Exaggerated attention blink response in prisoners with externalizing
Journal of Research in Personality
The diverse phenotypic expressions of disinhibitory psychopathology are believed to reflect a common latent predisposing variable: externalizing. While deficiencies in executive functioning (i.e., cognitive/inhibitory control, working memory) and affective hyper-reactivity are commonly associated with externalizing, there is also evidence that externalizing is related to anomalous allocation of attention. In this study, we administered an attention blink task to a sample of male prisoners and assessed externalizing using the Impulsive–Antisociality scale (Benning, Patrick, Hicks, Blonigen, & Krueger, 2003). Individuals with high Impulsive–Antisociality displayed a significantly steeper attention blink (i.e., less accurate identification of a second target) than individuals with low Impulsive–Antisociality. Results provide new evidence that externalizers over-allocate attention to salient information and suggest a novel conceptualization of their disinhibitory psychopathology.
Baskin-Sommers, A., Wolf, R., Buckholtz, J., Warren, C. M., & Newman, J. (2012). Exaggerated attentional blink response in prisoners with externalizing. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 688-693.