Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:
Fiona Maccallum and George A. Bonanno
Prolonged grief (PG) is a syndrome marked by intense and prolonged bereavement and is accompanied by significant impairment. Researchers still have much to learn about PG, including how it influences decision making. People who had lost a parent, partner, or sibling in the past 1 to 3 years were assessed for prolonged grief, life experiences, depression, and life orientation (whether they were more optimistic or pessimistic in their expectations). They then completed a delayed reward-discounting task in which they chose between a smaller immediate reward or a larger delayed reward. Greater PG symptoms were associated with increased discounting for larger and smaller amounts of money (consistent with findings indicating that those with PG have problems visualizing the future), which sheds light on the effects of PG on decision-making processes.
Luke W. Hyde, Daniel S. Shaw, Laura Murray, Arianna Gard, Ahmad R. Hariri, and Erika E. Forbes
Past research has suggested an association between amygdala reactivity and antisocial behavior (AB), especially among those with callous unemotional traits (CU). To examine potential moderators of this relationship, adult participants who were part of the Pitt Mother and Child Project — a U.S.-based longitudinal study of low-income boys and their families — completed an amygdala-reactivity paradigm while functional MRI data were collected. Participants were also assessed for antisocial behavior and personality, involvement with the legal system, and CU. The researchers found a negative relationship between amygdala reactivity and AB, but not between amygdala reactivity and CU. These results were strongest for the centromedial subregion of the amygdala and for African American participants. This finding challenges the view that the amygdala reactivity observed in past studies is specific to the presence of CU traits.