Title

Exaggerated attention blink response in prisoners with externalizing

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Research in Personality

Volume

46

Issue

6

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

12-1-2012

First Page

688

Last Page

693

DOI

10.1016/j.jrp.2012.08.003

Abstract

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.

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