving for this food type in O-B. In addition, O-B consumed significantly more energy than their estimated daily energy requirements in the laboratory suggesting that they over-consumed compared to O-NB. Conclusions: The measurement concordance between laboratory and free-living based energy intake supports the validity of laboratory-based test meal methodologies Variation in trait binge eating was associated with increased craving and wanting for high-fat sweet foods and overconsumption in the laboratory. These findings support the use of trait binge eating as a common hedonic subtype of obesity and extend the relevance of this subtype to habitual patterns of energy intake. (shrink)
The research aim was to find out whether the personality trait that using the big five personality factors were significantly and positively correlated with attitude toward performance appraisal system. Method for this research is quantitative and non experimental with correlation research design. A hundred ten (110) TransJakarta bus drivers who have worked minimum for a year, completed the big five scale NEO PI-R and the attitude toward performance appraisal system scale. Among the big five personality facet level, two aspects (...) of openness, aesthetics rs(110) = .22 and ideas rs(110) = .19 were positively related to attitude toward performance appraisal system. Within the conscientiousness dimension, dutifulness rs(110) = .22 and achievement striving rs(110) = .21 were significantly and positively correlated with attitude toward performance appraisal system. Within the extraversion dimension excitement seeking rs(110) .21 and positive emotion rs(110) = .23 were significantly and positively correlated with attitude toward performance appraisal system Finally, these result is recommended to be used in TransJakarta bus drive recruitment process, so that the management would get the best drivers whose performance match to the company expected. Furthermore the service to the society could increase and become a model for another public transportation company.  . (shrink)
This paper examines the implications of certain social psychological experiments for moral theory—specifically, for virtue theory. Gilbert Harman and John Doris have recently argued that the empirical evidence offered by ‘situationism’ demonstrates that there is no such thing as a character trait. I dispute this conclusion. My discussion focuses on the proper interpretation of the experimental data—the data themselves I grant for the sake of argument. I develop three criticisms of the anti-trait position. Of these, the central criticism (...) concerns three respects in which the experimental situations employed to test someone's character trait are inadequate to the task. First, they do not take account of the subject's own construal of the situation. Second, they include behaviour that is only marginally relevant to the trait in question. Third, they disregard the normative character of the responses in which virtue theory is interested. Given these inadequacies in situationism's operationalized conception of a ‘character trait’, I argue that situationism does not really address the proposition that people have ‘character traits’, properly understood. A fortiori, the social psychological evidence does not refute that proposition. I also adduce some limited experimental evidence in favour of character traits and distil two lessons we can nevertheless learn from situationism. (shrink)
Because little is known about the human trait of affiliation, we provide a novel neurobehavioral model of affiliative bonding. Discussion is organized around processes of reward and memory formation that occur during approach and consummatory phases of affiliation. Appetitive and consummatory reward processes are mediated independently by the activity of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA)–nucleus accumbens shell (NAS) pathway and the central corticolimbic projections of the u-opiate system of the medial basal arcuate nucleus, respectively, although these two (...) projection systems functionally interact across time. We next explicate the manner in which DA and glutamate interact in both the VTA and NAS to form incentive-encoded contextual memory ensembles that are predictive of reward derived from affiliative objects. Affiliative stimuli, in particular, are incorporated within contextual ensembles predictive of affiliative reward via: (a) the binding of affiliative stimuli in the rostral circuit of the medial extended amygdala and subsequent transmission to the NAS shell; (b) affiliative stimulus-induced opiate potentiation of DA processes in the VTA and NAS; and (c) permissive or facilitatory effects of gonadal steroids, oxytocin (in interaction with DA), and vasopressin on (i) sensory, perceptual, and attentional processing of affiliative stimuli and (ii) formation of social memories. Among these various processes, we propose that the capacity to experience affiliative reward via opiate functioning has a disproportionate weight in determining individual differences in affiliation. We delineate sources of these individual differences, and provide the first human data that support an association between opiate functioning and variation in trait affiliation. Key Words: affiliation corticolimbic-striatal networks; appetitive and consummatory reward; dopamine; oxytocin; personality; social bonds; social memory; u-opiates. (shrink)
