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Empathische Resonanzfähigkeit bei Straftätern mit psychopathischen Persönlichkeitszügen


Hagenmuller, Florence; Rössler, Wulf; Endrass, Jérôme; Rossegger, Astrid; Haker, Helene (2012). Empathische Resonanzfähigkeit bei Straftätern mit psychopathischen Persönlichkeitszügen. Neuropsychiatrie, 26(2):65-71.

Abstract

Background : Resonance is the phenomenon of unconsciously mirroring the motor actions of another person. Beside autism and schizophrenia psychopathic personality traits are associated with empathy dysfunction.
Methods: We explore empathic resonance in terms of contagion by laughing and yawning in a group of offenders with psychopathic traits. Offenders with psychopathic traits (n = 12) and matched controls (n = 10) were video-taped while watching short video sequences of yawning, laughing or neutral faces. They were rated regarding contagion. Further, we assessed a self-report on psychopathy and on empathic tendencies.
Results: Compared to the control group, the offenders showed significantly less contagion and less self-reported empathic tendencies. Individuals who rated themselves as more empathic showed more contagion.
Conclusions: The observed reduced resonance in terms of contagion may illuminate the cold-heartedness, with which some psychopathic offenders treat their victims: When embodied experiencing of other’s physical and emotional situation is missing, a natural inhibition of violence may be overcome. The small sample size limits the generalisability of these findings.

Abstract

Background : Resonance is the phenomenon of unconsciously mirroring the motor actions of another person. Beside autism and schizophrenia psychopathic personality traits are associated with empathy dysfunction.
Methods: We explore empathic resonance in terms of contagion by laughing and yawning in a group of offenders with psychopathic traits. Offenders with psychopathic traits (n = 12) and matched controls (n = 10) were video-taped while watching short video sequences of yawning, laughing or neutral faces. They were rated regarding contagion. Further, we assessed a self-report on psychopathy and on empathic tendencies.
Results: Compared to the control group, the offenders showed significantly less contagion and less self-reported empathic tendencies. Individuals who rated themselves as more empathic showed more contagion.
Conclusions: The observed reduced resonance in terms of contagion may illuminate the cold-heartedness, with which some psychopathic offenders treat their victims: When embodied experiencing of other’s physical and emotional situation is missing, a natural inhibition of violence may be overcome. The small sample size limits the generalisability of these findings.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Impaired resonance in offenders with psychopathic traits
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:German
Date:2012
Deposited On:04 Sep 2012 12:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:56
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0948-6259
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40211-012-0015-9
PubMed ID:22836550

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