Preliminary Data on the Role of Emotional Intelligence in Mediating the Relationship Between Psychopathic Characteristics and Detention Terms of Property Offenders†

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Abstract

We present preliminary data on the role of emotional intelligence (EI) in mediating the relationship between psychopathy and detention term of authors of property crimes. We assumed that the detention term is an approximation of the severity of criminal behavior. A sample of 24 property offenders were individually administered a brief anamnestic interview, the Psychopathic Personality Inventory—Revised (PPI-R), and the Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Information concerning the detention term was obtained from prison records. A mediation model was applied to the data showing that offenders high in psychopathic traits (i.e., total PPI-R score and Self-centered dimension of PPI-R) have a low level of ability EI and this is in turn negatively associated with the duration of their prison sentence. Results encourage the investigation of ability EI as a protective factor against the antisocial outcomes of psychopathic disorder.

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