Chapter 7 Psychopathy and Personality
Consensus Big Four I: N, E, A & C
Big Four: Neuroticism/Negative Affect (N), Extraversion/Positive Affect (E), Agreeableness (A), and Conscientiousness/Constraint (C).
Consensus Big Four II: low A, deceptive, exploitive, aggressive, arrogant
The psychopathic individual is interpersonally antagonistic (low A). At the facet level, he is suspicious (low in trust), deceptive (low in straight forwardness), exploitive, aggressive, arrogant and tough-minded. This individual has trouble controlling his impulses and endorses nontraditional values and standards (low C). There is little evidence that the psychopath is high or low in Extraversion.
Consensus Big Four I: agreements across FFM, T3 & Eysenck’s PEN
Agreement across the models (FFM, T3, Eysenck’s PEN in terms of the traits that are represented. The models all contain explicit representations of the “big two:” Extraversion (Positive Emotionality) and Neuroticism (Negative Emotionality). The FFM & Telegen3 both contain dimensions related to control of impulses & orientation to convention: Contiousness & Constraint (C). Eyseneck’s PEN contains C, although it is not associated uniquely w/single factor: empirical work suggests that Eysenck’s Psychoticism can be considered a blend of low C andlow Agreeableness (Costa & McCrae, 1995b).
Consensus Big Four II: agreements across FFM, T3 & Eysenck’s PEN
All models also contain representations of Agreeableness (A); in Tellegen’s model, A is a component of the Psychoticism dimension. In T3 it is represented as both the Negative Emotionality (aggression) & Positive Emotionality (social potency) dimensions (Church, 1994).
Consensus Big Four III: Big Three & Five models = common ‘Big Four’ space
Watson, Clark & Harkness (1994) argued that the Big Three & Big Five models define a common ‘Big Four’ space in which (a) 2-traits are equivalent (Neuroticism & Extraversion); (b) the third Big Three factors (Conscientiousness & Agreeableness); and (c) the final Big Five trait (Openness or imagination) is excluded. They label the Big Four as Neuroticism (or negative emotionality), Extraversion (or Positive Emotionality), Conscientiousness (or Constraint), and Agreeableness.
Handbook of Psychopathy, p. 136-137.
Effect Sizes & Confidence Intervals
Meta analysis reports findings in terms of effect sizes. The effect size provides information about how much change is evident across all studies and for subsets of studies. In meta-analysis, effect sizes should also be reported with: the number of studies and the number of effects used to create the estimate. confidence intervals to help readers determine the consistency and reliability of the mean estimated effect size.
Empirical Relations: Structural Models & Psychopathy w./meta-analysis defined
meta-analysis of studies used to examine structural models & psychopathy. Meta-analysis is a statistical technique for amalgamating, summarizing, and reviewing previous quantitative research. By using meta-analysis, a wide variety of questions can be investigated, as long as a reasonable body of primary research studies exist. Selected parts of the reported results of primary studies are entered into a database, and this “meta-data” is “meta-analyzed”, in similar ways to working with other data – descriptively and then inferentially to test certain hypotheses. Meta analysis can be used as a guide to answer the question ‘does what we are doing make a difference to X?’, even if ‘X’ has been measured using different instruments across a range of different people. Meta-analysis provides a systematic overview of quantitative research which has examined a particular question.
Eysenck’s PEN Model: an evolving concept -> schizophrenia to distinct biological systems
Eysenck’s PEN Model includes Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), & Psychoticism (P) (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1970). These factors were originally derived from of questionnaire items. Subsequently, Eysenck proposed that these factors were underlain by distinct biological systems. N, which measures emotional stability & adjustment, is believed to be related to the sympathetic nervous system & its activation threshold. E, which measures traits related to sociability & agency, is believed to cortical arousal. P, which accesses egocentricity, (lack of) empathy, and impulsiveness, is related to testosterone levels. This dimension was originally viewed as an underlying genotypic predisposition to schizophrenia.
