Subcomponants of Psychopathy Essay

16764 Words 68 Pages
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 2013, Vol. 105, No. 4, 667– 687

© 2013 American Psychological Association 0022-3514/13/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0033485

Subcomponents of Psychopathy Have Opposing Correlations With Punishment Judgments
Jana Schaich Borg
Stanford University and Duke University

Rachel E. Kahn
University of New Orleans

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Duke University
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Robert Kurzban
University of Pennsylvania

Paul H. Robinson
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Kent A. Kiehl
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This interaction helped reveal a significant nonlinear relationship between PCL–R total scores and task performance such that individuals with very low or very high PCL–R total scores performed better than those with middle-range PCL–R total scores. These results may explain the enigma of why individuals with very high psychopathic traits, but not other groups of antisocial individuals, usually have normal moral judgment in laboratory settings, but still behave immorally, especially in contexts where Social Deviance traits have strong influence. Keywords: psychopathy, moral judgment, Deserved Punishment Test

Psychopaths are infamous for their immoral behavior. Still unclear, however, is whether psychopaths’ behavior is due to personality traits that interfere with them knowing what is morally wrong or, instead, personality traits that interfere with them from caring about what is morally wrong. This unresolved issue has long been at the center of scientific debates about the neural mechanisms of moral judgment and how to treat psychopaths (Glenn, 2010), as well as legal debates about whether psychopaths

should be considered criminally (or morally) responsible for their crimes (McMillan & Malatesti, 2010).

Psychopathy
Psychopathy was originally described as a constellation of interpersonal, affective, and behavioral personality traits that included a superficial and

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