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See detailCapacity for Cognitive and Emotional Empathy in Alcohol-Dependent Patients
Dethier, Marie ULg; Blairy, Sylvie ULg

in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors : Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors (2012), 26(3), 371-383

This study assessed two previously unexplored facets of empathy in alcohol-dependent patients (ADs) divided into two groups according to Cloninger’s alcoholism typology: the attribution of intentions ... [more ▼]

This study assessed two previously unexplored facets of empathy in alcohol-dependent patients (ADs) divided into two groups according to Cloninger’s alcoholism typology: the attribution of intentions according to emotional facial expressions (EFEs) and emotional contagion in reaction to EFEs. Twenty-three male Type-I ADs, 21 male Type-II ADs, and 24 male control participants were compared in two computerized tasks. First, participants rated the extent to which an adjective descriptive of personality weighted on interpersonal dimensions (of rejection, aggressiveness, dominance, and affiliation) corresponded with a video of a neutral EFE that changed to an intense EFE. Second, participants evaluated their own emotional states after watching a series of videos that depicted EFEs while their own face was being filmed. The results showed that Type-I ADs attributed more rejection intentions and fewer affiliation intentions to EFEs compared with controls; however, depression might better explain this biased attribution. Furthermore, AD subtypes showed a different pattern of intention attribution according to the emotions that were portrayed and the sex of the stimulus. In addition, angry EFE mimicry was stronger in Type-II ADs than other participants. Finally, ADs expressed fewer positive emotions and more negative emotions than controls when watching EFEs. These findings emphasize the importance of differentiating alcoholism subtypes and contribute to the understanding of AD interpersonal behaviors. [less ▲]

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