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J Abnorm Psychol. 1994 Aug;103(3):523-34.

Emotion in the criminal psychopath: fear image processing.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0165.

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that the response mobilization that normally accompanies imagery of emotional situations is deficient in psychopaths. Cardiac, electrodermal, and facial muscle responses of 54 prisoners, assigned to low- and high-psychopathy groups using R. D. Hare's (1991) Psychopathy Checklist--Revised, were recorded while subjects imagined fearful and neutral scenes in a cued sentence-processing task. Groups did not differ on self-ratings of fearfulness, imagery ability, or imagery experience. Low-psychopathy subjects showed larger physiological reactions during fearful imagery than high-psychopathy subjects. Extreme scores on the antisocial behavior factor of psychopathy predicted imagery response deficits. Results are consistent with the idea that semantic and emotional processes are dissociated in psychopaths.

PMID:
7930052
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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