The text, based on the author's four decades of personal study and data collection, thoroughly explores the physiological, biochemical, and genetic bases of temperament - incorporating age-specific methods of assessment developed through child- and adult-oriented approaches.
The illustrations comprise tables of the most popular temperament inventories for both children and adults, and unique data tables illustrating the psychometric features of temperament inventories based on self-rating and rating by others.
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Trait Perspectives on Personality
Language: English. Brand new Book. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. Seller Inventory LIE More information about this seller Contact this seller. Seller Inventory AAV Book Description Springer, New Book. Many personality studies today investigate the activation and expression of genes and how they relate to personality.
How DNA interacts with the environment determines what part of the DNA code is actually activated within an individual—in other words, which genes will be expressed. The biological approach to personality has also identified areas and pathways within the brain that are associated with the development of personality. A number of theorists, such as Hans Eysenck, Gordon Allport, and Raymond Cattell, believe that personality traits can be traced back to brain structures and neural mechanisms, such as dopamine and seratonin pathways.
Researchers using a biological perspective will seek to understand how hormones, neurotransmitters, and different areas of the brain all interact to affect personality. One of the first documented cases that demonstrated the link between personality and the brain was that of Phineas Gage. In , Gage was working as a blasting foreman for a railroad company.
Due to a faulty blast, a railroad spike was blown through his head; miraculously, he survived the accident. One strength of the biological perspective is its strict adherence to scientific methodology. All factors are reduced to quantifiable variables that can be reliably measured by personality trait models and questionnaires. The personality measures are standardized across measurements, and these measures of personality are very compatible with statistical analyses, providing an easily administered and measurable definition of personality. This method can also be deterministic, meaning that some factors are identified as causal—i.
Because of this, the biological perspective can be useful in identifying causes of and effective treatments for personality and mood disorders. For example, identifying seratonin imbalance as a cause of depression led to the development of selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , which have been found to be an effective treatment for depression.
A limitation of this perspective is that it focuses almost exclusively on the nature side of the nature vs. Because of this exclusive focus, other factors that are integral to personality are not included. Hormones, neurotransmitters, and genetics are the key factors in this focus; the effects of environmental and social factors, however, are often overlooked. Twin studies have shown that heritable factors are not the only predictor of personality or even diseases such as schizophrenia; the biological perspective does not fully address non-heritable factors.
In addition, the correlational studies used for measuring normal personality traits are subjected to the same rules as normal correlational research: they cannot be used alone to establish causation. Just because two factors are shown to be related does not mean that one causes the other. In this case, more ice cream is sold during the hot summer months—the same time that people are more likely to go swimming.
Therefore, the cause of the increases in both ice cream sales and drowning deaths is most likely the hot summer weather. That said, properly designed experimental studies can help scientists determine cause-and-effect relationships in order to develop treatment options for people with personality disorders. Personality psychologists are interested in understanding the role that culture plays in the development of personality. Research investigating the variations of personality traits across cultures suggests that there are both universal and culture-specific aspects that account for these variations.
The term culture refers to all of the beliefs, customs, ideas, behaviors, and traditions of a particular society that are passed through generations. Culture is transmitted to people through language as well as through the modeling of behavior, and it defines which traits and behaviors are considered important, desirable, or undesirable.
Within a culture there are norms and behavioral expectations. These cultural norms can dictate which personality traits are considered important. The researcher Gordon Allport considered culture to be an important influence on traits and defined common traits as those that are recognized within a culture. These traits may vary from culture to culture based on differing values, needs, and beliefs. Positive and negative traits can be determined by cultural expectations: what is considered a positive trait in one culture may be considered negative in another, thus resulting in different expressions of personality across cultures.
There is a great deal of evidence that the strength of personality traits varies across cultures, and this is especially true when comparing individualist cultures such as European, North American, and Australian cultures and collectivist cultures such as Asian, African, and South American cultures. Inspired by prominent scholars within the field e. The definition should be broad, comprehensive and include references to the nature of man, and use words and expressions that refer to established theoretical traditions that are empirically grounded in modern science e. The scientific basis of the theory should encompass natural sciences, life sciences, psychology, hermeneutics, and philosophy.