To fully understand human language, an evolved trait that develops in the young without formal instruction, it must be possible to observe language that has not been influenced by instruction. But in modern societies, much of the language that is used, and most of the language that is measured, is confounded by literacy and academic training. This diverts empirical attention from natural habits of speech, causing theorists to miss critical features of linguistic practice. To dramatize this point, I examine (...) data from a special population––the canal boat children of early twentieth century England––whose language developed without academic influence, but was evaluated using instruments designed primarily for academic use. These data, taken together with related research, suggest that formal instruction can convert language from a purely biological trait that was selected, to a talent that was instructed, while altering the users of language themselves. I then review research indicating that formal instruction can also mask or distort inter-sexual differences in the social applications of language, a significant handicap to evolutionary theorizing. I conclude that if biological theories of language are to succeed, they must explain the spontaneous speaking practices of naturally behaving individuals. (shrink)
We evaluate the consistency of different constructs affecting risk attitude in individuals’ decisions across different levels of risk. Specifically, we contrast views suggesting that risk attitude is a single primitive construct with those suggesting it consists of multiple latent components. Additionally, we evaluate such constructs as sensitivity to losses, diminishing sensitivity to increases in payoff, sensitivity to variance, and risk acceptance (the willingness to accept probable outcomes over certainty). In search of trait-like constructs, the paper reviews experimental results focusing (...) on the consistency of these constructs in different tasks as well as their temporal consistency. Overall, the findings show that the most consistent factor is risk acceptance, and they also demonstrate its potential boundaries. These results are modeled with a simple quantitative index of subjective risk. A survey of decisions under risk further reveals that participants exhibit almost no consistency across different tasks in this setting, highlighting the advantage of experiential tasks for studying individual differences. (shrink)
Despite the recent surge of interest in Nietzsche’s moral psychology and his conceptions of character and virtue in particular, little attention has been paid to his treatment of the relation between character traits and the terms that designate them. In this paper, I argue for an interpretation of this relation: Nietzsche thinks there is a looping effect between the psychological disposition named by a character trait-term and the practice of using that term.
Because of their elementary significance in almost all fields of science, measures of association between two variables or traits are abundant and multiform. One aspect of association that is of considerable interest, especially in population genetics and ecology, seems to be widely ignored. This aspect concerns association between complex traits that show variable and arbitrarily defined state differences. Among such traits are genetic characters controlled by many and potentially polyploid loci, species characteristics, and environmental variables, all of which may be (...) mutually and asymmetrically associated. A concept of directed association of one trait with another is developed here that relies solely on difference measures between the states of a trait. Associations are considered at three levels: between individual states of two variables, between an individual state of one variable and the totality of the other variable, and between two variables. Relations to known concepts of association are identified. In particular, measures at the latter two levels turn out to be interpretable as measures of differentiation. Examples are given for areas of application (search for functional relationships, distribution of variation over populations, genomic associations, spatiogenetic structure). (shrink)
The authors outline research strategies that may identify the possible adaptive value of a trait. But this does not solve the problem of how to decide which characteristics of living organisms require an adaptive explanation. I suggest that knowledge of the ontogenetic and phylogenetic construction of a trait facilitates the identification of features that may have been acted on by natural selection.
