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Personal Disord. 2013 Jan;4(1):87-8. doi: 10.1037/a0027152.

Is fearless dominance relevant to the construct of psychopathy? Reconciling the dual roles of theory and clinical utility.


Comments on the original article by Marcus et al. (see record 2011-23134-001). Since its introduction to the field, the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI; Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996)-particularly its two-factor model (Benning, Patrick, Hicks, Blonigen, & Krueger, 2003)-has captured much attention among scholars and generated considerable debate over a number of fundamental issues pertaining to this construct. The present meta-analytic review is therefore quite timely and should provide a valuable contribution to the literature and further constructive debate. In their work, Marcus et al. provide a thoughtful and balanced discussion regarding the evidence for the construct validity of fearless dominance (FD) and self-centered impulsivity (SCI), and they suggest a number of implications of these findings for our conceptualization of psychopathy. A key question highlighted by the authors, which lies at the heart of many of the issues they raise, is whether or not FD should be considered a central (or even relevant) component of psychopathy. Addressing this question will ultimately require a reconciliation of two issues: (1) FD is aligned with many classic clinical conceptions of the disorder, particularly primary psychopathy; (2) As a standalone construct, FD is not especially maladaptive and is weakly related to overt forms of deviance.

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