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That is, explanatory principles should include brain processes, development, intersubjectivity, and sociocultural processes. We would like to emphasize that because life sciences are very much involved, the theory should explicitly refer to evolution, acknowledging from the outset that personality concerns other creatures as well as human beings.
The definition should have as its referential source a comprehensive theory in which the different explanatory principles should be linked to each other, conceptually as well as empirically. That is, the one should build upon the other. For example, emotions, attachment, and self-consciousness should be linked in an intrinsic way. The explanatory power of the theory should be large. According to the principles discussed above, and inspired by the work of McAdams and Pals , we propose the following definition of the concept personality:.
Personality is the unique variation in the individual of the evolutionary-based foundation of human nature, as well as of attachment and self-reflective abilities. Personality is expressed as developing patterns of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, interpersonal relations and integrative life-stories that are complex and interwoven in cultural matrices and interpersonal contexts.
Child Temperament and Gender Differences
Furthermore, it has references to personality traits Allport, , adaptations Buss, , interpersonal relations Bowlby, , narrative theory McAdams, , and psychodynamic theory and group analysis Foulkes, We will argue that a modern and integrative conceptualization of personality calls for three major constituents: temperament, attachment, and mentalizing. These constituents come in the following evolutionary order and build upon each other: first comes temperament, which is a prerequisite for attachment, which in turn is a prerequisite for mentalizing.
Furthermore, we will argue that the elements of temperament have undergone natural selection according to established evolutionary principles. Attachment has some general features that link it to temperament, but the prototypal attachment style of the individual is mainly based on lived experience.
Mentalizing is an ability, which develops within the context of attachment relationships and also entails the internalization of cultural achievements and codes. There is thus a movement in historical times, and in the ontogenesis of the individual subject, from nature evolution and phylogenesis to intersubjective learning, symbolization, and cultural internalization socio-cultural processes.
Individuals are coined in different and distinctive ways by these processes. That is what we label personality. We chose to label the most hereditary and evolution-based constituent of personality as temperament to honor the specific tradition of Western thinking since Hippocrates. This is a rather conventional position. Most personality theorists adhere to a temperament or hereditary component of personality Millon, ; Cloninger, ; Kernberg, We share this position, and to conserve space, we shall, in this article, downplay the executive components of temperament e.
Yet, we will also add two components that are not emotions proper, i. Of these, we consider Panksepp as currently having the most thorough scientific grounding for his theory Watt, Have an anatomical localization in the brain implying that they can be activated by site-specific electric stimulation, and. Be dependent on specified hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters, implying that they can be manipulated by biochemical substances.
Some emotions even predate the mammals, e. There is no space to describe the primary emotional systems in detail. We restrict ourselves to some clarifying comments, following Panksepp ; Panksepp and Biven Seeking is turned on when we wake in the morning and orient ourselves toward the surrounding family and job obligations or when we look forward to the football match of the night when we can scream and behave playful in a childish manner. Seeking is low-keyed in depression and up-tuned in manic states. Seeking is mainly driven by the neurotransmitter dopamine as attested by people going at rave parties the whole night by taking dopamine agonists like amphetamine.
The subjective feeling of being aroused by seeking is anticipatory joy. It is worthwhile enduring much hardship if we can look forward to meeting a loved one, a gourmet meal, sex, recognition, an opera performance, or reading a longed-for book. FEAR is a most unpleasant feeling, unlike seeking, and it is involved in negative reinforcement. Fear makes us avoid things. There are a few unconditioned stimuli that evoke fear among humans, among them is pain.
However, Homo sapiens can learn to fear almost everything. Amygdala and periaqueductal gray PAG are trigger sites for fear, and the neurotransmitter glutamate is involved. Fear can be reduced by chemicals that affect the GABA transmitter system, e. When the source for fear arousal is known, we usually label the accompanying feeling simply as fear e. When the source is unknown, we label it anxiety. It is definitely a motivator of outmost importance for the survival of the species and hence a part of personality. People differ grossly in their threshold for sexual activation and sexual conduct, due to an interplay of sex hormone levels, learned habits, and different moral reasoning.
Darwin and S. CARE is a prerequisite for attachment behavior. Being aroused by care is accompanied by feelings of love, empathy, fondness, belongingness, wanting to take care of, etc. Individuals with, e. Consequently, they turn more often than other personalities to soothing chemicals as external opioids. Separation distress can be intensely unpleasant, amounting to despair and bottomless sadness with loss of hope for the future. The separation distress system is involved in grief and depression Panksepp and Biven, The experience of being met, reunited, loved, and cared for increasing the endogenic opioids and alleviating the panic of being lost forever.
Individuals with borderline features have a particularly low threshold for separation distress, expressed in the diagnostic criterion of desperate attempts at avoiding abandonment. The hypersensitivity of borderline patients for separation distress is probably underestimated Gunderson and Lyons-Ruth, They seem to need more than usual doses of affirmation, mirroring, inclusion, etc.
RAGE is also necessary for survival. It is not conceived of as a drive, as in psychoanalysis, but as an emotion, which is triggered by certain situations, most typically when being threatened or humiliated, being blocked by other persons in obtaining valuable goods seeking or when ruminating on revenge due to earlier humiliations. Rage can be provoked by electrical stimulation of the PAG brain region. As we all know, people are very different with respect to thresholds for rage. Some individuals never experience rage, while others go around as ticking bombs.
PLAY can also be observed among all mammals, e. It is believed to serve socializing functions, particularly by taming rage and learning basic skills and cultural norms. Thus, mammal fighting has an inborn ritual or pretend mode character. One should stop at certain levels. Primates that do not learn the local rules for the troop tend to become outcasts. Infants can be observed to be engaged in rough and tumble play almost endlessly, and it is obviously accompanied by subjective experiences of joy.
Notwithstanding the positive psychology movement Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, , play and joy which is the subjective experience of being aroused by play are underestimated by most modern psychological theories, notably the psychopathological ones but for exceptions, see e. This is most peculiar since people in the Western world at least are intensely engaged in play and joy during most of their leisure times, being it of the more passive kind of looking at entertainment TV programs or by hobbies and sports.
And, most important, people are very different with respect to play. Some are very serious and almost never engage in proper play, while others are truly exemplars of Homo Ludens. There are other temperamental dispositions that are not primary emotions in a classical sense. Foremost of these are social dominance and conscientiousness.
Abstracting and Indexing
Social dominance or social rank behavior is a component in several temperament constructs, e. Among humans, it is a most potent motivational force. Since the dawn of time, Homo sapiens have been fighting for power, status, and wealth. Males are known to do so more frequently than females, and the faculty of social dominance is found to be linked to sex hormones, such as testosterone van der Westhuizen and Solms, Individuals differ highly with respect to this inclination. One might speculate about the evolutionary origin of conscientiousness.
What purpose does it serve? In modern life, it might seem obvious that conscientiousness is a valued characteristic, which underlies socially functional and acceptable behavior Boyd and Richerson, ; Miller, ; McCabe and Fleeson, But what about its phylogenesis? However, perfectionism is difficult to observe among animals, and another possibility is that this trait tendency has a rather late evolutionary history, e. Conscientiousness is a sine qua non for modern technology-based societies. The more specialized a society, the more important is conscientiousness and perfectionism. If the tools are not exact in the smallest details, the watches and time control would fail, the internet would fail, medical diagnoses would be incorrect, atom bombs might explode, etc.
Moreover, modern western humans engage in world championships all over. Fueled with social rank behavior, humans train to achieve perfectionism in almost everything, be it violin playing, chess, football, science, dance, shooting, fishing, singing, hair dressing, etc. Hence, conscientiousness has grown increasingly important throughout the anthropo- and sociogenesis of our species, facilitating the building of complex and sophisticated tools, cultures, and modern societies Tomasello and Vaish, ; Hare, In an evolutionary sense, attachment is a relatively new reproductive strategy that developed some million years ago with the mammals, whereby a limited number of offspring were taken good care of, instead of a large number that were left to their own destiny.
As these interpersonal transactions are successfully repeated throughout development, in normal instances, there develops a positively loaded emotional bond between the agents Bowlby, There is a crucial difference between temperament and attachment. Although temperament can be modified through a civilizing process, it is there, from the very outset, as behavioral dispositions. Attachment is potentiated by the primary emotions of fear, separation distress, and care, but the behavioral pattern that develops in the individual child is primarily something learned through experience , based on successive intersubjective interactions with its caretakers and social surroundings.