Early theorists (Freud and Darwin) speculated that extremely shy children, or those with anxious temperament, were likely to have anxiety problems as adults. More recent studies demonstrate that these children have heightened responses to potentially threatening situations reacting with intense defensive responses that are characterized by behavioral inhibition (BI) (inhibited motor behavior and decreased vocalizations) and physiological arousal. Confirming the earlier impressions, data now demonstrate that children with this disposition are at increased risk to develop anxiety, depression, and comorbid substance (...) abuse. Additional key features of anxious temperament are that it appears at a young age, it is a stable characteristic of individuals, and even in non-threatening environments it is associated with increased psychic anxiety and somatic tension. To understand the neural underpinnings of anxious temperament, we performed imaging studies with 18- fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) high-resolution Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in young rhesus monkeys. Rhesus monkeys were used because they provide a well validated model of anxious temperament for studies that cannot be performed in human children. Imaging the same animal in stressful and secure contexts, we examined the relation between regional metabolic brain activity and a trait-like measure of anxious temperament that encompasses measures of BI and pituitaryadrenal reactivity. Regardless of context, results demonstrated a trait-like pattern of brain activity (amygdala, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, hippocampus, and periaqueductal gray) that is predictive of individual phenotypic differences. Importantly, individuals with extreme anxious temperament also displayed increased activity of this circuit when assessed in the security of their home environment. These findings suggest that increased activity of this circuit early in life mediates the childhood temperamental risk to develop anxiety and depression.. (shrink)
Vallortigara & Rogers's (V&R's) proposal that directional asymmetries evolved under social pressures raises questions about the ontogenetic mechanisms subserving the alignment of asymmetries in a population. Neuro-ontogenetic principles suggest that epigenetic factors are decisively involved in the determination of individual lateralization and that genetic factors align their direction. Clearly, directional asymmetry has an epigenetic trait.
The aim of this research is to find the operating level manager’s interpersonal competence (based on big-five personality trait theory). The total subjects of this research are 139 operating level managers. The subjects of this research are divided by the big-five personality trait, such as openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Researcher used questionnaire which is based on Likert scale to collect the data of this research. The data was analyzed by descriptive statistics with SPSS program (...) 12 th version. The result of this research shows that openness to experience and neuroticism tipe of personality has higher interpersonal competence score than the other personality tipes.  . (shrink)
This commentary speaks to the relationship between Depue & Marrone-Strupinsky's (D&M-S's) concept of trait affiliation and affiliative memory and the formation of human community, especially among peer groups. The target article suggests a model for how and why dynamic communities form in a number of disparate contexts and under a number of circumstances.
“Trait” is a ubiquitous term in biology, but its precise meaning and theoretical foundations remain opaque. After distinguishing between “trait” and “character,” I argue for the value of adopting Theodosius Dobzhansky’s 1956 definition and framework for understanding “trait,” which holds that traits are just “semantic devices” that artificially impose order on continuous biological phenomena. I elaborate on this definition to distinguish between trait validity (compliance with Dobzhansky’s trait definition) and trait utility (usefulness of a (...)trait). As a consequence of this elaboration of the meaning of “trait,” it becomes clear that considerations of adaptation, function, homogeneity and natural kinds have clouded discussions of the meaning of “trait” per se. Combining this account with work by David Hull and examples from contemporary biology, I demonstrate that even broad or heterogeneous traits (including multiple sub-traits) can qualify as valid and useful. As a test case for this understanding of trait, I show how it can help resolve critiques of schizophrenia’s status as a single trait, highlighting the recent advances made within schizophrenia research. (shrink)
