Psychopathy has been defined as including deficits in affective, cognitive, and behavioral functioning. Due to the severity of these deficits, several etiological theories have emerged in an attempt to better understand the personality construct. The response modulation hypothesis (RMH; Patterson & Newman, 1993) is a theory growing in popularity among researchers and posits that an inability to reallocate attentional resources to peripheral information moderates the affective and behavioral deficits commonly documented within individuals with psychopathy. Thus, the present study attempted to examine to test the validity of the RMH in a non-incarcerated population. The results somewhat support the theory that subcortical-cortical circuitry is at least partly involved in how individuals with psychopathic traits process all information. As Coldheartedness increased interference from positively and negatively arousing distractors was similar. Likewise, increasing levels of Self-Centered Impulsivity were found to be associated with better accuracy. However, some traits of psychopathy were associated with more distraction. Future studies should consider determining which traits of psychopathy tend to moderate attentional focus and resultant affective processing.
School of Behavioral Health
Haerich, Paul E.
Burley, Todd D.
Mallery, Suzanne T.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Clinical Psychology, Psychopaths, Antisocial Personality Disorders
Subject - Local
Psychopathy, Cognitive Functioning, Etiological Theories, Response Modulation Hypothesis, Attentional Focus, Affective Processing
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Llamas, Veronica Claudia, "Examination of Psychopathic Traits and Attention Using the Image Based Parity Task" (2014). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. Paper 172.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives