Title page for ETD etd-08182011-123020

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Robbs, Natalie Ann
Email natalie@7i.co.za
URN etd-08182011-123020
Document Title Neuropsychological performance profiles in groups with harm avoidance (HA) and novelty seeking (NS) temperament trait clusters : an exploratory study
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof N Cassimjee Supervisor
  • psychobiological theory
  • performance
  • harm avoidance
  • novelty seeking
  • hypothymic
  • hyperthymic
  • impulsive
  • rigid
  • executive function
  • neuropsychological
  • temperament
Date 2011-04-18
Availability restricted
Whilst there is a growing body of research investigating links between temperament, neuropsychological performance and psychopathology, as well as the neurophysiological aspects underlying temperament; few studies have sought to examine the neuropsychological performance profiles of different combinations of temperament trait clusters. Therefore, the aim of the study is to explore the differences in executive performance profiles within second order temperament trait clusters comprised of harm avoidance (HA) and novelty seeking (NS) as defined by Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Participants (N = 420) were evaluated using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and the PennCNP neuropsychological battery of executive functioning and abstract reasoning tasks.

The participants were clustered into four main groups evidencing impulsive (low HA and high NS; n = 121) and rigid (high HA and low NS; n = 131) traits, and those with hyperthymic (low HA and low NS; n = 75) and hypothymic (high HA and high NS; n = 93) reactive traits.

The results indicated firstly that when comparing rigid-trait individuals and impulsive-trait individuals, rigid-trait individuals reacted more slowly to both complex (executive functioning) and less complex tasks (attention and working memory) tasks. These individuals also attained fewer correct responses on complex tasks. Secondly, the results also revealed that hyperthymic-trait individuals demonstrated faster response times on the tasks, as well as performing consistently better on complex tasks (executive functioning) than hypothymic-trait individuals. These results are discussed within the psychobiological framework.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Robbs, NA 2010, Neuropsychological performance profiles in groups with harm avoidance (HA) and novelty seeking (NS) temperament trait clusters : an exploratory study, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08182011-123020/ >


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