In one of the essays in his recent book on Christianity, La déclosion (2005), Nancy discusses the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. Nancy opens this discussion with a reference to Lyotard’s book on this relationship: Un trait d’union (1993). Both Lyotard and Nancy examine a very early figure in the emergence of Christianity from Judaism—whereas Lyotard focuses on the epistles of Paul, Nancy reads the epistle of James. Lyotard concludes that the hyphen in the expression ‘Judeo-Christian’ actually conceals ‘the (...) most impenetrable abyss within Western thought’. With this abyss, Lyotard refers to the point of departure of Judaism: the event in which a Voice has left behind letters, inaugurating an interminable work of interpretation. For Nancy, however, it is rather Christianity, and therefore, Western culture, which is deconstructive in nature. Its composition is co-original with a decomposition, and therefore, with an openness. In James, Nancy finds an emphasis on praxis, in such a way that existence is to be understood as transcendent within itself. With this reading of James, Nancy seems to deny that there is a fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity. In order to clarify the differences between Lyotard and Nancy, it is shown that, in Lyotard’s view, an unsublatable alterity comes with aisthèsis, whereas in Nancy’s view, alterity comes with existence as such. (shrink)
Previous studies of cognitive alterations in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have yielded conflicting results. Given that a core feature of BPD is affective instability, which is characterized by emotional hyperreactivity and deficits in emotion regulation, it seems conceivable that short-lasting emotional distress might exert temporary detrimental effects on cognitive performance. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how task-irrelevant emotional stimuli (fearful faces) affect performance and fronto-limbic neural activity patterns during attention-demanding cognitive processing in 16 female, unmedicated (...) BPD patients relative to 24 age-matched healthy controls. In a modified flanker task, emotionally negative, socially salient pictures (fearful versus neutral faces) were presented as distracters in the background. Patients, but not controls, showed an atypical response pattern of the right amygdala with increased activation during emotional interference in the (difficult) incongruent flanker condition, but emotion-related amygdala deactivation in the congruent condition. A direct comparison of the emotional conditions between the two groups revealed that the strongest diagnosis-related differences could be observed in the dorsal and, to a lesser extent, also in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (dACC, rACC) where patients exhibited an increased neural response to emotional relative to neutral distracters. Moreover, in the incongruent condition, both the dACC and rACC fMRI responses during emotional interference were negatively correlated with trait anxiety in the patients, but not in the healthy controls. As higher trait anxiety was also associated with longer reaction times in the BPD patients, we suggest that in BPD patients the ACC might mediate compensatory cognitive processes during emotional interference and that such neurocognitive compensation that can be adversely affected by high levels of anxiety. (shrink)
The present research examined the hypothesis that cognitive processes are modulated differentially by trait and state negative affect (NA). Brain activation associated with trait and state NA was measured by fMRI during an attentional control task, the emotion-word Stroop. Performance on the task was disrupted only by state NA. Trait NA was associated with reduced activity in several regions, including a prefrontal area that has been shown to be involved in top-down, goal-directed attentional control. In contrast, state (...) NA was associated with increased activity in several regions, including a prefrontal region that has been shown to be involved in stimulus-driven aspects of attentional control. Results suggest that NA has a significant impact on cognition, and that state and trait NA disrupt attentional control in distinct ways. (shrink)
Autistic face processing difficulties are said to be either uniquely social or due to a piecemeal cognitive ‘style’. Co-morbidity of social deficits and piecemeal cognition in autism makes teasing apart these accounts difficult. These traits vary normally, and are more separable in the general population, suggesting another way to compare accounts. Participants completed the Autism Quotient survey of autistic traits, and one of three face recognition tests: full-face, eyes-only, or mouth-only. Social traits predicted performance in the full-face condition in both (...) sexes. Eyes-only males' performance was predicted by a social x cognitive trait interaction: attention to detail boosted face recognition in males with few social traits, but hindered performance in those reporting many social traits. This suggests social/non-social ASC trait interactions at the behavioural level. In the presence of few ASC-like difficulties in social reciprocity, an ASC-like attention to detail may confer advantages on typical males’ face recognition skills. On the other hand, when attention to detail co-occurs with difficulties in social reciprocity, a detailed focus may exacerbate such already present social difficulties, as is thought to occur in autism. (shrink)
We disagree with Dixon et al. by maintaining that prejudice is primarily rooted in aversive reactions toward out-group members. However, these reactions are not indicative of negative attributes, such as trait bigotry, but rather normative homophily for peers with similar perceived attributes. Cognitive biases such as stereotype threat perpetuate perceptions of inequipotential and subsequent discrimination, irrespective of individuals' personality characteristics.
