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Author(s): Catarina Iria
Fernando Barbosa
Rui Paixao
Title: The identification of negative emotions through a go/no-go task comparative research in criminal and non-criminal psychopaths
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: This study compares the performance, when identifying negative emotions on facial expression, of male offenders (n = 62) with a high level of psychopathy (n = 25) with other criminals with a low level of psychopathy (n = 37), as well as other "successful psychopaths'' (n = 12) and non-criminals with a low level of psychopathy (n = 39) in order to clarify the negative emotional processing of offenders and non-offenders that are either high or low in psychopathy. The participants were assessed on a Go/No-Go paradigm in which subjects had to respond to the facial expressions of fear, sadness, and anger. The psychopathy level was obtained by Factor 1 of Hare's PCL:SV. Both psychopathic groups, criminal and non-criminal, showed worse performance than their non-psychopathic counterparts on the identification of fear and sadness. An overresponsivity to both anger and fear was common to criminals, psychopaths, and non-psychopaths. These results reinforce the idea that psychopathy is related to a poor ability to identify fear and sadness in facial expressions independently of its manifestation in criminal behavior. In turn, a misidentified response pattern, characterized by an overresponsiveness for fear and anger, is common to both psychopaths and the criminal groups, and it appears to be the characteristic that distinguishes the three groups under study from non-criminal non-psychopath controls.
Subject: Psicologia
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: restrictedAccess
Appears in Collections:FPCEUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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