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Concept: Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire

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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate temperament and character traits using the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) in comparison with healthy control subjects (HC), and to verify if comorbidity with disruptive behavioral disorders and being currently depressed influence JTCI scores. METHODS: A case-control study comprising 41 MDD children/adolescents matched to 40 HC by gender and age (8-17years). All participants were assessed diagnostically with the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia - Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL). Temperament and character traits were measured with the parent and child versions of JTCI, and depression was evaluated with the Children’s Depression Rating Scale (CDRS). RESULTS: According to child and parent data, MDD subjects had significantly higher scores on harm avoidance and novelty seeking, and lower scores on reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness and cooperativeness compared with HC. According to parent data only, MDD subjects significantly differed from HC on self-transcendence (lower spirituality scores and higher fantasy scores). Comorbidity with disruptive behavioral disorders exerted influence on almost all dimensions, in general increasing the mean differences between MDD and HC subjects. Also, being currently depressed did not influence the results, except for reward dependence according to parent data. LIMITATIONS: The cross-sectional nature of the study and its limited sample size. CONCLUSIONS: MDD children/adolescents have a different temperament and character profile compared to HC subjects. This study supports previous findings of trait-like characteristics of harm avoidance and self-directedness.

Concepts: Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Types of psychological depression, Rating scale, Temperament and Character Inventory, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire

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Whether psychological factors such as anxiety and pain catastrophizing levels influence the expression of endogenous analgesia in general and, more specifically, the conditioned pain modulation (CPM) response is still under debate. It may be assumed that other psychological characteristics also play a role in the CPM response. The neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are involved both in CPM, as well as personality traits such as harm avoidance (HA), novelty seeking (NS), and reward dependence (RD), which can be obtained by the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ). However, the associations between these traits (HA, NS, and RD) with endogenous analgesia revealed by CPM have not yet been explored.

Concepts: Psychology, Neurotransmitter, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Neuroticism, Temperament and Character Inventory, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, Reward dependence

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Cigarette cravings following exposure to smoking cues in a smoker’s environment are thought to play an important role in cessation failure. The possibility that dispositional factors may impact cue-induced cravings, though intriguing, has received little attention. According to Cloninger’s Tridimensional Personality Theory, factors such as reward dependence (RD), harm avoidance (HA), and novelty seeking (NS) may figure prominently in risk for addiction, as well as relapse, in individuals attempting to abstain from drug and alcohol use. Particularly interesting in this regard is the possibility that smokers with higher levels of RD, who are especially sensitive to reward signals, will have heightened craving reactions to smoking cues.

Concepts: Psychology, Smoking, Nicotine, Drug addiction, Addiction, Temperament and Character Inventory, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, Reward dependence

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Text messaging may be excessive and young people may be dependent on it. We distributed the Self-perception of Text-message Dependency Scale (STDS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) to 223 Japanese university students in a two-wave study, separated by a 5-month interval. The STDS yielded a three-factor structure. The STDS scores across the two measurement occasions were stable across time (except for the Relationship Maintenance subscale). A hierarchical cluster analysis suggested a three-class structure interpreted as Normal Users, Excessive Users, and Dependent Users. Excessive Users and Dependent Users were characterized by a young age at initial mobile phone use, more frequent use of text messaging, higher Novelty Seeking, and better Other-Model patterns of adult attachment. Unlike Excessive Users, Dependent Users were characterized by lower Self-directedness, poorer Self-Model of adult attachment, and higher anxiety and depression. The Excessive Users, but not the Dependent Users, were characterized by high Reward Dependence and Co-operativeness. The present study demonstrated that the STDS has a robust factor structure, good construct validity, and temporal stability (except for Relationship Maintenance subscale); students could be classified into normal, excessive, and Dependent Users of the text messaging; and Dependent Users were characterized by Excessive Use and personality immaturity.

Concepts: Cluster analysis, Psychometrics, Mobile phone, Dependency, Text messaging, SMS, Instant messaging, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire

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Novelty seeking has been tied to impulsive choice and biased value based choice. It has been postulated that novel stimuli should trigger more vigorous approach and exploration. However, it is unclear whether stimulus novelty can enhance simple motor actions in the absence of explicit reward, a necessary condition for energizing approach and exploration in an entirely unfamiliar situation. In this study human subjects were cued to omit or perform actions in form of button presses by novel or familiar images. We found that subjects' motor actions were faster when cued by a novel compared to a familiar image. This facilitation by novelty was strongest when the delay between cue and action was short, consistent with a link between novelty and impulsive choices. The facilitation of reaction times by novelty was correlated across subjects with trait novelty seeking as measured in the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire. However, this li between high novelty-seeking and action facilitation was driven by trials with a long delay between cue and action. This prolonged time window of energization following novelty could hint at a mechanistic underpinning of enhanced vigour for approach and exploration frequently postulated for novelty seeking humans. In conclusion, we show that stimulus novelty enhances the speed of a cued motor action. We suggest this is likely to reflect an adaptation to changing environments but may also provide a source of maladaptive choice and impulsive behaviour.