There is apparently no specific gene s for attachment, whereas we consider the components of temperament to be linked to endophenotypes see Panksepp, Based on early attachment experiences, Bowlby a , b claimed that the child constructs internal working models of living creatures in the world, above all of human beings. And that these models were some kind of replicas of parental figures that came to represent the basis for later interpersonal relations.
While temperament regulates the relation to other living organisms with respect to important life domains, it is not until attachment becomes rather sophisticated that individuals come to form internal representations of other living creatures. This capacity is present to some extent among other primates. Among chimpanzees, the individual members of the group of say 50—70 members usually know the characteristics, bloodline, and social rank of all other members. When baboons are used as sheep shepherds, they are said to know individual characteristics and family relatedness of a large number of sheep Cheney and Seyfarth, Thus, it is plausible that some animals have internal representations of other social agents, but the quality or mental sophistication of these representations or working models is likely rather general compared to those in humans Call and Tomasello, Early attachment experiences lead to the development of typical attachment orientations, e.
These patterns are powerful organizers of intimate relationships and influence adult interpersonal behavior to a large degree. However, one might argue that the attachment tradition overestimates its scientific accuracy by defining categories of attachment patterns. In real life, people are more or less secure or insecure , more or less overinvolved, or dismissive. The phenomenology of disorganized attachment will become apparent in group situations, e.
We are talking about individuals that often end up in outsider positions, who are socially clumsy and do not adapt readily to the prevailing social norms, who seem to lack strategies for engaging in close and intimate relationships, and who are confused about own needs and motivations and may communicate this in highly maladaptive ways. However, consciousness has an older both evolutionary and ontogenetic manifestation, which is core consciousness Panksepp, Much confusion in the discourse on consciousness arises when these two manifestations core versus self-consciousness are not distinguished.
The phenomenon of core consciousness has different names e. It concerns consciousness of the world through the senses sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch whereby the world lightens up and becomes more manageable. Feinberg and Mallatt convincingly argue that this evolutionary progress was dependent on a certain complexity of brain circuits and that it occurred around million years ago. They suggest that this development also includes proprioceptive consciousness of bodily posture in space as well as raw emotional experience.
This has been a most controversial topic, i. Yes, today opinions have changed in favor of acknowledging emotional consciousness among higher animals. However, this does not imply that my dog or other animals knows that it is joyful. That would imply a capacity for self-reflection.
Consciousness of the self depends on there being a core self e. The realization that self-consciousness is not an either-or phenomenon is a fruit of modern thinking and research. It is dimensional along a non-linear axis from immaturity to maturity Stern, That is when narrative identity proper starts to form. Hence, what we in everyday discourse refer to as the self is the core self being modified and integrated by self-consciousness. Mentalizing is a prerequisite for self-consciousness. It is to understand that there is an opaque mind inside ourselves and other people and that minds operate in certain manners — in their own psychological ways, just as matter adheres to the laws of physics.
Mentalizing is per definition a praxis of interpretation Ricoeur, ; Bogdan, In a history of idea perspective, its ascendance to the forefront of psychological research interest since the dawn of the twenty-first century was dependent on the philosophical tradition of hermeneutics Heidegger, ; Gadamer, , which reached its pinnacle with the famous work of P. Ricoeur Oneself as Anothe r. Here Ricoeur fulfills a theme that was already investigated by G. Hegel in The Phenomenology of Spirit , where Hegel claims that the self needs recognition from others in order to become itself.
Self-consciousness is explicit mentalizing turned toward the self. By that move, core self-experiences gain shape, texture, and meaning according to cultural signs, symbols, and codes. One becomes understandable to oneself. The self lightens up, so to speak, like the world is lightened up by virtue of the senses. Explicit mentalizing is a cultural achievement, although it builds on the capacity for implicit mentalizing. Implicit mentalizing is the immediate default pre-reflective understanding of self and others in daily life that is more or less effortless and makes our interpersonal transactions smooth and effective.
Its source is probably an innate capacity to interpret other living creatures as intentional agents. We find it in other primates, e. Research during the last decade has revealed that though mentalizing is a fundamental capacity of our personality, it is also a difficult to obtain develop- mental achievement that cannot be taken for granted. Given poor socio-economic conditions with poverty, low social capital, family disruptions, violence, misuse, neglect, traumas, criminality, drug addiction, etc. That is why mentalizing counts as a strong personality qualifier.
