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Fearful Faces do Not Lead to Faster Attentional Deployment in Individuals with Elevated Psychopathic Traits

Lookup NU author(s): Beth Little



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


In the current study, a gaze-cueing experiment (similar to Dawel et al. 2015) was conducted in which the predictivity of a gaze-cue was manipulated (non-predictive vs highly predictive). This was done to assess the degree to which individuals with elevated psychopathic traits can use contextual information (i.e., the predictivity of the cue). Psychopathic traits were measured with the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale-Short Form (SRP-SF) in a mixed sample (undergraduate students and community members). Results showed no group difference in reaction times between high and non-predictive cueing blocks, suggesting that individuals with elevated psychopathic traits can indeed use contextual information when it is relevant. In addition, we observed that fearful facial expressions did not lead to a change in reaction times in individuals with elevated psychopathic traits, whereas individuals with low psychopathic traits showed speeded responses when confronted with a fearful face, compared to a neutral face. This suggests that fearful faces do not lead to faster attentional deployment in individuals with elevated psychopathic traits.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hoppenbrouwers SS, Munneke J, Kooiman KA, Little B, Neumann CS, Theeuwes J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

Year: 2017

Volume: 39

Issue: 4

Pages: 596-604

Print publication date: 01/12/2017

Online publication date: 30/06/2017

Acceptance date: 12/06/2017

Date deposited: 03/07/2017

ISSN (print): 0882-2689

ISSN (electronic): 1573-3505

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10862-017-9614-x


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