Individuals with histrionic personality disorder features categorize disliked persons as negative following intimacy induction : A state trait interaction analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • Espousing a Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS, Mischel & Shoda, 1995) perspective, the authors examined a state–trait interaction pertaining to automatic categorization in individuals with histrionic personality disorder (HPD) features. An experience of intimacy was induced via event recall, and automatic processing of dislike information was evaluated by a tailored task switching paradigm. In Experiment 1, participants switched between classifying names of acquaintances according to Gender and classifying adjectives according to Valence. In Experiment 2, participants reacted to names of acquaintances and switched between Gender and Valence rules. HPD levels were evaluated by the Personality Disorder Questionnaire-4 and Axis I symptoms were controlled for using the brief symptoms inventory. In both Experiments, the results showed an increased automatic processing of task-irrelevant, dislike and hate information with increasing HPD score only in the intimacy induction group but not in the control group. However, only in Experiment 2, which was designed to induce higher automaticity, was the difference between the two groups significant. Findings are consistent with an activation of a maladaptive, intimacy-related, schema underlying HPD.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012