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Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2021

Self-Construal and Psychopathy

Haley Jacquez

Graduate, MS Cognitive and Affective Psychology

Nikki Satterlund

Graduate, MS Cognitive and Affective Psychology

Ben Saltigerald

Graduate, MS Cognitive and Affective Psychology

Vanessa Monfredo-Hillman

Graduate, MS Cognitive and Affective Psychology

Allison Smith

Graduate, MS Cognitive and Affective Psychology

Luke Tacke

Senior, Psychology

Abstract

Prior research suggests that psychopathy is negatively related to interdependent self-construal and weakly related to independent self-construal (Robertson et al., 2016; Jonason et al., 2017). However, previous research has relied on overly general measures of psychopathy that fail to distinguish among key psychopathic traits. The current study sought to remedy this by investigating the relation between psychopathic traits and self-construal using two comprehensive measures of psychopathy and measures of independent, interdependent, collective, and relational self-construal. The psychopathic traits examined included those set forth in two widely used psychopathy measures-the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale-Version III (SRP-III) and the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Short Form (PPI-SF). Four SRP-III traits (callous affect, manipulative tendency, erratic lifestyle, criminal tendency) and three PPI-SF traits (coldheartedness, self-centered impulsivity, fearless dominance) were considered. The results indicated differing relations between self-construal and psychopathy depending on the psychopathic trait and measure of psychopathy considered. Specifically, callous affect and coldheartedness showed unique negative associations with interdependent, relational, and collective self-construal. In contrast, erratic lifestyle and fearless dominance showed unique positive associations with relational and collective self-construal. More idiosyncratic relations included unique positive relations between (a) callous affect and independent self-construal; (b) fearless dominance and independent self-construal; and (c) manipulative tendency and interdependent self-construal.

Project Background 

Prior research has examined the relation between psychopathy and independent versus interdependent self-construal (Robertson, et al., 2016; Jonason, et al., 2017). This research revealed a negative association between psychopathy and interdependent self-construal and little association between psychopathy and independent self-construal. However, this research relied on limited measures of psychopathy and failed to distinguish among various traits thought to make up psychopathic personality. This study was meant to investigate further the relation between psychopathic traits and self-construal by using two comprehensive measures of psychopathy and multiple measures of independent and interdependent self-construal. This program of research will better clarify the relations between various psychopathic traits and self-construal by using more comprehensive measures of psychopathy and by using a range of different self-construal measures.

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1 Comment

  1. David Lishner

    Great work you all!

    Reply

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