The universality of emotional display will thus favor the selection of precursors of implicit mentalizing. If, by contrast, the mother yells at the baby with an angry face display, this evokes fear and separation distress and elicit distress calls, like crying, which signals that the baby perceives a danger. Thus, primary emotions are prerequisites for attachment, which in turn is responsible for mentalizing and self-consciousness to develop, whereby civilization reproduces and renews itself. Civilized societies depend on the faculty of imagination, whereby the future can be thought about and there being a spring for art and science.
Imagination stands on the shoulders of explicit mentalization Bogdan, The main point here is that imagination proper presupposes a representational mind i. Without that cognitive capacity, which is achieved around years 4—5, the content of imagination is confused with reality e. The final question concerns the broad outline of the total web in which these constituents are interwoven and embedded.
Modern neuroscience has to some degree mapped the localization of the crucial elements and, not at least, the neuronal circuits that connect and underpin them. Generally, the most primitive primary emotions have their organic substrate in deep subcortical areas of the brain e. Take primary emotions. Primary emotions may be triggered as unconditioned raw emotional experience.
Yet, primary emotions undergo a secondary learning process based on conditioning where amygdala, hippocampus, and the so-called brain reward system are involved , which means that primary emotions e. The sentences in parentheses denote that the internal working models for the individual in question to uncle and aunt have been processed at a cortical, cognitive level as well as by amygdala and hippocampus.
The representations at this tertiary cortical level make it possible to modify behavioral tendencies at the lower limbic level, e. There are thus both bottom-up and top-down processes. Self-conscious emotions thus come to play an important mediating role for social norms and standards being internalized into the fabric of personality, as outlined for example by Zinck Different schools of psychotherapy situate themselves in different positions in relation to these two-way processes.
For example, emotion-focused therapies favor the subcortical levels and behavioral therapies address the conditioning processes in the mid-brain, while cognitive therapy favor the cortical representations. The TAM theory of personality is thus a way of organizing knowledge that yields meaning to a wide range of psychological and psychotherapeutic schools. So far, we have outlined what we consider as the three major constituents of personality through integrating knowledge from evolutionary theory, neuroscience, developmental psychology, philosophy of mind, psychopathology, and personality and social psychology.
In this final section, we turn to the implications of TAM theory for understanding personality disorders, as well as for self-understanding more generally, and social psychology. We begin with a brief discussion of TAM theory and its relationship to other personality theories. Due to space limitations, we restrict ourselves to three of the most influential theories: the five factor model, social-cognitive personality theory, and psychoanalysis.
The FFM McCrae and Costa, claims that personality is composed of the following five factors: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The model has impressive empirical support, but, strictly speaking, as the label makes explicit, it is not a theory in a comprehensive sense, but an empirical model. The limitations of FFM becomes obvious when we consider it from the perspective of a comprehensive theory of personality which, to be fair, it was not meant to be, from the outset.
The coverage is limited. The FFM has little to say with respect to personality development, consciousness, identity, and the self. It is more so that the FFM presupposes a self , rather than it can explain the self. The construct validity of the factors is also questionable. For example, the factor neuroticism is somewhat dubious since it lumps together as diverse primary emotions as fear, rage, and sadness. So, what is the essence of the FFM factors? They are apparently not endophenotypes. To be sure, the FFM is considered to represent temperamental aspects of personality and can accordingly demonstrate relatively high hereditary loadings Power and Pluess, However, the factors of FFM also correlate significantly with primary emotions Montag and Panksepp, Adding several cohorts from different countries, neuroticism correlates in the range of 0.
Extraversion correlates in the range of 0. Openness for experience correlates in the range of 0. It is therefore a plausible hypothesis that the factors of FFM obtain much of their evolutionary, biological, and hereditary significance from being a kind of proxy operationalization of primary emotions. That would also provide an explanation for why the FFM seems useful for capturing animal personality characteristics King and Figueredo, While trait models have been highly influential within the field of personality research, another major approach has been social-cognitive, which focuses more on the intra-individual dynamics of personality Cantor, ; Mischel and Shoda, This approach tends to focus less on how personality can be described which belongs to realm of traits and trait structure and more on how it is expressed in terms of causal structures and functions see e.
