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Attention to Environmental Context Cues and Response Modulation: A Measure of Psychopathy and Cognition in a University Setting
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by Brittany Travers - Creighton University
Categories: Abnormal | Cognitive
Because psychopaths have difficulty in passive avoidance learning, it has been suggested that they have cognitive impediments in response modulation when engaged in reward-driven behavior (Newman, Schmitt, & Voss, 1997). The experimenter assessed psychopathic traits in 90 undergraduate students using the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996) and compared the performance of the high psychopathy group with the low psychopathy group on a Stroop-like picture-word task (Gernsbacher & Faust, 1991) to examine possible response modulation deficits in noninstitutionalized students. Contrary to the prediction, students with more psychopathic traits performed just as well as students with less psychopathic traits on the Picture-Word Task. The author discusses future research suggestions and possible cognitive differences between institutionalized (unsuccessful) and noninstitutionalized (successful) psychopaths.
Faculty supervisor: Matthew Huss, Creighton University