Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Differentiating psychopathy from antisocial personality disorder: a triarchic model perspective

  • N. C. Venables (a1), J. R. Hall (a2) and C. J. Patrick (a1)
Abstract
Background

The triarchic model of psychopathy characterizes the disorder in terms of three distinguishable phenotypic facets: disinhibition, meanness and boldness. The present study sought to (1) inform current debates regarding the role of boldness in the definition of psychopathy and (2) clarify boundaries between psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

Method

This study evaluated the degree to which facets of the triarchic model are represented in the most widely used clinical inventory for psychopathy, the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R), in comparison with ASPD as defined by DSM-IV criteria. Adult male offenders from two distinct correctional settings (n = 157 and 169) were investigated to ensure replicability of findings across samples exhibiting high base rates of psychopathy and antisocial behavior.

Results

We found evidence for convergent and discriminant validity of the three triarchic facets in predicting symptomatic components of psychopathy as assessed by the PCL-R. Additionally, and crucially vis-à-vis current debates in the field, we found that boldness contributed incrementally (over and above disinhibition and meanness) to prediction of PCL-R psychopathy, in particular its interpersonal style component, but not ASPD.

Conclusions

The three distinct facets of the triarchic model of psychopathy are represented clearly and distinctly in the PCL-R, with boldness through its interpersonal facet, but not in DSM-defined ASPD. Our findings suggest that boldness is central to diagnostic conceptions of psychopathy and distinguishes psychopathy from the more prevalent diagnosis of ASPD.

Copyright
Corresponding author
* Author for correspondence: Mr N. C. Venables, M.S., Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA. (Email: venables@psy.fsu.edu) [N. C. Venables] (Email: cpatrick@psy.fsu.edu) [C. J. Patrick]
References
Hide All
APA (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. DSM-IV-TR. American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DC.
APA (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DC.
Benning, SD, Patrick, CJ, Salekin, RT, Leistico, AR (2005). Convergent and discriminant validity of psychopathy factors assessed via self-report: a comparison of three instruments. Assessment 12, 270289.
Blonigen, DM, Patrick, CJ, Douglas, KS, Poythress, NG, Skeem, JL, Lilienfeld, SO, Edens, JF, Krueger, RF (2010). Multimethod assessment of psychopathy in relation to factors of internalizing and externalizing from the Personality Assessment Inventory: the impact of method variance and suppressor effects. Psychological Assessment 22, 96107.
Campbell, DT, Fiske, DW (1959). Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix. Psycholological Bulletin 56, 81105.
Cleckley, H (1941). The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Reinterpret the So-called Psychopathic Personality. Mosby: Oxford, UK.
Cleckley, H (1976). The Mask of Sanity, 5th edn. Mosby: St Louis, MO.
First, MB, Gibbon, M, Spitzer, RL, Williams, JBW, Benjamin, LS (1997). Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II) . American Psychiatric Press, Inc.: Washington, DC.
Hall, J, Benning, SD, Patrick, CJ (2004). Criterion-related validity of the three-factor model of psychopathy: personality, behavior, and adaptive functioning. Assessment 11, 416.
Hare, RD (1983). Diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder in two prison populations. American Journal of Psychiatry 140, 887890.
Hare, RD (2003). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist – Revised, 2nd edn. Multi-Health Systems: Toronto, ON.
Hare, RD, Hart, SD (1995). Commentary on the DSM-IV antisocial personality disorder field trial. In The DSM-IV Personality Disorders (ed. Livesley, W. J.), pp. 127134. Guilford Press: New York.
Hare, RD, Neumann, CS (2006). The PCL-R assessment of psychopathy: development, structural properties, and new directions. In Handbook of Psychopathy (ed. Patrick, C. J.), pp. 5888. Guilford Press: New York.
Krueger, RF, Markon, KE, Patrick, CJ, Benning, SD, Kramer, M (2007). Linking antisocial behavior, substance use, and personality: an integrative quantitative model of the adult externalizing spectrum. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 116, 645666.
Lilienfeld, SO (1994). Conceptual problems in the assessment of psychopathy. Clinical Psychology Review 14, 1738.
Lilienfeld, SO, Andrews, BP (1996). Development and preliminary validation of a self-report measure of psychopathic personality traits in noncriminal populations. Journal of Personality Assessment 66, 488524.
Lilienfeld, SO, Patrick, CJ, Benning, SD, Berg, J, Sellbom, M, Edens, JF (2012). The role of fearless dominance in psychopathy: confusions, controversies, and clarifications. Personality Disorders 3, 327340.
Lilienfeld, SO, Widows, MR (2005). Psychopathic Personality Inventory – Revised (PPI-R): Professional Manual. Psychological Assessment Resources: Odessa, FL.
Lykken, DT (1995). The Antisocial Personalities. Erlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ.
Marcus, DK, Fulton, JJ, Edens, JF (2013). The two-factor model of psychopathic personality: evidence from the Psychopathic Personality Inventory. Personality Disorders 4, 6776.
Miller, JD, Lynam, DR (2012). An examination of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory's nomological network: a meta-analytic review. Personality Disorders 3, 305326.
Patrick, CJ (2010). Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM) (https://www.phenxtoolkit.org/index.php?pageLink=browse.protocoldetails&id=121601). Accessed 13 January 2013.
Patrick, CJ, Fowles, DC, Krueger, RF (2009). Triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy: developmental origins of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness. Development and Psychopathology 21, 913938.
Patrick, CJ, Venables, NC, Drislane, LE (2013). The role of fearless dominance in differentiating psychopathy from antisocial personality disorder: comment on Marcus, Fulton, and Edens. Personality Disorders 4, 8082.
Sellbom, M, Phillips, TR (2012). An examination of the triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy in incarcerated and non-incarcerated samples. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 122, 208214.
Skeem, JL, Ploaschek, DL, Patrick, CJ, Lilienfeld, SO (2011). Psychopathic personality: bridging the gap between scientific evidence and public policy. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 12, 95162.
Strickland, CM, Drislane, LE, Lucy, M, Krueger, RF, Patrick, CJ (2013). Characterizing psychopathy using DSM-5 personality traits. Assessment. Published online: 24 04 2013 . doi:10.1177/1073191113486691.
Venables, NC, Patrick, CJ (2012). Validity of the Externalizing Spectrum Inventory in a criminal offender sample: relations with disinhibitory psychopathology, personality, and psychopathic features. Psychological Assessment 24, 88100.
Verona, E, Vitale, J (2006). Psychopathy in women: assessment, manifestations, and etiology. In Handbook of Psychopathy (ed. Patrick, C. J.), pp. 415436. Guilford Press: New York.
Widiger, TA (2006). Psychopathy and DSM-IV psychopathology. In Handbook of Psychopathy (ed. Patrick, C. J.), pp. 156171. Guilford Press: New York.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed