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<p>Alexithymia, a personality trait characterized by difficulties identifying/describing feelings and an externally-oriented thinking, is thought to be partially explained by low accuracy in detecting internal bodily signals. In a recent meta-analysis, Trevisan et al. (2019) examined this relationship between alexithymia and different dimensions of "interoceptive awareness" (i.e., the conscious perception of internal states). They found that alexithymia was associated with lower self-perceived (but not objective) ability to detect internal signals. However, we argue that their aggregation rationale and the psychometric value of included measures should be questioned. There is little evidence that measures aggregated within each of the dimensions correlate with each other. When evidence exists, it points to low correlations. Moreover, the criteria used for assigning measures to components were not reported. Finally, many included measures were characterized by validity issues questioning their inclusion in the meta-analysis. We therefore proceeded to a re-examination of some associations based on alternative selection and aggregation choices. Based on this alternative meta-analysis, we again found that alexithymia was not significantly associated with objective capacity to detect internal states, as measured by the Heartbeat Counting Task. Interestingly, however, alexithymia was associated with lower self-perceived ability to detect neutral internal sensations, but higher self-perceived awareness of negatively-valenced sensations. These results are consistent with theoretical models and past empirical studies which suggest that high alexithymic individuals experiment sensations as intense and harmful, but have low ability to detect neutral sensations. The current state of interoceptive awareness measurement will be discussed, together with recommendations for future studies.</p>
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