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The role of alexithymia in social cognition: Evidence from a non-clinical population

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The role of alexithymia in social cognition : Evidence from a non-clinical population. / Di Tella, Marialaura; Adenzato, Mauro; Catmur, Caroline; Miti, Francesca; Castelli, Lorys; Ardito, Rita B.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 273, 14.05.2020, p. 482-492.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Di Tella, M, Adenzato, M, Catmur, C, Miti, F, Castelli, L & Ardito, RB 2020, 'The role of alexithymia in social cognition: Evidence from a non-clinical population', Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 273, pp. 482-492. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.012

APA

Di Tella, M., Adenzato, M., Catmur, C., Miti, F., Castelli, L., & Ardito, R. B. (Accepted/In press). The role of alexithymia in social cognition: Evidence from a non-clinical population. Journal of Affective Disorders, 273, 482-492. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.012

Vancouver

Di Tella M, Adenzato M, Catmur C, Miti F, Castelli L, Ardito RB. The role of alexithymia in social cognition: Evidence from a non-clinical population. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2020 May 14;273:482-492. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.012

Author

Di Tella, Marialaura ; Adenzato, Mauro ; Catmur, Caroline ; Miti, Francesca ; Castelli, Lorys ; Ardito, Rita B. / The role of alexithymia in social cognition : Evidence from a non-clinical population. In: Journal of Affective Disorders. 2020 ; Vol. 273. pp. 482-492.

Bibtex Download

@article{1b81131ab4984dc9b81046ebe2f7e721,
title = "The role of alexithymia in social cognition: Evidence from a non-clinical population",
abstract = "Background: Alexithymia is a personality construct characterised by difficulty in identifying and describing one's emotions. We investigated whether people with alexithymia, who struggle with emotion-processing abilities, have diminished emotion-related social cognitive competencies, where social cognition encompasses the set of abilities that allows one to navigate one's social environment. Methods: We assessed alexithymia and four components of social cognition: recognition of others’ emotions, representation of others’ affective and cognitive mental states, empathy, and regulation of one's own feelings. We investigated whether alexithymia could significantly predict each of these components, beyond the effect of other individual difference variables (i.e., anxiety/depressive symptoms), which have been previously associated with both social cognition and alexithymia. Two hundred six participants were recruited. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses were performed to assess the possible relationships between alexithymia and social cognition skills. Results: Alexithymia significantly predicted emotion recognition, empathy, and emotional regulation, even after controlling for the effect of potentially competing factors (i.e., anxiety/depressive symptoms). Alexithymia did not predict representation of others’ affective and cognitive mental states. Limitations: The present study adopted a cross-sectional design, which does not permit us to draw firm conclusions about the causality of the emergent relationships. Conclusions: These data provide support for the argument that recognising others’ emotions and feelings relies on the ability to identify correctly one's own feelings. Our results also indicate the importance of taking into consideration individual differences in levels of alexithymia when investigating social cognition in non-clinical populations, as alexithymia appears to be clearly related to social cognitive functioning.",
keywords = "Alexithymia, Emotional functioning, Non-clinical population, Social cognition, Theory of Mind",
author = "{Di Tella}, Marialaura and Mauro Adenzato and Caroline Catmur and Francesca Miti and Lorys Castelli and Ardito, {Rita B.}",
year = "2020",
month = "5",
day = "14",
doi = "10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.012",
language = "English",
volume = "273",
pages = "482--492",
journal = "Journal of affective disorders",
issn = "0165-0327",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of alexithymia in social cognition

T2 - Evidence from a non-clinical population

AU - Di Tella, Marialaura

AU - Adenzato, Mauro

AU - Catmur, Caroline

AU - Miti, Francesca

AU - Castelli, Lorys

AU - Ardito, Rita B.

PY - 2020/5/14

Y1 - 2020/5/14

N2 - Background: Alexithymia is a personality construct characterised by difficulty in identifying and describing one's emotions. We investigated whether people with alexithymia, who struggle with emotion-processing abilities, have diminished emotion-related social cognitive competencies, where social cognition encompasses the set of abilities that allows one to navigate one's social environment. Methods: We assessed alexithymia and four components of social cognition: recognition of others’ emotions, representation of others’ affective and cognitive mental states, empathy, and regulation of one's own feelings. We investigated whether alexithymia could significantly predict each of these components, beyond the effect of other individual difference variables (i.e., anxiety/depressive symptoms), which have been previously associated with both social cognition and alexithymia. Two hundred six participants were recruited. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses were performed to assess the possible relationships between alexithymia and social cognition skills. Results: Alexithymia significantly predicted emotion recognition, empathy, and emotional regulation, even after controlling for the effect of potentially competing factors (i.e., anxiety/depressive symptoms). Alexithymia did not predict representation of others’ affective and cognitive mental states. Limitations: The present study adopted a cross-sectional design, which does not permit us to draw firm conclusions about the causality of the emergent relationships. Conclusions: These data provide support for the argument that recognising others’ emotions and feelings relies on the ability to identify correctly one's own feelings. Our results also indicate the importance of taking into consideration individual differences in levels of alexithymia when investigating social cognition in non-clinical populations, as alexithymia appears to be clearly related to social cognitive functioning.

AB - Background: Alexithymia is a personality construct characterised by difficulty in identifying and describing one's emotions. We investigated whether people with alexithymia, who struggle with emotion-processing abilities, have diminished emotion-related social cognitive competencies, where social cognition encompasses the set of abilities that allows one to navigate one's social environment. Methods: We assessed alexithymia and four components of social cognition: recognition of others’ emotions, representation of others’ affective and cognitive mental states, empathy, and regulation of one's own feelings. We investigated whether alexithymia could significantly predict each of these components, beyond the effect of other individual difference variables (i.e., anxiety/depressive symptoms), which have been previously associated with both social cognition and alexithymia. Two hundred six participants were recruited. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses were performed to assess the possible relationships between alexithymia and social cognition skills. Results: Alexithymia significantly predicted emotion recognition, empathy, and emotional regulation, even after controlling for the effect of potentially competing factors (i.e., anxiety/depressive symptoms). Alexithymia did not predict representation of others’ affective and cognitive mental states. Limitations: The present study adopted a cross-sectional design, which does not permit us to draw firm conclusions about the causality of the emergent relationships. Conclusions: These data provide support for the argument that recognising others’ emotions and feelings relies on the ability to identify correctly one's own feelings. Our results also indicate the importance of taking into consideration individual differences in levels of alexithymia when investigating social cognition in non-clinical populations, as alexithymia appears to be clearly related to social cognitive functioning.

KW - Alexithymia

KW - Emotional functioning

KW - Non-clinical population

KW - Social cognition

KW - Theory of Mind

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85084971917&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.012

DO - 10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.012

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85084971917

VL - 273

SP - 482

EP - 492

JO - Journal of affective disorders

JF - Journal of affective disorders

SN - 0165-0327

ER -

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