Recall of Expressed Affect During Naturalistically Observed Interpersonal Events in Those With Borderline Personality Disorder or Depressive Disorder

Whitney C. Brown, Sarah L. Tragesser, Rachel L. Tomko, Matthias R. Mehl, Timothy J. Trull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


We used the Electronically Activated Recorder to observe 31 individuals with either borderline personality disorder (BPD; n = 20) or a history of a depressive disorder (n = 11). The Electronically Activated Recorder yielded approximately forty-seven 50-second sound clips per day for 3 consecutive days. Recordings were coded for expressed positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA), and coder ratings were compared to participants' reports about their PA and NA during interpersonal events. BPD participants did not differ from participants with depressive disorder in terms of their recalled levels of NA or PA across different types of interpersonal events. However, significant discrepancies between recalled and observed levels of NA and PA were found for BPD participants for all types of interpersonal events. These findings may reflect limitations in the ability of those with BPD to recall their emotional intensity during interpersonal events and may also provide some evidence for emotional invalidation experienced by those with BPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014



  • Electronically Activated Recorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • naturalistic observation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this