Ability and achievement are not traits: they are relations. Mistaking traits for relations has a history even in science (our understanding of gravity). This mistake is possibly responsible for the lackluster performance of the results of our educational research when we have tried to use it to inform policy. It is particularly troublesome for interventions that target “children at risk.” The paper provides a quasi-formal outline of achievement as a relation and it then uses the outline to explain some problematic (...) research findings. (shrink)
The function of a trait token is usually defined in terms of some properties of other (past, present, future) tokens of the same trait type. I argue that this strategy is problematic, as trait types are (at least partly) individuated by their functional properties, which would lead to circularity. In order to avoid this problem, I suggest a way to define the function of a trait token in terms of the properties of the very same (...) class='Hi'>trait token. To able to allow for the possibility of malfunctioning, some of these properties need to be modal ones: a function of a trait is to do F just in case its doing F would contribute to the inclusive fitness of the organism whose trait it is. Function attributions have modal force. Finally, I explore whether and how this theory of biological function could be modified to cover artifact function. (shrink)
Given that natural selection is so powerful at optimizing complex adaptations, why does it seem unable to eliminate genes (susceptibility alleles) that predispose to common, harmful, heritable mental disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? We assess three leading explanations for this apparent paradox from evolutionary genetic theory: (1) ancestral neutrality (susceptibility alleles were not harmful among ancestors), (2) balancing selection (susceptibility alleles sometimes increased fitness), and (3) polygenic mutation-selection balance (mental disorders reflect the inevitable mutational load on the thousands (...) of genes underlying human behavior). The first two explanations are commonly assumed in psychiatric genetics and Darwinian psychiatry, while mutation-selection has often been discounted. All three models can explain persistent genetic variance in some traits under some conditions, but the first two have serious problems in explaining human mental disorders. Ancestral neutrality fails to explain low mental disorder frequencies and requires implausibly small selection coefficients against mental disorders given the data on the reproductive costs and impairment of mental disorders. Balancing selection (including spatio-temporal variation in selection, heterozygote advantage, antagonistic pleiotropy, and frequency-dependent selection) tends to favor environmentally contingent adaptations (which would show no heritability) or high-frequency alleles (which psychiatric genetics would have already found). Only polygenic mutation-selection balance seems consistent with the data on mental disorder prevalence rates, fitness costs, the likely rarity of susceptibility alleles, and the increased risks of mental disorders with brain trauma, inbreeding, and paternal age. This evolutionary genetic framework for mental disorders has wide-ranging implications for psychology, psychiatry, behavior genetics, molecular genetics, and evolutionary approaches to studying human behavior. (Published Online November 9 2006) Key Words: adaptation; behavior genetics; Darwinian psychiatry; evolution; evolutionary genetics; evolutionary psychology; mental disorders; mutation-selection balance; psychiatric genetics; quantitative trait loci (QTL). (shrink)
The paper argues for a pragmatic account of genetic explanation. This is to say that when a disease or other trait is termed genetic, the reasons for singling out genes as causes over other, also necessary, genetic and nongenetic conditions are not wholly theoretical but include pragmatic dimensions. Whether the explanation is the presence of a trait in an individual or differences in a trait among individuals, genetic explanations are context-dependent in three ways: they are relative to (...) a causal background of genetic and nongenetic factors; they are relative to a population; and they are relative to the present state of knowledge. Criteria like causal priority, nonstandardness, and causal efficacy that purport to distinguish objectively between genetic causes and nongenetic conditions either incorporate pragmatic elements or fail for other reasons. When the pragmatic dimensions of genetic explanations are recognized, we come to understand the current phenomenon of geneticization to be a reflection of increased technological capacities to manipulate genes in the laboratory, and potentially the clinic, rather than theoretical progress in understanding how diseases and other traits arise. This calls into question the value of the search for theoretical definitions of designations like genetic disease or genetic susceptibility as directives for action. (shrink)
Research on detrimental workplace behaviors has increased recently, predominantly focusing on justice issues. Research from the integrity testing literature, which is grounded in trait theory, has not received as much attention in the management literature. Trait theory, agency theory, and psychological contracts theory each have different predictions about employee performance that is harmful to the organization. While on the surface they appear contradictory, this paper describes how each (...) can be integrated to increase our understanding of detrimental workplace behaviors.Deborah L. Kidder is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at Towson University, in Towson, MD, USA. Her Ph.D. is in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesta. Her research interests involve issues of trust and equity, perceptions of (un) fairness at work, and the consequences of (un)fair treatment for employees and organizations. She teaches courses in Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, and Negotiation. (shrink)
While schizophrenia may be genetically determined up to a point, neither it nor its nearest relatives offer any sort of reproductive advantage to its sufferers. Instead, from an evolutionary point of view, schizophrenia is benign – it neither promotes nor inhibits survival to reproduction. Because it is benign, its rate of occurrence should remain fairly constant over time.
