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Title: Can psychopathic traits and interpersonal values predict use of impression management strategies?
Author: Doris, Elinor
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 4317
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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'Psychopathy' refers to a cluster of personality traits including a lack of empathy, superficial charm, delinquency and sexual promiscuity (Cleckley, 1941; Hare, 1991, 2003). According to Harpur, Hare and Hakstian (1989), and later Hare (1991, 2003), psychopathy is composed of two distinguishable, though related, broad trait dimensions. One trait dimension is affective and interpersonal in nature, including traits such as callousness and manipulativeness; while the other is comprised of lifestyle and antisocial traits, such as irresponsibility and criminal versatility. While there are conflicting theories regarding the structure of psychopathy (Patrick, 2010), the two dimensional model is the most widely used in clinical settings and scientific research (Harpur et al., 1989; Hare, 1991, 2003; Skeem, Polaschek, Patrick & Lilienfeld, 2011) and there is general agreement throughout the literature that psychopathy consists of both affective-interpersonal and lifestyle-antisocial traits (Conradi, Boertien, Cavus & Verschuere, 2016). Attachment refers to a stable and enduring emotional bond between two people, initially between the infant and primary caregiver (Ainsworth, 1973; Bowlby, 1969). Individual differences in style of attachment have been observed in children (Ainsworth et al., 1978) and styles of attachment have been found to have stability from childhood through to adulthood (Fraley, 2002; Hazan & Shaver, 1987). It has been demonstrated that attachment styles vary according to two underlying dimensions: attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance (Brennan, Clark & Shaver, 1998; Fraley & Spieker, 2003). Higher levels of attachment anxiety have been associated with increased levels of intimacy seeking, dependency, emotionality and impulsivity in close relationships (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). On the other hand, higher levels of attachment avoidance have been related to increased levels of intimacy avoidance, self-sufficiency, and suppression of emotions in close relationships (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). Little is known about the experiences and behaviours of individuals with psychopathic traits in their close relationships. Furthermore, the aetiology of psychopathy is poorly understood. However, that psychopathy is characterised by emotional, interpersonal and social deviancy suggests that it may have its roots in attachment insecurity. Therefore, establishing the attachment styles associated with psychopathic traits could be important for illuminating a) the experiences of these individuals within their relationships, and, b) the aetiology of psychopathy. Thus, a systematic review was conducted with the aim of evaluating the evidence concerning the attachment styles associated with psychopathic traits.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: psychopathy ; psychopathic traits ; attachment style ; interpersonal values ; impression management