The Psychopathic Personality: Measurement, Variants, And Utility Of The Construct
Antisocial behaviors (AB), which place an enormous burden on society, are committed by a heterogeneous population, including psychopaths (Poythress et al., 2010). Psychopathy denotes a more serious and entrenched pattern of AB (Hare, 1996) and appears to be a heterogeneous construct as well. In fact, Primary and Secondary psychopathic variants are consistently identified in a variety of samples using person-centered analysis (Drislane et al., 2014; Gill & Stickle, 2016). Both Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (Gray & McNaughton, 2000) and the Triarchic Model of Psychopathy (Patrick, Fowles, & Krueger, 2009) provide useful frameworks to understand the etiology of the psychopathic variants. The current study identified Primary and Secondary Trait groups in a sample of criminally justice involved adults (N = 377), which differed on measures of negative emotionality. However, the Psychopathic trait groups did not differ on the boldness or meanness domains of the Triarchic Model (Patrick, Fowles & Kreuger). The disinhibition domain of the Triarchic model was significantly associated with aggression, and this association was partially mediated by levels of anxiety. Anxiety is an important dimension to assess in research, evaluation, and treatment of individuals with high levels of antisocial behavior.
Keywords: Psychopathy, variants, Triarchic, measurement, antisocial behavior