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Title: Improving attention to emotion in individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits : a role for value-driven attentional capture?
Author: Hodsoll, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 8844
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis focuses on the information processing in individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits. Part 1 reviews the research literature that has investigated whether individuals with psychopathy, or high levels of psychopathic traits, show deficits in the processing of punishment and/or reward information, and the extent to which the reported studies provide support for the two current competing theories of psychopathy. The review demonstrates that whilst there is strong evidence for intact processing of reward information, there is less conclusive evidence of a deficit in punishment processing. Furthermore, the literature reviewed was more supportive of an emotional dysfunction account of psychopathy, relative to an attention-based account. Part 2 presents an experimental study that investigates whether emotional face training is able to modify attentional capture by fearful faces in a community-based sample of individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits. The results showed that those who received the training were more captured by a task-irrelevant fearful face, and that this was the case, regardless of level of psychopathic traits. Part 3 considers some of the methodological and conceptual issues that arose while conducting the study reported in Part 2. Due to the specific nature of the research question, several decisions concerning the design and statistical analysis of the data needed to be made. This section discusses the advantages and disadvantages of those particular decisions.
Supervisor: Pistrang, N. ; Viding, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available