This broad perspective on personality is captured within the TAM model in terms of attachment and mentalizing. Here the more dynamic, idiographic, and inter-personal aspects of personality functioning are captured, including internal working models of self and others, and their development and importance for behavior in terms of guiding the persons interpretations of self, others, and situations. In other words, whereas trait approaches, like the FFM, have their strengths as nomothetic descriptive models, social-cognitive theories focus more on dynamic and idiographic aspects of personality.
Historically, Freud was one of the first to endeavor a social-cognitive oriented account of human personality, based on depth hermeneutical studies of the individual with a special emphasis on unconscious processes of the mind. Whereas the inventors of FFM relied on the lexical hypothesis and factor analysis, psychoanalysis relied on intersubjective competence and interpretational expertise. Psychoanalysis today is a broad family of related theories and practices, and currently, there exists no one canonized psychoanalytical personality theory Wallerstein, Since Freud, there has been a development from an emphasis of unconscious versus conscious conflicts pleasure versus reality principle , over structural conflicts Id, Ego, and Superego , to relational needs and conflicts.
The strength of psychoanalytic personality theory is its persistent aspiration of trying to account for the dialectics of subjectivity in terms of unconscious dynamics of relational needs and conflicts, how they are handled in the unconscious layers of the mind by defense mechanisms and how they are played out in current relationships, including the transference to the therapist.
Bowlby, above all, alerted us to the significance of the attachment bonds, separation anxiety, and internal working models of the mind. The TAM theory is very much influenced by this tradition and the unconscious mental mechanisms described by psychoanalysis, but in a modified version see e.
That said, it will not be correct to state that the primary emotion theory is widely embraced in contemporary psychoanalysis, nor the theories of attachment and mentalizing. As outlined above, the TAM theory is well equipped for constructive dialogs with the FFM model, social-cognitive theories of personality and psychoanalysis. It borrows crucial validated concepts e. We will maintain that this new synthesis, or integration, constitutes a personality theory that is more comprehensive and valid than its forerunners and thereby provides a larger explanatory power.
It may serve a host of purposes, as indicated in the following paragraphs. As mentioned in the introduction, we are particularly concerned with the need of grounding personality disorders in a valid theory of personality, a theme to which we now turn. To conserve space, we limit this to a description of borderline, narcissistic, and avoidant personality disorder, as well as to some remarks regarding the DSM-5 Section III alternative model.
In contrast to some other theoretical formulations e. Separation distress accounts for the profound dysphoria of being left alone and the desperate attempts at avoiding real or imagined abandonment. The tragedy for BPD patients is that their proclivity for rage reactions enhances the risk of being left alone.
An intense temperament is not enough for a borderline condition. However, all types of insecure attachment may be encountered in BPD patients. The mentalizing problems of BPD patients account for their poor sense of self. The problems are at least twofold. First, there is the generally lowered capability of mentalizing, which makes the person liable to misunderstanding of others and oneself and thereby exploitable and exploiting. In addition, there is the liability for gross breakdowns of mentalizing abilities and the risk for self- destructive acting out.
Both deficits affect the capability for self-understanding and experience of identity and agency. Briefly, this theoretical reasoning highlights that one of the most devastating developmental consequences of impoverished, insecure, or traumatic parenting is that it leaves the child in a state of epistemic mistrust. NPD represents quite a different combination of temperament, attachment, and mentalizing.
This finding is in accordance with clinical observations, social-psychological research, and other test results Ronningstam, ; Karterud, ; van der Westhuizen and Solms, Add a narcissistic individual to a group e. What about their attachment pattern?
PSYCHOLOGY OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO TEMPERAMENT
The number of relevant studies is low, but they point to a dismissive attachment pattern being the prototype Rosenstein and Horowitz, Narcissistic individuals will often know a lot of people but have few, if any, intimate relations. They seldom let others come close enough to experience their self-loathed weak sides.
A low self-compassion corresponds with low empathy for the suffering of others. And their mentalizing difficulties? In accordance with a dismissive attachment pattern Crittenden, , narcissistic individuals tend to be cognitively oriented, more than affective.