Eysenck’s PEN Model: effect size & confidence intervals for PEN factors
The weighted mean effect size for psychoticism was .25 w/95% confidence interval of. 18 to .32. Extraversion was .07 with interval of .00 to .14. Neuroticism was .15 with interval of .09 to .22.
SEE: Effect Sizes & Confidence Intervals article.
Five Factor Model & Dimensions – N, E, O, A & C
Neuroticism: Emotional stability & adjustment v instability & maladjustments. Extraversion: Sociability & agency.
Openness to Experience: interest & willingness to try or consider new activities, ideas, beliefs; intellectual curiosity.
Agreeableness: Interpersonal strategies: Agreeableness v Antagonism.
Conscientiousness: Ability to control impulses, carry out plans & tasks, organizational skills, follow one’s internal moral code.
Five Factor Model: Agreeableness (A) & Consciousness (C) were strongly related -> psychopathy
Each of the domains was significantly related to psychopathy although they differed in strength of those relations. Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), and Openness (O) were weakly related to psychopathy; Agreeableness & Consciousness (C) were strongly related.
Five Factor Model: FFM from lexical research
FFM derived was derived from lexical studies of the English language to identify the domains of personality functioning most important in describing the personality traits of oneself and other persons (Digman, 1990; John & Srivastava, 1999; Wiggins & Pincus, 1992). The lexical research emphasized five domains: Extraversion (E), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), Neuroticism (N), & Openness (O) (John & Srivastava, 1999).
Meta-Analytic Method I: terms crossed w/psychopathy in PsychINFO (1963-2000)
To intestigate the relations between structural models T3, FFM & PEN, meta-analytic methods were used. The PsychINFO (1963-2000). PsycINFO® is an expansive abstracting and indexing database with more than 3 million records devoted to peer-reviewed literature in the behavioral sciences and mental health, making it an ideal discovery and linking tool for scholarly research in a host of disciplines. The personality-related terms included in the search “psychotocism,” “extraversion,” “neuroticism,” “Eysenck,” “negative emotionality,” “constraint,” “Tellegen,” “neuroticism,” “extraversion,” “openness,” “agreeableness,” “conscientious,” and “high five model.” These terms were crossed w/psychopathy.
Meta-Analytic Method II: 20 studies w/structural models & psychopathy
(SEE: Meta-Analytic Method I: … article). 20 studies that assessed both one of the major structural models of personality, T3, FFM & PEN and psychopathy, variously defined.
PCL-R Factor I & II -> FFM language -> NOT I or II
11) Promiscuous sexual behavior -> Low straightforwardness, low altruism, low compliance, low modesty, low tender-mindedness (A-), low dutifulness, low self-discipline, low deliberation (C-)
17) Many short marital relationships -> Low Dutifulness (C-)
20) Criminal venality -> Low straightforwardness, low altruism, low compliance, low modesty, low tendermindedness (A-), low dutifulness, low self-discipline, low deliberation
PCL-R Factor I -> FFM language I
1) Glibness/superficial charm -> Low self-consciousness (N-)
2) Grandiose sense of self-worth -> Low modesty (A-)
4) Pathological lying -> Low straightforwardness (A-)
5) Conning/manipulative -> Low straightforwardness, low altruism, low tender- mindedness (A-)
6) Lack of remorse or guilt -> Low tender-mindedness (A-)
7) Shallow affect -> Low warmth, low positive emotionality (E-), low altruism, low tender-mindedness (A-)
8) Callous/lack of empathy -> Low tendermindedness (A-)
16) Failure to accept responsibility -> Low straight-forwardness (A-), low dutifulness (C-) p. 140.
