Empathy-relevant processing in psychopathic offenders

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dc.contributor Tullett, Alexa M.
dc.contributor Salekin, Randall T.
dc.contributor Dolliver, Matthew
dc.contributor McDonald, Kristina L.
dc.contributor.advisor Glenn, Andrea L.
dc.contributor.author Efferson, Leah
dc.date.accessioned 2019-08-01T14:23:53Z
dc.date.available 2019-08-01T14:23:53Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003300
dc.identifier.other Efferson_alatus_0004D_13766
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/6113
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of psychopathic traits on empathy-relevant processes and two types of empathy. Previous research has suggested that empathy requires that a person be able to identify emotional content, identify emotions of others, experience one’s own emotions, identify and describe one’s emotions, and figure out what another person is feeling and thinking. Empathy-relevant processes have been examined in separate studies, however, no studies have examined all of these constructs at once in relation to psychopathy. An exploratory goal was to examine gender differences in the relationship between psychopathic traits and empathy-relevant processes and types of empathy. One hundred inmates from the Tuscaloosa county jail participated in the study and half the sample was female. They completed the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version along with an emotional processing task, two theory of mind tasks, empathy, alexithymia, and emotional experiences questionnaires. Controlling for demographic variables, psychopathic traits predicted slower reaction times to emotional words, increased difficulty identifying feelings, and experiencing more anger but did not predict self-reports of emotional nor cognitive empathy, theory of mind, or difficulty describing feelings. Gender moderated the relationship between psychopathic traits and reaction time to emotional words in that this relationship was positive for females but not significant for males. Interventions might focus on helping and motivating psychopathic individuals to identify their feelings and how to identify, pay attention to, and respond to emotional content. Future studies should further probe the lack of significant association between the PCL:SV and self-reported emotional empathy, which other studies have similarly failed to observe.
dc.format.extent 100 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Psychology
dc.title Empathy-relevant processing in psychopathic offenders
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Department of Psychology
etdms.degree.discipline Psychology
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level doctoral
etdms.degree.name Ph.D.


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