Negative attitudes towards psychopaths: The role of one's own psychopathic traits

Guillaume Durand*, Erika Matsumoto Plata, Ioana-Smarandita Arbone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Personality disorders, such as psychopathy, have a long history of stigmatization. Psychopaths are continually presented as criminals and feared due to their supposed aggressive tendencies, stemming from the excessive labelling of murderers as psychopaths by the media and popular culture. While previous research demonstrates the extent to which individuals stigmatize psychopaths, it is not yet known if psychopaths stigmatize other psychopaths. We hypothesized that individuals who displayed a high level of psychopathic traits, especially in adaptive components, would exhibit less stigma-related behaviors towards psychopaths. One hundred and sixteen participants (N = 116) from the community completed three questionnaires assessing their expression of psychopathic personality traits and stigma towards psychopaths. The presence of psychopathic traits, particularly those related to boldness, was negatively correlated with the degree of stigmatizing behaviors towards psychopaths. Findings are explained in terms of identification with psychopaths and the fearlessness component of psychopathy. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume109
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Boldness
  • Stigma
  • Psychopathy
  • Psychopathic traits
  • Correlation study
  • Community
  • MENTAL-ILLNESS STIGMA
  • CAPITAL MURDER TRIAL
  • FEARLESS DOMINANCE
  • PERSONALITY
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • HEALTH
  • COMMUNITY
  • ILL
  • BOLDNESS
  • DISORDER

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