PCL-R Factor II -> FFM language I
3) Need for stimulation -> High excitement-seeking (E+), low self-discipline (C-)
9) Parasitic lifestyle -> Low straightforwardness, low altruism, low modesty, low tendermindedness (A-), low achievement striving, low self disclipine (C-)
10) Poor behavioral controls -> High angry hostility (N+), low compliance (A-), Low desiberation (C-)
12) Early behavior problems -> Low straightforwardness, low altruism, low compliance (A-), low self-disclipine (C-)
PCL-R Factor II -> FFM language II
13) Lack of realistic, long-term goals -> Low Achievement striving, low self-disciple (C-)
14) Impulsivity -> High impulsiveness (N+), low deliberation (C-)
15) Irresponsibility -> Low competence, low dutifulness (C-)
18) Juvenile delinquency -> Low straightforwardness, low altruism, low compliance, low modesty, low tendermindedness (A-), low competence, low dutifulness, low self-discipline, low deliberfation (C-)
19) Revocation of conditional -> Low straightforwardness
Personality Descriptions of Psychopathy: 3-approaches to psychopathy profile – structural models of personality
The 1st step in understanding psychopathy as a specific personality configuration is in identifying that personality configuration. 3-approaches to generating basic personality profile for psychopathy & various structural models of personality. The 1st approach, we examine the empirical relations between each of the structural models and psychopathy through a meta-analytic framework. 2nd approach, we discuss a translation of a psychopathy instrument into the language of a particular structural model, the FFM. 3rd approach, we examine the personality profiles of psychopathy generated by experts.
Psychopathy & Personality Intro I: psychopathy = personality pattern
Personality refers to an individual’s characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. 1) personality is internal; it resides within the individual; 2) personality is manifested broadly; it has cognitive, affective, interpersonal and behavioral components; 3) personality accounts for stable behavior patterns across time and situations. A psychopath can be understood as a particular personality pattern.
Psychopathy & Personality Intro II: Cleckley’s – 9-of-his or 5-of-7 = personality traits
Cleckley’s (1976) seminal description of psychopaths is a study in personality. Cleckley’s list of 16-diagnostic criteria for psychopathy is replete with personality traits. 9-of-his diagnostic criteria are fairly standard personality descriptors: 1) interpersonally charming, 2) (absence of) nervousness, 3) unreliability, 4) insincerity, 5) (lack of) shame, 6) poor judgement, 7) egocentricity, 8) affectively impoverished, and 9) interpersonally unresponsive. 5-of-7-of-remaining-characteristics reference “enduring patterns” of behavior so are considered to access personality: 1) inadequately motivated AB, fantastic & uninviting behavior w/drink and w/out, suicide rarely carried out, an impersonal sex life, and failure to follow any life plan.
Psychopathy & Personality Intro III: Hare’s emphasis on personality
The emphasis on personality is also found in Hare’s operizational model of psychopathy, the 20-item Hare PCL-R (1991). In the PCL-R 13-of-20 items assessed represent standard descriptors: glibness, grandiosity, need for stimulation, untruthfulness, manipulativeness, lack of guilt, shallow affect, callousness, poor behavior control, lack of planning , impulsivity, irresponsibility, and failure to accept responsibility. 14-of-20: 1) parasitic life-style; 2) promiscuous sexual behavior; 3) many short-term marital relations; 4) criminal versatility. 4-of-the-7-factors: parasitic life style, promiscuous sexual behavior, many short-term marital relations, and criminal versatility.
Psychopathy & Personality Intro IV: structural models of personality
This chapter presents evidence that psychopathy is personality. That is, a basic premise of this chapter is that psychopathy can be understood as a particular constellation of basic personality traits available in a variety of structural models of personality. By “structural,” we refer to models from basic research in personality that use multiple dimensions, domains or superfactors to organize the array of personality traits according to their interrelations (Wiggins & Pincus, 1992).
Psychopathy & Personality Intro V: 4-advantages w/structural models of personality
Keywords: Handbook of Psychopathy, structural models of personality 4-advantages
4-advantages of using structural models of personality: 1) these models were developed in research efforts to identify and organize the primary building blocks of personality. Traits from these models are based more in the science of personality and less in the minds of psychopathy observers and theorists. 2) because these models were identified in basic science efforts and not in efforts to predict specific criteria, problems with predictor-criterion overlay are minimized. 3) each of these models has been widely used and well validated in various kinds of research. Thus, these models are well grounded. 4) these models have been used to study issues in personality, including genetics, development and neuro-biology. As such, these models have much to offer the study of psychopathy.
