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RG Emotion Regulation and Social Cognition


Dipl.-Psych., Research Staff, Head of the Research Group

PD Dr. Inga Niedtfeld

Phone: +49 621 1703-4403

Fax: +49 621 1703-4405


C 4, 11, 4. OG, Raum 403


The Research Group „Emotion Regulation and Social Cognition“ has been established recently in October 2014. It focusses on the psychopathology behind difficulties in social interaction and instable relationships in BPD. These difficulties seem to be caused by deficits in trust and cooperation. Two of our studies examined the relation between Borderline pathology and dispositional cooperativeness (Hepp et al., 2014, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886913012166) as well as cooperative behavior (Thielmann et al., 2014, http://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/pedi_2014_28_135). We showed that Borderline features were associated with low agreeableness scores and a behavioral tendency to retaliate and be unforgiving.

Beyond dispositional agreeableness, deficits in social information processing may lead to reduced prosocial behavior, resulting in interpersonal problems. Within a DFG-funded project (see http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/256645687?language=en), underlying processes of social cognition, possibly resulting in cooperation difficulties in BPD, will be studied. The working hypothesis is that the negativity bias (i.e. enhanced processing of stimuli with negative valence) is more pronounced in subjects with BPD, as compared to HC and clinical controls, in most subprocesses of social information processing (integration of ambiguous information during emotion recognition with complex stimulus material, encoding of multiple pieces of social information in memory, memory retrieval of social information, judgments regarding the personality and intentions of other people).

Ecological momentary assessment of antecedents and consequences of non-suicidal self-injury. Current laboratory-based studies emphasize the role of self-inflicted pain as a dysfunctional attempt to regulate negative emotions in patients with NSSI. However, proximal antecedents and consequences of NSSI have not been studied comprehensively in the daily life of BPD patients so far. Consequently, we aim to investigate daily life conditions that lead to NSSI events, and direct consequences at the psychological and endocrinological level in patients with BPD.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de