Personality and Individual Differences vol:50 issue:2 pages:201-205
The present study aims to expand work on psychopathic traits and the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST, Gray & McNaughton, 2000). We investigated the associations between BIS/BAS sensitivity and psychopathy dimensions - measured by means of the Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD; Frick & Hare, 2001) and the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI, Andershed, Kerr, Stattin, & Levander, 2002) - in a community sample of 830 adolescents. The Callous and Unemotional dimension was inversely related to the Fight Flight Freeze System (FFFS), BIS-Anxiety, and BAS-Reward Responsiveness, which is largely in line with the low-fear (Lykken, 1995) and response modulation (Patterson & Newman, 1993) theories. The Impulsivity/Irresponsible dimension of psychopathy showed a positive association with BAS Drive and Fun Seeking, suggesting that this dimension is especially associated with disinhibited approach behavior. The Manipulative/Narcissism factor was positively related to BAS Drive and Reward Responsiveness, suggesting that this dimension is mainly related to the tendency to pursue appetitive goals and to experience positive emotions after rewarding activities. Our results support the validity of three separable factors of psychopathy in adolescents using the constructs of the revised RST.