Concepts: Temperament and Character Inventory, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire

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The objective was to investigate the relationship between Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs4680 and serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotypes with concussion history and personality traits. Rugby players (“all levels”: n = 303), from high schools (“junior”, n = 137), senior amateur, and professional teams (“senior”, n = 166), completed a self-reported concussion history questionnaire, Cloninger’s Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, and donated a DNA sample. Participants were allocated into control (non-concussed, n = 140), case (all) (previous suspected or diagnosed concussions, n = 163), or case (diagnosed only) (previous diagnosed concussion, n = 140) groups. COMT rs4680 Val/Val genotypes were over-represented in controls in all levels (P = 0.013, OR:2.00, 95% CI:1.15-3.57) and in juniors (P = 0.003, OR:3.57, 95% CI:1.45-9.09). Junior Val/Val participants displayed increased “anticipatory worry” (P = 0.023). The 5-HTTLPR low expressing group was under-represented in controls when all levels were considered (P = 0.032; OR:2.02, 95% CI:1.05-3.90) and in juniors (P = 0.021; OR:3.36, 95% CI:1.16-9.72). Junior 5-HTTLPR low and intermediate expressing groups displayed decreased “harm avoidance” (P = 0.009), “anticipatory worry” (P = 0.041), and “fear of uncertainty” (P < 0.001). This study provides preliminary indications that personality associated genetic variants can influence concussion in rugby.

Concepts: DNA, Personality tests, Rugby football, Temperament and Character Inventory, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, Harm avoidance, South Africa national rugby union team, C. Robert Cloninger

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Behavioural research has revealed the influence of motivation conditions on cognitive task performance and demonstrated that these influences are modulated by temperament factors. Modern neuroimaging methods enable analysis of neuropsychological mechanisms through which individual differences in reinforcement sensitivity may influence cognitive functioning. In the study, fifty-six participants were scored on the Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory to assess punishment and reward sensitivity. Then, subjects participated in an EEG experiment using the numerical Stroop task under different motivational conditions. In one condition, they were punished for erroneous responses; in the other, they were rewarded for correct performance. We analysed event related changes in EEG spectral power to investigate the influence of temperamentally driven differences on error-related oscillatory brain activity. In agreement with previous findings, after incorrect responses an increase in frontocentral theta (3-7Hz) and a decrease in occipital alpha (10-11Hz) power were observed. Moreover, a multivariate regression analysis showed that these spectral markers were modulated by temperamental trait Novelty Seeking in the reward condition. To our knowledge, we are the first to demonstrate such a relationship between individual differences and error-related oscillatory activity. This neuronal pattern may explain why participants that score high on Novelty Seeking trait are highly motivated and strongly engaged in a task when a reward might be earned. Thus, in conclusion we emphasise that to understand an individual’s response to errors, it is necessary to account simultaneously for motivational conditions as well as temperament traits.

Concepts: Psychology, Regression analysis, Brain, Cognition, Cognitive science, Motivation, Reinforcement, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire

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The aim of this study is to investigate psychopathologies and the temperament-character profile of Alopecia Areata patients and to compare them with healthy controls. Patients and controls who presented at a dermatology clinic were selected by convenience sampling to respond to Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), SCL-90-R, and a checklist about the demographic data and their dermatologic and psychiatric history. Patients reported higher harm avoidance and reward dependence than controls (Cohen’s d =.93 and =.94). A significant correlation between Harm Avoidance (r = -0.33, p =.02) and Reward Dependence (r = -0.28, p = 0.05) with sex was found (females scored higher). Lifetime history of AA relapse was significantly associated with higher psychiatric symptoms; the effect sizes were large for Obsessive-Compulsive (d =.81) and Paranoia Ideation (d =.89). The higher psychological symptoms in AA patients with the history of relapses in this study have a practical message for clinicians.

Concepts: Psychology, Hospital, Relapse, Effect size, Clinical psychology, Psychiatry, Alopecia areata, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire

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Suicide is a major social and clinical problem in Asia. Although studies have suggested that personality traits are possible risk factors for suicide, no study has been conducted among Chinese to compare the temperament traits of suicidal and non-suicidal mood disorder patients with those of healthy controls. This study compared temperament traits of two patient groups, those with a mood disorder who have attempted suicide (n=204), and those with a mood disorder who have not attempted suicide (n=160), and compared the traits of these patients to those of healthy controls (n=178), assessed by Cloninger’s Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire and the Brown-Goodwin Aggression Inventory. Patients with suicidal attempts had significantly higher novelty seeking and aggression scores than healthy controls and patients without suicidal attempts. Two groups of patients with mood disorder had significantly higher harm avoidance scores than the healthy controls. However, patients with suicidal attempts did not have higher harm avoidance scores than patients without suicidal attempts. This study confirms findings that harm avoidance and mood disorder are related, and extends them by suggesting that those with a mood disorder and suicide attempts have higher novelty seeking and lifetime aggression scores than those without suicidal attempt, either patients or healthy controls.

Concepts: Suicide, Temperament and Character Inventory, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire

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The Cloninger’s Psychobiological Model of Temperament and Character includes temperamental dimensions such as reward dependence (RD) and harm avoidance (HA). Studies of RD differentiate between sensitivity to reward (SR) versus to punishment (SP). We investigated the interrelationship between HA and RD in acutely ill patients with binge/purge (B/P) type eating disorders (EDs) and following symptomatic stabilization.

Concepts: Illness, Temperament and Character Inventory, Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, Reward dependence, Behavioral neuroscience, Biopsychology