Reduced efficiency in recognising fear in subjects scoring high on psychopathic personality characteristics

B Montagne, J van Honk, RPC Kessels, E Frigerio, Michael Burt, Martine J.E. van Zandvoort, David Ian Perrett, EHF de Haan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The accuracy of perception of emotional faces was studied in individuals scoring low and high on psychopathic personality characteristics. Since psychopathy is characterised by a lack of fear, impaired recognition of fearful facial expression was expected in individuals with high psychopathic personality characteristics. 525 Healthy students completed the Behavioural Inhibition Scale and the Behavioural Activation Scale (BIS/BAS). 16 Subjects scoring high on psychopathic personality characteristics (weak BIS/strong BAS) and 16 subjects scoring low on psychopathic personality characteristics (strong BIS/weak BAS) were selected. A morphing task was used to measure the accuracy of facial emotional perception. As hypothesised, the group scoring high on psychopathic personality characteristics was less accurate in the recognition of fearful faces compared to the group scoring low on psychopathic personality characteristics. These findings suggest that low fear responsivity commonly observed in psychopathy is associated with a fear recognition deficit. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

Keywords

  • psychopathic personality characteristics
  • emotion perception
  • fear
  • Behavioural Inhibition Scale
  • Behavioural Activation Scale
  • psychopathy
  • HUNTINGTONS-DISEASE
  • FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
  • BEHAVIORAL-INHIBITION
  • IMPAIRED RECOGNITION
  • SELECTIVE IMPAIRMENT
  • EMOTION RECOGNITION
  • HUMAN AMYGDALA
  • DISORDER
  • DISGUST
  • INDIVIDUALS

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