How to interpret the “molecular gene” concept is discussed in this paper. I argue that the architecture of biological systems is hierarchical and multi-layered, exhibiting striking similarities to that of modern computers. Multiple layers exist between the genotype and system level property, the phenotype. This architectural complexity gives rise to the intrinsic complexity of the genotype-phenotype relationships. The notion of a gene being for a phenotypic trait or traits lacks adequate consideration of this complexity and has limitations in explaining (...) the genotype-phenotype relationships. I explore ways toward an integrative interpretation of the gene in the context of multi-layered biological systems. A gene, I argue, should be interpreted as a functional unit that is responsible for the trans-generation passage of the capacity to dynamically produce a biochemical activity or biochemical activities. At the molecular level, a gene is a genetic unit, a stretch of DNA sequence, which dictates the behavior and the dynamic production of the encoded cellular component(s). Embedded in a gene’s quadruple DNA code are the regulatory signals, such as those for RNA splicing and/or editing, as well as for transcription factor binding. A regulatory signal can be recognized by the gene expression machinery in one state, but not in another. The confusion caused by RNA splicing, editing, and a gene’s selective tissue distribution pattern is addressed. Instead of a context-dependent definition of the gene, I argue for the view that it is the same gene displaying multiple meanings, subject to differential interpretation by the cellular machinery in different states. In other words, the same gene gives rise to different products and expression levels under different conditions. (shrink)
In this study, we assessed the influence of trait anger on decisions in risky situations evaluating how it might interact with some contextual factors. One hundred and fifty-eight participants completed the Trait Anger scale of STAXI-2 (T-Ang) and an inventory consisting of a battery of hypothetical everyday decision-making scenarios, representative of three specific domains: financial, social and health. Participants were also asked to evaluate familiarity and salience for each scenario. This study provides evidence for a relationship between individual (...) differences in the tendency to feel anger and risky decisions in different domains and for mediation effects of familiarity and salience perception. The evaluation of the mechanisms with which dispositional anger is linked to risky decision-making could further contribute to an understanding of the role of personality traits in decision-making processes. (shrink)
The time course of local field potentials displaying typical discharge frequencies in the gamma frequency range highly correlates with the BOLD signal in response to rotating checkerboard stimuli in animals. In humans, oscillatory gamma-band responses (GBRs) show strong inter-individual variations in frequency and amplitude but considerable intra-individual reliability indicating that individual gamma activity reflects a personal trait. While the functional role of these GBRs is still debated, investigations combining EEG–fMRI measurements provide a tool to obtain further insights into the (...) underlying functional architecture of the human brain and will shed light onto the understanding of the dynamic relation between the BOLD signal and the properties of the electrical activity recorded on the scalp. We investigated the relation between the hemodynamic response and evoked gamma-band response (eGBR) to visual stimulation. We tested the hypothesis that the amplitude of human eGBRs and BOLD responses covary intra-individually as a function of stimulation as well as inter-individually as a function of gamma-trait. 17 participants performed visual discrimination tasks during separate EEG and fMRI recordings. Results revealed that visual stimuli that evoked high GBRs also elicited strong BOLD responses in the human V1/V2 complex. Furthermore, inter-individual variations of BOLD responses to visual stimuli in the bilateral primary (Area 17) and secondary (Area V5/MT) visual cortex and the right hippocampal formation were correlated with the individual gamma-trait of the subjects. The present study further supports the notion that neural oscillations in the gamma frequency range are involved in the cascade of neural processes that underlie the hemodynamic responses measured with fMRI. (shrink)
