This study used model-based cluster analysis to identify subtypes of men who scored high in overall psychopathy (i.e., ≥ 95th percentile on the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure; n = 193) from a larger sample evaluated for service in the Finnish military (N = 4043).Cluster variates consisted of scores on distinct facets of psychopathy together with a measure of negative affectivity.Kendler, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Departments of Psychiatry and Human Genetics, Medical School of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
The present study sought to identify subtypes of high-psychopathic individuals in a population-based sample by clustering individuals in terms of profiles of scores on distinct boldness, meanness, and disinhibition facets of psychopathy (Patrick, Fowles, & Krueger, 2009) along with scores on a measure of negative affectivity (or neuroticism), long considered important for differentiating psychopathic subgroups (Cleckley, 1976; Karpman, 1941).A strict selection criterion was used to classify individuals as psychopathic (≥95 percentile of overall scores on a self-report inventory of psychopathy) to provide for subgrouping of individuals likely to show clinically significant levels of psychopathic tendencies as evidenced by collateral records (i.e., official crime registry data).The primary (“controlled”) group showed very high PCL-R Factor 1 scores and very low levels of anxiety, neuroticism, and anxiety disorder symptoms, along with high self-esteem, heightened intelligence and agreeableness, and greater histrionic and narcissistic features.The secondary subgroup displayed elevated levels of neuroticism and introversion, a high incidence of anxiety disorder diagnoses and other comorbid psychopathology, and more prominent histories of neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).Two clusters were identified that they labeled Blackburn et al.
(2008) likewise identified primary and secondary variants as two of four subgroups identified in a sample of 79 high PCL-R scoring male forensic patients classified on the basis of scores on an inventory of antisocial deviance and affiliated tendencies.
Primary psychopathic participants also had higher rates of violent crimes than the secondary psychopaths.
Implications for conceptualizing and studying psychopathy in non-forensic populations are discussed.
The stable subgroup exhibited lower levels of stress reactivity and higher dominance and well-being, whereas the aggressive subgroup showed high scores on negative affective traits (aggressiveness, alienation, stress reactivity) and low scores on traits reflecting behavioral restraint and social closeness.
The two psychopathy subgroups differed substantially from one another in stress reactivity and history of physical fights (aggressive Skeem, Johansson, Andershed, Kerr, and Louden (2007) used model-based cluster analysis to identify subgroups of high psychopathic prisoners (PCL-R ≥29) on the basis of PCL-R facet scores and a measure of trait anxiousness.
Cleckley (1976) portrayed psychopathy as a condition in which deficient behavioral control (expressed as impulsiveness, capricious antisocial behavior, etc.) and emotional-interpersonal deficits (e.g., lack of remorse, incapacity for love) are accompanied by an appearance of psychological stability, in the form of social poise and good intellect, absence of delusions or irrationality, lack of nervousness, and immunity to suicide.