Brief Communication: Investigating the relationship between psychopathy and interoceptive awareness

L. Nentjes*, E.H. Meijer, D.P. Bernstein, A.R. Arntz, W. Medendorp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Psychopathy is a disorder that is characterized by marked emotional deficiencies. Because previous studies suggest that an individual's sensitivity to bodily signals--or "interoceptive awareness"--is associated with various components of emotional functioning, the authors expected this capacity to be reduced in psychopathic individuals. Therefore, the current study examined the relationship between psychopathy and interoceptive awareness by assessing heartbeat detection abilities in a group of 75 male personality disordered offenders, varying in their degree of psychopathy, as assessed with the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003). Regression analyses revealed that PCL-R Facet 4, which reflects antisocial behavior, was predictive of reduced interoceptive awareness. These findings suggest that the expression of psychopathic behavior might be influenced by an attenuated sensitivity to one's own bodily signals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-624
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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