Are Psychopathic traits a predictor for performance in Proactive and Reactive applications of executive control?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Although under many different guises over time, Psychopathy has become a description for a set of antisocial behaviours such as a lack of remorse, manipulation and disregard for societal norms. These behaviours have been categorised by multiple psychologists as a way in which to easily measure psychopathy. One of the most regarded and commonly used measures of psychopathy, the ‘Psychopathy Checklist Revised’ (PCL-R) has received ridicule from multiple sources, from which the ‘Triarchic Psychopathy Measure’ (TriPM) has tried to provide a solution. Research suggests that psychopathic individual’s show differing levels of executive control; a cognitive process that underpins the human mind. The concept of executive control has been expanded through the use of the ‘Dual mechanisms of control’, which explains there to be a difference in proactive and reactive control. Suggested common brain regions behind psychopathy and these forms of executive control lead the researcher into reviewing associations between the two; a topic that has not been researched before. This is devised through the use of a modified Stroop task in order to test for associations between proactive and reactive control, and the TriPM’s three traits. Both of which are discussed in terms of their composition and selection. Data from 130 participants was collected through an opportunity sampling. Participants completed the TriPM questionnaire and both proactive and reactive conditions of the Stroop task. Significant positive and negative correlations were found in the ‘boldness’ and ‘Meanness’ traits with proactive and reactive control. The findings are discussed with relation to developing the sparse field of research and the present study’s implications for psychopathic traits in the general population.
BSc (Hons) Psychology
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