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Are there differential relationships between nonclinical primary and secondary psychopathy and complex emotion recognition?

Karadzhov, Dimitar (2014) Are there differential relationships between nonclinical primary and secondary psychopathy and complex emotion recognition? University of Glasgow. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Although there is a plethora of studies examining affective processing in clinical psychopathy, the subclinical dimension of psychopathy has remained a largely underresearched area. Previous research has been inconsistent due to methodological shortcomings and theoretical plurality. Addressing the need for methodological modifications in the field, this study utilized the Cambridge Face-Voice Mindreading Battery (Golan, Baron-Cohen & Hill, 2006) and the Reading the Mind in the Films task (Golan, Baron-Cohen, Hill & Golan, 2006) and predicted differential associations between primary and secondary psychopathy and the recognition of negative emotions and the recognition of mental states from movie scenes. The correlation analyses were based on 49 undergraduate students and indicated significant negative correlations between primary psychopathy and the perception of negative emotions and between secondary psychopathy and the performance on the films task only. These correlations were not significant when a Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons was conducted and when accounting for self-reported empathy. These preliminary findings demonstrate the potential of the behavioural affect perception paradigm to distinguish between nonclinical psychopathy subtypes but also emphasize a number of conceptual, methodological and data analytic discrepancies. Alternative explanations of the findings were offered and plausible recommendations for increasing methodological rigour were posited.

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