Self-Report Measures of Psychopathy

The use of self-report measures to assess psychopathic personality or psychopathy (i.e., a constellation of personality traits and behaviors encompassing guiltlessness, superficial charm, grandiosity, callousness, poor impulse control, and manipulativeness) has been fraught with controversy. Until approximately the 1990s, the overwhelming majority of psychopathy research was conducted in forensic and clinical settings. Since the 1990s, however, interest in studying psychopathic traits in nonclinical settings, such as college and community samples, has burgeoned. Moreover, accumulating research evidence suggests that psychopathy differs in degree rather than kind from normality and is probably underpinned by one or more subdimensions. Given these findings, some researchers have argued that psychopathy can be studied profitably among noncriminal populations by means of self-report measures. Self-report measures have become the predominant mode of ...

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