Assessing eye movement dynamics of externalizing behaviors

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tiffany M. Harrop (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
David McCord

Abstract: The classification of mental disorders has generated enduring debate due to significantdiagnostic, treatment, and research implications. Recent neurobiologic and genetic discoverieshave underscored the limitations of the current categorical model and encouraged movementtoward a dimensional nosology. The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project, introduced bythe National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is intended to address these shortcomings andfacilitate the incorporation of current research to enhance progressive scientific inquiry. Thepresent study utilized the RDoC framework to investigate variables of externalizing disorders,focusing specifically on the constructs of physiological and self-report measures. The MinnesotaMultiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) was used in combinationwith the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Triarchic Scales (PPI-Tri) to serve as thepsychological self-report indices. Eye-tracking measures were recorded while participantsviewed three, 30-second affectively stimulating video clips, chosen to represent the behavioralconstructs of interest. Bivariate correlations were run to analyze the relationship betweenexternalizing personality traits and eye movement dynamics of emotionally evocative stimuli.Analyses revealed a significant negative relationship between the eye-tracking metric of pupil size and the specific scales of behavioral/externalizing dysfunction (BXD), antisocial behavior(RC4), juvenile conduct problems (JCP) and disconstraint-revised (DISC-r) of the self-reportmeasures of externalizing personality. Additionally, positive correlations between fixationduration and similar construct scales were noted. These findings may be indicative ofdiminished emotional reactivity for individuals who are high on these particular traits ofbehavioral externalization. This suggests deficits in processing affectively arousing informationand stimuli, which may account for the heightened duration of fixations. Further implications ofthese results are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Externalizing, Eye-tracking, MMPI-2-RF, PPI-Tri, Psychopathy, RDoC
Gaze -- Psychological aspects
Acting out (Psychology) -- Physiological aspects
Eye tracking

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