Send to

Choose Destination
J Abnorm Psychol. 1996 Aug;105(3):391-400.

Psychopathy and dual-task performance under focusing conditions.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA.


Thirty psychopathic and 30 nonpsychopathic right-handed White male inmates (selected through R.D. Hare's, 1985b, Psychopathy Checklist) completed concurrent visual and auditory tasks under conditions focusing attention on the visual (i.e., primary) task. Performance indices tested 3 related hypotheses for cognitive deficits in psychopathic individuals: reduced attention to secondary tasks because of excess attention to immediate goals (interference), deficient shifts of attention, and reduced breadth of attention. The absence of differences in primary and secondary task accuracy contradicts the interference hypothesis. However, a trend toward deficits for psychopathic individuals responding with the right hand to primary task targets appearing after other targets, suggests poorer shifting of attention when left-hemisphere resources are engaged. Psychopathic individuals also overresponded to distractors following targets suggesting reduced attention to a peripheral dimension of two-dimensional stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center