Bate, Carolyn, Boduszek, Daniel, Dhingra, Katie and Bale, Christopher (2014) Psychopathy, Intelligence and Emotional Responding in a Non-Forensic Sample: An Experimental Investigation. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 25 (4). pp. 600-612. ISSN 1478-9949

This study examined the relationships between psychopathy (primary and secondary), intelligence, and emotional responding in a sample of 50 university students, using a task measuring autonomic responses to 40 pictorial stimuli (20 neutral and 20 emotionally provoking). Results indicated no significant direct relationship between primary or secondary psychopathy and emotional response, or primary or secondary psychopathy and intelligence. However, a significant moderating effect of intelligence on the association between both psychopathy factors and emotional response was observed, indicating those scoring higher on psychopathy but with lower intelligence portray the expected emotional responses to the affective stimuli (primary: β = -.56, p < .05; secondary: β = .80, p < .001). These findings indicate abnormal reactivity to emotional stimuli in lower intelligence, higher psychopathic individuals, and suggest differing roles for the two facets of psychopathy in affective responsiveness deviations.

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