The taste of aggression: a model for psychopathy and reactive aggression
Psychopathy is a constellation of personality traits including callousness, manipulativeness, and antisocial behavior. Aggression, both in response to provocation and for personal gain, is a key component of antisocial acts of individuals high on psychopathy. Hostile attribution bias (HAB) is the interpretation, in response to ambiguous or accidental circumstances, that another has provoked the subject with hostile intent. This bias is commonly associated with reactive, or retaliatory, aggression. Previous research on HAB has focused mainly on children and has yielded inconsistent validity of this model in adults. The current study examined to what extent college age individuals high on psychopathy view the world as inherently hostile, which in turn explained greater aggressive responses to provocation than individuals low on psychopathy. The garnered information will be useful in both the clinical and forensic psychological settings, especially when targeting interventions with potentially psychopathic individuals.