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Open AccessArticle

Application of Chaos Theory in the Assessment of Emotional Vulnerability and Emotion Dysregulation in Adults

1
Department of Psychological Sciences, Health, and Territory (DISPUTer), University G. D’Annunzio, Via dei Vestini, 66013 Chieti, Italy
2
Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, P.O. Box MG 11, 077125 Bucharest-Măgurele, Romania
3
Clinic of Dermatology, Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, University G. D’Annunzio, Via dei Vestini, 66013 Chieti, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10020089
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 6 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 9 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Neuroscience)
In this work, we propose an interdisciplinary chaos analysis of emotion dysregulation (ED) and emotional vulnerability in adults. One of the main goals was the assessment of incongruences that occur in the evaluation of one’s own emotional dysregulation mechanisms in the presence of an extremely weak stimulus (Butterfly Effect). Thus, we considered a “flavor” of the Lyapunov Function method based on the assumption that the effort of answering to the test is itself a small perturbation. In this context, we calculated the “instability coefficient” Δ defined as the Euclidean distance between the pairs of vectors that include similar and reverted items of a test. The relationship between Δ, ED, and emotional characteristics as quality (positive/negative) and type (trait/state) was highlighted. We hypothesized that a higher level of Δ should be significantly related with a higher ED and with the type and the quality of emotions. The results suggest that Δ is significantly correlated with trait emotions (positively with negative emotions, and negatively with positive ones) and with ED. Moreover, Δ significantly predicts ED in adults. Thus, we consider that this approach is promising with respect to the evolution of emotional mechanisms across time. The presence of an initial instability to a weak perturbation might predict future abnormal emotional functioning, which could put at risk the mental or psychosomatic systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chaos theory; Lyapunov Function; Butterfly Effect; emotions; emotion regulation Chaos theory; Lyapunov Function; Butterfly Effect; emotions; emotion regulation
MDPI and ACS Style

Ciuluvica (Neagu), C.; Grossu, I.V.; Amerio, P. Application of Chaos Theory in the Assessment of Emotional Vulnerability and Emotion Dysregulation in Adults. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 89.

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