Psychopathy, Empathy, and Perspective -Taking Ability in a Community Sample: Implications for the Successful Psychopathy Concept

International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 5:133-149 (2006)
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Abstract

This study examined the relationship between psychopathy and two components of empathy including a cognitive component (e.g., perspective-taking ability) and an affective component (e.g., compassion) in a community sample. The Psychopathic Personality Inventory Short Form was used to assess psychopathy and several psychological measures were used to test empathy including the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy-2, and the Test of Self Conscious Affect -3. Across instruments, psychopathy (as a unitary construct) appeared to be negligibly correlated with perspective-taking scales and negatively correlated with the affective components of empathy. Findings indicated that the emotional deficits were noted most prominently for the behavioral component of psychopathy. Results also showed that higher psychopathy scores in community participants were linked to higher levels of antisocial conduct.

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