Psychopathic Personality and Emotional Processing in a Non-Clinical, Non-Criminal Sample: Evidence from the Emotional Interrupt Task
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Ritchie, Stuart J
A sample of non-clinical, non-criminal individuals was investigated using a simple motor task which included emotionally- and neutrally-valenced distracters. In previous studies using this method, individuals with psychopathy had been found to have faster responses than controls to trials including emotional distracters (Mitchell et al., 2006). In addition, two personality inventories were completed by participants and compared: a specialist psychopathy inventory, and a measure of normal personality. Results showed no effect of psychopathy in the task’s outcome, along with an unexpected facilitation effect of positive stimuli. The personality inventory comparison found a close correlation between measures of psychopathy in each instrument. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to two current theories of psychopathy: the Integrated Emotion Systems model of Blair, Mitchell & Blair, (2005), and the hypothesis that psychopathy is an extreme variant of normal personality (e.g. Miller et al., 2001).