How to Fish Like a Psychopath: Facial Expression Recognition in Individuals with Psychopathic Tendencies and Explicit Attitudes of Sexual Coercion and Aggression

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Dharshi, Natasha




The current study explored the extent to which psychopathic traits and explicit evaluations of sexual aggression predicted accuracy of overall emotion recognition, and fear specifically. Participants (139 undergraduate and community men) were asked to complete self-report measures, including a psychopathy scale, explicit evaluations of sexual aggression and sexual preference indicators They viewed photographs of adults, adolescents, and children, and indicated which of six universal emotions the images expressed. The findings suggested that psychopathy and evaluation of sexual aggression had minute implications on accuracy of emotion recognition, though gender, gaze direction, and age of the individuals pictured in the images influenced overall and fear emotion recognition accuracy. There was no perceived difference between the undergraduate and community samples. Replication of this study should include a forensic population to see whether this deficit in affect recognition exists with these predictor variables but with individuals with higher levels of psychopathy.

Keywords: explicit evaluations; sexual aggression; psychopathy, emotion recognition; fear 


Psychology - Personality
Psychology - Behavioral




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Cognitive Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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