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Twigs on the same branch? Identifying personality profiles in police officers using psychopathic personality traits

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Abstract

Recent high-profile incidents reignited the conversation about psychopathic traits in police officers. Psychopathy is characterized by multiple variants: primary and secondary psychopathy. There is limited research examining psychopathy in populations that may exhibit adaptive psychopathic traits. This study used model-based cluster analyses of high psychopathy scorers to investigate psychopathic subtypes in an urban police sample. Relative to the primary subtype, the secondary group displayed higher levels of Self-Centered Impulsivity, trait anxiety, covert narcissism, borderline personality disorder traits, substance use, psychiatric treatment, and aggression. These findings support the concept of successful psychopathy and the existence of psychopathy profiles in police officers, providing a useful look at how successful psychopathy may manifest as well as implications for the criminal justice system and police departments.

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... Outside of the aforementioned studies, prior research shows poor performance outcomes for police personnel exhibiting several other traits linked to antisocial personality disorder and the construct, including impulsivity and low frustration tolerance (Caillouet et al., 2010;. While there has been some research examining the utilization of personality assessments to predict on-the-job aggression (Koepfler et al., 2012) and case studies examining the role of personality traits in law enforcement corruption (Sanford & Arrigo, 2007), most studies have focused on personality traits linked with improved officer performance in the law enforcement role and have argued these traits most often manifest in law enforcement populations in behaviors and attitudes that reflect fearlessness, low emotionality, decreased reactivity, and coldheartedness (Falkenbach et al., 2017;Falkenbach, Glackin et al., 2018). Libretti (2018) found that police recruits in one sample had higher Self-Centered Impulsivity and lower Fearless Dominance scores than officers of higher rank. ...
... Libretti (2018) found that police recruits in one sample had higher Self-Centered Impulsivity and lower Fearless Dominance scores than officers of higher rank. These findings suggest that there may be both adaptive and maladaptive manifestations of personality traits among officers in line with research showing these personality traits can be both adaptive and maladaptive (e.g., Benning et al., 2018;Bronchain et al, 2020;Falkenbach, Glackin et al., 2018;Guay, Ruscio, Knight, & Hare, 2007;Mededovich et al, 2018). An adaptive form of psychopathic personality traits specific to law enforcement populations might allow some officers to draw upon a lack of emotional responsiveness in ways that could potentially contribute to effective police work in highly stressful situations. ...
... low scores on behavioral traits such as disinhibition, impulsivity, and disregard of social conventions -which are especially likely to be associated with antisocial or maladaptive behaviors. Research by Falkenbach, Glackin et al. (2018) examined subtypes of officers differing in traits most prevalent to each subtype. Following a self-report survey in a metropolitan police department (n = 1359), Falkenbach et al. (2017 found that officers scoring highest 5 on self-report measures reported low anxiety, bold behaviors, low emotional expression, stress immunity, extraverted dominance, and low levels of aggression. ...
Article
In recent years, there have been efforts to enhance traditional warrior-oriented police academy training with guardian law enforcement curricula that include a focus on building skills related to empathy, respect, and understanding in police-community interactions. Little is known about how officer characteristics influence training effects. Of particular importance, prior studies have not examined the role of personality traits on elements of police law enforcement training that focus on empathy in police-community interactions. This study used a pre-post survey design to examine the relationship between personality traits and police training effects among new recruits in an evaluation of guardian training at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) in Washington State (n = 344). Results indicate that personality traits associated with lack of empathy, as measured by the Self-Report Psychopathy-Short Form (SRP-SF), moderate the effects of training on negative police subculture and guardianship-empathy, with recruits scoring higher on the SRP-SF demonstrating less change (e.g., training effects) within these domains. Implications for police training and discussion of the assessment of personality traits in pre-employment police candidate screening are discussed.
... In a nonforensic sample, there is predictably a low base rate of psychopathy. In an effort to better capture psychopathy subtypes in nonclinical samples, prior researchers (Drislane et al., 2014;Falkenbach, Glackin, & McKinley, 2018;Falkenbach et al., 2017;Lee & Salekin, 2010) isolated the participants with the highest psychopathy scores. This high scoring group is then compared with the remaining individuals in the sample. ...
