False Memory and Borderline Personality Features
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Borderline personality disorder, Alternative model of personality disorders, False memory, DRM paradigm


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder characterized by significant impairment in intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning, as well as patterns of personality pathology. Memory deficits are not recognized as a core symptom of BPD, but individuals with BPD symptoms have long been suspected to have inaccurate perceptions, disturbed memory processes, and an increased tendency to develop false memories. In the present study, we examined whether there was an association between BPD features and the production of false memories in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm—a laboratory-based procedure that is frequently used to investigate false memory. We also compared the traditional categorical BPD criteria (DSM-5 Section II) with the alternative model of personality disorders BPD criteria (DSM-5 Section III) in predicting memory performance. A total of 298 university students completed the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder, SCID-II Personality Questionnaire, Borderline Personality Disorder Impairment Scale, Personality Inventory for DSM-5, Beck Depression Inventory, Dissociative Experiences Scale, and Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire. Participants were also tested using both traditional DRM word lists as well as word lists that were specifically associated with BPD features. Using the traditional diagnosis of BPD, BPD features were correlated with higher false memory for positive information; in the alternative model of BPD, identity impairment and anxiousness were correlated with the overall false memory score. We also found that trauma and dissociation mediated the relation between BPD and false memory. These findings are discussed in terms of how the consequences of trauma, such as dissociation and identity disturbance, are associated with false memory. Whether false memory rates are higher in a clinical population of BPD patients than in non-clinical volunteers remains to be determined.

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Copyright (c) 2023 S. Fatemeh Sajjadi, Martin Sellbom, Julien Gross , Harlene Hayne