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Psychopathic men: Deficits in general mental ability, not emotion perception


Olderbak, S G; Mokros, A; Nitschke, J; Habermeyer, E; Wilhelm, O (2018). Psychopathic men: Deficits in general mental ability, not emotion perception. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(3):294-304.

Abstract

Psychopathy is characteristically associated with deficits in emotion perception; however, findings surrounding this deficit are actually quite mixed. This is most likely due to limitations of study methodology, including the use of tasks with unknown or poor psychometric properties, underpowered samples, and a lack of control for third variables. We present a study that addressed these limitations. A sample of men (n = 339) ranging across the psychopathy continuum, recruited in and out of the German prison system, completed three psychometrically validated tasks that assessed the ability to perceive facially expressed emotions. Using latent variable modeling, we show that deficits in emotion perception ability associated with psychopathy are fully attributable to deficits in general mental ability. Modeling relations at the manifest level, separately for inmates and noninmates, support these conclusions. We conclude that emotion general and emotion-specific deficits associated with psychopathy have been exaggerated and instead indicate deficits in general mental ability. (PsycINFO Database Record

Abstract

Psychopathy is characteristically associated with deficits in emotion perception; however, findings surrounding this deficit are actually quite mixed. This is most likely due to limitations of study methodology, including the use of tasks with unknown or poor psychometric properties, underpowered samples, and a lack of control for third variables. We present a study that addressed these limitations. A sample of men (n = 339) ranging across the psychopathy continuum, recruited in and out of the German prison system, completed three psychometrically validated tasks that assessed the ability to perceive facially expressed emotions. Using latent variable modeling, we show that deficits in emotion perception ability associated with psychopathy are fully attributable to deficits in general mental ability. Modeling relations at the manifest level, separately for inmates and noninmates, support these conclusions. We conclude that emotion general and emotion-specific deficits associated with psychopathy have been exaggerated and instead indicate deficits in general mental ability. (PsycINFO Database Record

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:08 Mar 2019 08:55
Last Modified:21 Jul 2024 01:37
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0021-843X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000340
PubMed ID:29446961
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