... There is ongoing debate as to the ability of the NPI to adequately capture various aspects of narcissism (e.g., Krizan & Herlache, 2017;Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010), although Ackerman et al. (2011) argues it is an adequate measure of overt and covert narcissism. For consistency with previous theory (Skeem et al., 2003) and research (Falkenbach et al., 2013;Falkenbach, Glackin, & McKinley, 2018;Falkenbach et al., 2014), the current study utilized the NPI to assess two types of narcissism using seven factors: Overt narcissism (Authority, Self-Sufficiency, Superiority, Vanity, and Exhibitionism) and Covert narcissism (Exploitativeness and Entitlement; Ackerman et al., 2011). 6 Internal consistency was .82 for overall scores and ranged from .50 to .83 for factor scores. ...
... Nonforensic samples have low base-rates of psychopathy leading to criticism of early psychopathy subtyping research with such samples (Falkenbach, 2004). Most recent psychopathy subtyping research in nonforensic samples has implemented the suggestion of critics that this research should focus on those with high-psychopathic traits (Falkenbach, Glackin, & McKinley, 2018;Falkenbach et al., 2017;Lee & Salekin, 2010). These studies' highscoring participants' scores ranged from 344.00 to 454.75 (M = 380.05; ...
Article
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The field of psychopathy research largely argues that the disorder is a heterogeneous concept with two predominant subtypes: primary psychopathy and secondary psychopathy. Early research examined psychopathy subtypes in terms of traits specific to psychopathy. However, recent research suggests that psychopathy may be conceptualized more dimensionally as an extreme variation in normative personality traits. This concept propels the examination of psychopathy using a broader model of personality, the Five Factor Model. Using model-based cluster analysis, this study uses the Five Factor Model to identify subtypes. Utilizing an American college sample, a cluster analysis was performed on the highest third of Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI)-Total scorers using the Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R) domains. This analysis yielded a two-cluster solution, with one cluster representing Primary psychopathy and the other representing Secondary psychopathy. The two clusters displayed differences in Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, Openness, and Extraversion, which may be important for understanding psychopathy subtyping using general personality traits. Associated traits such as aggression, anxiety, and borderline traits largely match other subtyping research. Overall, the results support the existence of psychopathy variants in a nonoffending sample, the dimensionality of psychopathy, and the ability of normative personality traits to differentiate psychopathy subtypes. Unveiling the complex nature of psychopathy through illumination of its dimensions has strong implications for future research as it can help specify an otherwise elusive disorder. Such desired specification can reveal psychopathy's etiology and potential treatment options. The results of this research in particular suggest a link between profiles of normal personality traits and aggressive behavior indicating the potential for risk assessment. Moreover, this research provides evidence for psychopathy's dimensionality versus categorical casting, contributing to the debate about mental disorder classifications in general.
... Police officers tend to be especially high in dutifulness, deliberation, and ambition (conscientiousness facets) as well as gregariousness, assertiveness, and excitement seeking (extraversion facets), and are physiologically reactive to stress (Detrick & Chibnall, 2013;Salters-Pedneault et al., 2010). Police recruits also tend to be higher in some aspects of psychopathy (fearless, dominance, and coldheartedness) than community samples (Falkenbach, Balash, et al., 2018), and these traits exist in subsamples of the police population (Falkenbach, Glackin, et al., 2018). These traits (e.g., dominance, psychopathy) tend to also be associated with domestic abuse (Carton & Egan, 2017;Iyican & Babcock, 2018). ...
... Por otro lado,Falkenbach et al. (2018) en 348 miembros de la policía española, evidenciaron que existe un gran déficit en el control de impulsos y emociones, causando un declive en la resiliencia en los uniformados de 23 y 38 años, sin embargo, el 66% de la varianza en resiliencia vendría explicada por cuatro variables: la edad, nivel académico, tesón y control de las emociones. Por tanto, se discute la importancia de predictores del nivel de resiliencia en profesionales especializados de la policía que están expuestos de forma constante a situaciones de extrema adversidad.La creciente evidencia empírica y teórica a nivel mundial dan resultados positivos en lo que respecta a rasgos de personalidad y resiliencia, sin embargo, en estudios como los de Chitra (2021) se observó cómo los rasgos de personalidad pueden influenciar de una manera negativa en los agentes de policía que ya llevan más de 30 años trabajando en la institución. ...
Article
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El presente estudio se realizó en miembros de la Policía Nacional Distrito- San Lorenzo, quienes, por su quehacer profesional, presentan diferentes situaciones particulares en el desarrollo de su trabajo y a su vez buscan medidas y estrategias para poder enfrentar cada una de las situaciones adversas en su rol laboral. Objetivo: Determinar la relación de rasgos de personalidad y la resiliencia en miembros de la policía. Metodología: El enfoque de la investigación fue cuantitativo, con un diseño no experimental y con un corte transversal, además, la muestra estuvo conformada por 95 miembros policiales en servicio activo. Resultados: existe una relación en nueve de los dieciséis rasgos de personalidad, estabilidad (p<0.001), dominancia (p<0.05), atención a las normas (p<0.001), atrevimiento (p<0.001), perfeccionismo (p<0.001), sensibilidad (p<0.05), abstracción (p<0.001), aprensión (p<0.05) y autosuficiencia (p<0.01). Conclusión: Los resultados permiten comprender que, a mayor presencia de rasgos de estabilidad, dominancia, atención a las normas, atrevimiento, abstracción y perfeccionismo, mayor capacidad de resiliencia. Mientras que, a mayor presencia de rasgos de sensibilidad, abstracción, aprensión y autosuficiencia, menor capacidad de resiliencia.
... Research on the correlation between psychopathy and occupational effectiveness conducted outside corporations or business is less numerous. The hypothesis of the paradoxical utility of psychopathic traits was tested on police officers among other occupational groups (Falkenbach et al., 2017;Falkenbach et al., 2018). These studies suggest that a certain combination of the adaptive traits of psychopathy, consisting of stress resilience, fearlessness, and low emotional reactivity, is conducive to successful performance in tasks involving law enforcement and increases capacity to handle stressors typical of a police officer's work environment. ...
Article
Although psychopathy is commonly regarded as a disorder closely related to criminality, there is also increasing attention paid to its non-criminal form and the adaptive features of psychopathic personality. The aim of this article is to introduce the concept of psychopathic traits of good adaptation, both in light of the theoretical foundations of the construct and the empirical data. The article demonstrates the presence of such traits in classical and contemporary models of psychopathy, in the evolutionary approach, and in relation to the division into primary and secondary psychopathy. Furthermore, it reviews the studies on the prevalence of adaptive features of psychopathy in different professional groups. The attempt to operationalize the construct of psychopathic traits of good adaptation—the Durand Adaptive Psychopathic Traits Questionnaire (Durand, 2019)—is also discussed. Finally, the limitations of using the concept of adaptive traits of psychopathy are analysed.
... Secondly, leaders who are fearless and audacious can be useful both for their subjects and the organization [132]. Thirdly, there are specific jobs which may benefit from some traits associated with psychopathy, such as fearlessness and low reactivity to stress, such as in the military or police workplace [133]. From these above described considerations mainly derives the concept of "successful psychopaths" or "Snakes in suits" [134]. ...
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How many kinds of malevolent characters are out there? In line with Paulhus and Williams (2002) the answer is three, namely the Dark Triad of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy. Dark traits (DT) are associated with emotional deficits, exploitation, immoral strategic thinking, and risky behaviors. All three traits have been largely investigated mainly during the last decades. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview about the available literature regarding the characteristics of personality traits associated with the DT, by focusing on the main consequences of the DT from a psychopathological and psychiatric perspective. Studies found a strong association between DT traits and several types of negative psychosocial outcomes such as substance use, sexual promiscuity, aggression, and crime. Nevertheless, there is specific literature showing the advantages of scoring high DT traits, for example the assumption of positions of authority over other people, and the expression of low levels of social anxiety. Although the literature mainly focuses on the consequences that DT traits may have for society in general, there is a lack of studies investigating the personal repercussions, in the psychopathological and/or psychiatric dimensions in those individuals scoring high DT traits. Therefore, further research is needed to clarify how the different personality dark traits may interact with each other and modulate not only the individual’s life choices but also how and whether DT traits may predispose or not to the onset of a specific psychiatric disorder.
... However, we argue, that to assert that psychopathic individuals cannot display successful life outcomes because psychopathic individuals "cannot be successful, by definition" constitutes the logical fallacy of begging the question. There are many instances in which psychopathic individuals have achieved some measure of occupational and/or social success (e.g., in politics and business; Falkenbach et al., 2018;Lilienfeld et al., 2012b;Patton et al., 2018). For the purposes of advancing empirical research in the field of successful psychopathy, we must first comprehend and clearly explicate the construct. ...
