Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mind Reading capacity in Borderline Personality Disorder

In a study published in 2012, the mind reading capacity of Borderline Personality Disorder patients was estimated. This mind reading capacity is often referred to as "Theory of mind", but that is a phrase describing the ability to understand the mental state of others. It has been hypothesized that those suffering from BPD have reduced capacities to mentalize others state of mind and that they have enhanced emotional sensitivity compared to others. This research compares 31 BPD patients to 27 healthy controls in order to compare their Theory of Mind. They used a test called "Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test" that consists of 36 black and white images of peoples eyes. The participants were then supposed to identify the emotion that the eyes where supposed to show. Results of the study showed that no difference was between the groups in their mind-reading accuracy. The BPD group did, however, show greater confidence in their answers than the control group. These high-confidence answers might be descriptive of the social interactions of BPD patients and contribute to their high rate of interpersonal conflicts since it is rigid and hard to change. Even a wrong answer with a lower confidence might be more beneficial to social relations since it prompts further reasoning processes and opens the possibility for a revised answer.

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