Psychopathy & Personality Intro VI: structural model use for configuration of traits
We (Lynam & Derefinko) argue that psychopathy is best understood as a configuration of traits from a general, structural model of personality. 1) we present several similar descriptions of psychopathy in terms of structural personality models generated by different methods. 2) we provide evidence that psychopathy can be assessed using such structural models. 3) we examine how the use of structural models of personality resolves lingering issues in the field of psychopathy.
Psychopathy & Personality Intro VII: categorical model criticism
There has been concern regarding the validity of the categorical model underlying personality disorders. Critics have pointed to the model’s failure to adequately differentiate abnormal from normal functioning and one type of disordered functioning from another (see Widiger & Clark, 2000). In response, We (Lynam & Derefinko) have suggested that a dimensional model of personality disorders might be more useful (see Widiger & Frances, 2002).
Structural Models of Personality Intro I: psychopathy & 3-personality models
The field of personality is concerned w/identifying the basic traits of the building blocks of personality. Examined are the relations between psychopathy and 3-personality models: 1) the five factor model (FFM; McCrae & Costa, 1990); 2) the Psychoticism-Extraversion-Neuroticism (PEN) model (Eysenck, 1977); 3) Tellegen’s (1985) 3-factor model (T-3).
Structural Models of Personality Intro II: FFM from lexical hypothesis -> major dimensions of personality
FFM is based on a lexical hypothesis which posits that the traits most importan to humkan interaction, communication, and survival have been encoded in the natural language as single words (Allport, 1937). Researchers have factor-analyzed trait terms taken from distionaries in order to identify the major dimensions of personality.
Structural Models of Personality Intro III: Eysenck PEN model
Eysenck attempted to tie his personality domains to biological factors such as arousal level, testosterone, and the sympathetic nervous system.
Structural Models of Personality Intro IV: How Tellegen developed his model
Tellegen developed his model and instrument through an iterative, exploratory approach to test construction that originally began as an effort to “explore personality characteristics that might be related to individual differences in hypnotic susceptibility” (Tellegen & Waller, in press, p. 12).
Tellegen’s 3-factor model I: Tellegen’s 3 basic dimensions
Tellegen’s model posits 3 basic dimensions, each marked by a set of scales. 1) Positive Emotionality refers to the tendency of individuals to be positively engaged w/others and the world around them; it is marked by scales labeled wellbeing, social potency, social closeness and achievement. Negative Emotionality reflects an individual’s tendency to experience negative emotions (e.g., fear, anxiety and anger) and his/her tendency to break down under stress; it is marked by subscales labeled “aggress; it is marked by subscales labeled “aggression,” “alienation,” and “stress reaction.” Constraint assesses an individual’s ability to control impulses, act deliberatgely, avoid potgentially dangerous situations, and endorse traditional values and standards; it is marked by subscales labeled “traditionalism,” “harm avoidance,” and “control.”
Tellegen’s 3-factor model: T3 x psychopathy
A small positive relation of .10 for Positive Emotionality & psychopathy had a confidence interval of 0 to .20. The positive relation is due to the social potency subscale which has a weighted effect size .27 compared to weighted effect sizes of -.02 for well-being,, -.06 for social closeness, and .03 for agency. A moderate to large negative correlation of -35 between Constraint & psychopathy w/confidence interval of -.44 to -.36. Negative Emotionality (NE) and psychopathy had an effect size of .27 and a confidence interval ranging from .17 to .36.
Translation of the PCL-R I:
Translate the PCL-R into structural model language. Widiger & Lynam (1998) argued that all the core of psychopathy operationalized in Hare’s (1999) PCL-R have an explicit representation w/in one-or-more facets of the FFM.