Article
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Psychopathic traits are associated with negative outcomes; however, they have also been associated with adaptive outcomes (e.g., corporate success, etc.). We tested the Moderated-Expression Model of psychopathy in a sample of community adults (N = 315; 50.8% female; 22-65 years) utilizing a battery of self-report measures (Self-Report Psychopathy Scale; Triarchic Psychopathy Measure; Conger & Kanungo Scale of Charismatic Leadership; General Charisma Inventory; Evading Detection/Punishment; and Occupational Success). The effect of psychopathic traits on evading detection and punishment (not occupational success) was moderated by leadership (and to a lesser extent, general) charisma, net of the effects of pathological narcissism and several other covariates. These results support the Moderated-Expression Model and warrant further research on the associations among psychopathy, charisma, and success.
... Second, leaders who are fearless and bold can be advantageous both for their followers and the organisation [7]. Third, there are certain occupations where some of the traits associated with psychopathy, such as fearlessness and low reactivity to stress could be extremely beneficial, such as in the military or police [8]. ...
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Chapter
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Psychopathy is characterized by diverse indicators. Clinical accounts have emphasized 3 distinct facets: interpersonal, affective, and behavioral, Research using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), however, has emphasized a 2-factor model, A review of the literature on the PCL-R and related measures of psychopathy, together with confirmatory factor analysis of PCL-R data from North American participants, indicates that the 2-factor model cannot be sustained. A 3-factor hierarchical model was developed in which a coherent superordinate factor, Psychopathy, is underpinned by 3 factors: Arrogant and Deceitful Interpersonal Style, Deficient Affective Experience, and Impulsive and Irresponsible Behavioral Style. The model was cross-validated on North American and Scottish PCL-R data, Psychopathy Screening Version data, and data derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) antisocial personality disorder field trial.
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The current study examined the relationship between psychopathic traits, emotional intelligence, and professional success in finance. The literature suggests that possessing certain psychopathic personality traits and emotional intelligence can be conducive to advancing professionally in the financial sector. It was hypothesized that interpersonal-affective psychopathic traits and emotional intelligence would be associated with one another and would also show positive associations with professional success. Fifty-five individuals employed at financial institutions in the New York metropolitan area completed the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, and answered questions about their employment and income. The current sample showed significantly higher levels of interpersonal-affective psychopathic traits than those reported in other community samples and significantly lower levels of emotional intelligence than those found in a comparison sample. Although interpersonal-affective psychopathic traits were not significantly related to emotional intelligence, impulsive-behavioral traits were negatively related to emotional intelligence. Interpersonal-affective psychopathic traits were related to higher annual incomes and were predictive of higher corporate ranks. © 2014, Copyright © International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services.
Article
The present study aimed to identify differences in the personality factors and preferred values of courageous and fearless police officers. A sample group comprising 43 courageous (Mage=33.7yr., SD=4.8) and 43 fearless policemen (Mage=31.2yr., SD=4.8) was identified from among 157 potential subjects. The group completed a questionnaire designed for the purposes of the study and entitled Anxiety Scale for Policemen , as well as the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire (ZKPQ) and Schwartz’s Value Survey. The fearless policemen scored significantly higher on Sensation Seeking and markedly lower on Aggression/Hostility, Neuroticism and Impulsivity than the courageous group. The former were also characterized with significantly lower results than the latter for values scales such as Tradition and Power. There were no differences for other values scales. The conclusions indicate that policemen are not a homogenous group.
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Law enforcement officers are exposed to victims of violence, are themselves victims of violence, and, at times, use violence against offenders. The authors discuss methods that officers have developed for handling violent situations and explore some of the effects this exposure to violence has on both their mental and physical health. Suggestions are developed for counselors working with law enforcement personnel and others who need to cope with the direct and indirect effects of violence. 1987 American Counseling Association
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Psychologists can help to reduce inappropriate aggressive behavior through careful screening of police officer candidates. The purpose of this study was to identify whether the IAT Reasoning Test (IAT), a measure of trait aggression, and a Monetary Delay Discounting Task (MDDT), a measure of behavioral control, could predict on-the-job police aggression better than the MMPI-2. We administered the MMPI-2, the IAT, and the MDDT to 85 police officers. Three prediction models were created using scores on the IAT and the MDDT, and scales from the MMPI-2. Model 1 included the IAT and the MDDT. Model 2 included MMPI-2 scales Hostility (HO), Overcontrolled Hostility (OH), and Anger (ANG). Model 3 included MMPI-2 scales Frequency (F), Hysteria (HY), and Psychopathic Deviate (PD). We found that Model 1 was the only predictor of supervisors’ ratings of on-the-job aggression, however, the predictive utility of this model was attributable primarily to the MDDT predictor. Based on these findings, we suggest that using measures of behavioral control during preemployment screening may help to identify potentially aggressive police officer candidates.
