Psychopathy and violent crime

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Abstract

Examined the relations between psychopathy, violence, and impulsiveness of criminal behavior within a White prisoner sample of 76 Ss, using level of intelligence as a moderator variable. Prisoners were given the MMPI, the California Psychological Inventory, the Wide Range Achievement Test, and the IPAT Culture Free Intelligence Test (Scale 2). Unlike most prior research, psychopathy was found to be predictive of violence but only for less intelligent criminals; about 90% of this group had committed a violent crime compared to 58% for the remainder of the sample. Similarly, the psychopaths with limited intelligence evidenced the greatest impulsivity in the commission of their crimes relative to bright psychopaths or nonpsychopathic criminals at either level of intelligence. The implications of the findings for the importance of moderating cognitive variables in personality predictions are discussed. (45 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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