Trait anxiety is associated with deficits in attentional control, particularly in the ability to inhibit prepotent responses. Here, we investigated this effect while varying the level of cognitive load in a modified antisaccade task that employed emotional facial expressions (neutral, happy, and angry) as targets. Load was manipulated using a secondary auditory task requiring recognition of tones (low load), or recognition of specific tone pitch (high load). Results showed that load increased antisaccade latencies on trials where gaze towards face (...) stimuli should be inhibited. This effect was exacerbated for high anxious individuals. Emotional expression also modulated task performance on antisaccade trials for both high and low anxious participants under low cognitive load, but did not influence performance under high load. Collectively, results a) suggest that individuals reporting high levels of anxiety are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cognitive load on inhibition, and b) support recent evidence that loading cognitive processes can reduce emotional influences on attention and cognition. (shrink)
Behavioral inhibition (BI) increases vulnerability to develop anxiety disorders and is typified by avoidance and withdrawal from novel objects, people, and situations. The present study considered the relationship between behavioral inhibition and temperamental risk factors, such as trait anxiety and acquisition rate of a classically conditioned eyeblink response. 174 healthy undergraduate students (mean age 20.3 years, 71.8% female) were given the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and a battery of self-report measures of behavioral inhibition consisting of the Adult and Retrospective (...) Measures of Behavioural Inhibition (AMBI/RMBI) and the Concurrent and Retrospective Self Report of Inhibition (CSRI/RSRI). Participants then underwent standard delay classical eyeblink conditioning consisting of 45 trials with a 500-ms CS overlapping and co-terminating with a 10-ms airpuff US. Individuals with higher scores on the AMBI and Trait Anxiety Inventory, but not the other measures, showed faster acquisition of a conditioned eyeblink response than individuals with lower scores. Results support a relationship between facilitated acquisition of inter-stimulus relationships and risk for anxiety, and suggest that some measures assessing anxiety vulnerability better capture this relationship than others. (shrink)
Mealey proposes two categorical classes of sociopath, primary and secondary. I criticize this distinction on the basis that constructs of this kind have proved unrealistic in personality taxonomy and that dimensional systems capture reality much more successfully. I suggest how such a system could work in this particular context.
Delay discounting refers to the reduction of the value of a future reward as the delay to that reward increases. The rate at which individuals discount future rewards varies as a function of both individual and contextual differences, and high delay discounting rates have been linked with problematic behaviors, including drug abuse and gambling. The current study investigated the effects of acute anticipatory stress on delay discounting, while considering two important factors: individual perceptions of stress and whether the stressful situation (...) is future-focused or present-focused. Half of the participants experienced acute stress by anticipating giving a videotaped speech. This stress was either future-oriented (speech about future job) or present-oriented (speech about physical appearance). They then performed a delay discounting task, in which they chose between smaller, immediate rewards and larger, delayed rewards. Their scores on the Perceived Stress Scale were also collected. The way in which one appraises a stressful situation interacts with acute stress to influence choices; under stressful conditions, delay discounting rate was highest in individuals with low perceived stress and lowest for individuals with high perceived stress. This result might be related to individual variation in reward responsiveness under stress. Furthermore, the time orientation of the task interacted with its stressfulness to affect the individual’s propensity to choose immediate rewards. These findings add to our understanding of the intermediary factors between stress and decision making. (shrink)