Initial development of an implicit and explicit approach to assess psychopathy

Ireland, Jane Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5117-5930, Ireland, Carol Ann orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7310-2903, Lewis, Michael orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5567-3569, Jones, Catherine and Keeley, Samuel Marc (2016) Initial development of an implicit and explicit approach to assess psychopathy. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 46 (May-Ju). pp. 117-128. ISSN 0160-2527

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Four studies outline the ACL (Affective, Cognitive and Lifestyle) assessment, a new means of assessing psychopathy capturing implicit and explicit functioning. Studies 1 and 2 comprised students (study 1, n = 42, 14 men, 28 women; study 2, n = 50 men), Study 3 comprised 80 young male prisoners and Study 4, 40 male forensic psychiatric patients. It was predicted that the ACL affective, cognitive and interpersonal components would positively correlate with the interpersonal factor of another measure of psychopathy (PCL-SV), whereas the ACL lifestyle component would correlate with the criminal history/lifestyle component of the PCL-SV. Evidence for internal reliability for the ACL was noted. The ACL correlated as expected with the PCL-SV although variation across samples was noted. Implicit affect and specific aspects of cognition positively correlated with increased psychopathy on the PCL-SV. Implicit affect correlated differently across samples. Findings are discussed regarding implications. Directions for future research are indicated.

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