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Applicability of traditional and revised models of psychopathy to the Psychopathy Checklist: screening version

Applicability of traditional and revised models of psychopathy to the Psychopathy Checklist: screening version

Psychological Assessment 15(1): 41-55

ISSN/ISBN: 1040-3590

PMID: 12674723

DOI: 10.1037/1040-3590.15.1.41

Recently, psychopathy has become virtually synonymous with the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) measures. However, the "gold standard" 2-factor model that underlines these measures has been questioned for its uncertain empirical support and emphasis on antisocial behavior that is not specific to psychopathic personality deviation. This study (N = 870 civil psychiatric patients) compares the fit of the traditional 2-factor model with that of a revised 3-factor model of psychopathy. The revised model better describes the structure of the Screening Version of the PCL (PCL:SV) than the traditional model. Although the revised model's exclusion of some items that assess antisocial behavior reduces the PCL:SV's power in predicting patient violence, this model arguably assesses psychopathy in a more specific, theoretically coherent fashion that may reduce misapplications of the construct. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Accession: 048291433

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