Psychopathy and nonverbal behavior in an interpersonal situation

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Abstract

88 male adolescents living in a minimum security institution were judged by their counselors on a scale measuring psychopathic behavior. Two extreme groups were composed, with 25 Ss each. These Ss were questioned by a male interviewer in a face-to-face situation about their leisure activities. Trained judges analyzed videotape recordings of the Ss' and the interviewer's nonverbal and paralinguistic behavior. Global judgments of the Ss' emotional states were also requested of the judges. Results show that compared with nonpsycopaths, psychopathic Ss displayed more hand gestures and leaned forward more, thus reducing the distance between them and their partner. They also looked toward their partner's eyes for much longer periods and tended to smile less than nonpsychopaths. On the other hand, when interacting with psychopaths, the interviewer spoke significantly less than with nonpsychopaths. A number of other observed differences in emotional expression between the 2 groups are discussed. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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