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J Abnorm Psychol. 2007 Nov;116(4):701-16.

A taxometric analysis of the latent structure of psychopathy: evidence for dimensionality.

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  • 1Ecole de criminologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada. jean-pierre.guay@umontreal.ca


The taxonomic status of psychopathy is controversial. Whereas some studies have found evidence that psychopathy, at least its antisocial component, is distributed as a taxon, others have found that both major components of psychopathy-callousness/unemotionality and impulsivity/antisocial behavior-appear to distribute as dimensions and show little evidence of taxonicity. In the present study, recent advances in taxometric analysis were added to P. Meehl's (1995) multiple consistency tests strategy for assessing taxonicity, and they were applied to Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (R. D. Hare, 2003) ratings of 4,865 offenders sampled from multiple forensic settings. The results indicated that both the individual components of psychopathy and their interface are distributed dimensionally. Both the implications of these results for research in psychopathy and the integration of these findings with previous taxometric studies of psychopathy are discussed.

(c) 2007 APA

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