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Past research offers conflicting conclusions regarding the associations between self-esteem, psychopathy, narcissism, and aggression. The current study clarified these associations by examining self-esteem level and stability as it relates to the factors of psychopathy and narcissism predicting aggression. Self-report assessments were administered to 118 undergraduates. While self-esteem instability was not related to psychopathy or narcissism, it was positively correlated with aggression. Additionally, those with the healthier aspects of narcissism and Factor 1 features of psychopathy had high self-esteem and less aggression, while those with more pathological narcissism and Factor 2 features of psychopathy had lower self-esteem and more aggression. Specifically, the relationship between psychopathy Factor 1 and aggression was partially mediated by lower self-esteem.
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We examine the relation between psychopathy, especially its fearless dominance dimension, and heroism in two undergraduate samples (N = 124 and 119), a community sample (N = 457) and 42 U.S. presidents. The first undergraduate and community sample revealed significant positive correlations between fearless dominance and heroism and altruism toward strangers; the presidential sample provided some evidence for an association between fearless dominance and war heroism. In the second undergraduate sample, fearless dominance was related only to altruism toward strangers; heroism was instead significantly positively correlated with the impulsive antisociality component of psychopathy. These findings raise the possibility that some psychopathic personality traits are modestly associated with heightened levels of heroic altruism, and raise questions for future research on the personality correlates of heroism.
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It is argued that P-values and the tests based upon them give unsatisfactory results, especially in large samples. It is shown that, in regression, when there are many candidate independent variables, standard variable selection procedures can give very misleading results. Also, by selecting a single model, they ignore model uncertainty and so underestimate the uncertainty about quantities of interest. The Bayesian approach to hypothesis testing, model selection, and accounting for model uncertainty is presented. Implementing this is straightforward through the use of the simple and accurate BIC approximation, and it can be done using the output from standard software. Specific results are presented for most of the types of model commonly used in sociology. It is shown that this approach overcomes the difficulties with P-values and standard model selection procedures based on them. It also allows easy comparison of nonnested models, and permits the quantification of the evidence for a null hypothesis of interest, such as a convergence theory or a hypothesis about societal norms.
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The literature includes analyses of the perceptions of the police regarding public, political, and institutional support, along with the consequences of such perceptions. Herein attention is focused on the perceptions of line officers assigned to field duty regarding supervisory and administrative support. Nine hundred questionnaires were distributed to 18 different-sized departments in 15 different states and a 72% return rate achieved. Using perceptions of supervisory and administrative support, separate multiple regression analyses were employed. It was found that sizable portions of police perceptions of the two kinds of support were accounted for by the independent individual and environmental level variables.
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This study investigated the relation of the "Big Five" personality di- mensions (Extraversion, Emotional Stability, Agreeableness, Consci- entiousness, and Openness to Experience) to three job performance criteria (job proficiency, training proficiency, and personnel data) for five occupational groups (professionals, police, managers, sales, and skilled/semi-skilled). Results indicated that one dimension of person- ality. Conscientiousness, showed consistent relations with all job per- formance criteria for all occupational groups. For the remaining per- sonality dimensions, the estimated true score correlations varied by occupational group and criterion type. Extraversion was a valid pre- dictor for two occupations involving social interaction, managers and sales (across criterion types). Also, both Openness to Experience and Extraversion were valid predictors of the training proficiency criterion (across occupations). Other personality dimensions were also found to be valid predictors for some occupations and some criterion types, but the magnitude of the estimated true score correlations was small (p < .10). Overall, the results illustrate the benefits of using the 5- factor model of personality to accumulate and communicate empirical findings. The findings have numerous implications for research and practice in personnel psychology, especially in the subfields of person- nel selection, training and development, and performance appraisal.
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Burnout among police officers is a well-documented phenomenon, with police exhibiting significantly rates significantly higher than other occupations. This is not surprising considering the inherent dangers and challenges police face in the course of their duties. However, police are also subject to a host of institutional and cultural forces that are likely to contribute to burnout. This study examines the variety of ways self-processes, societal and institutional policing values, and demands for emotional presentation on police officers interact to produce burnout. Using data collected from a survey of police officers in the Pacific Northwest (N = 109), we assess three primary hypotheses: (a) The greater the emotional management required of officers, the greater will be their levels of burnout, (b) The greater the dissonance between officer’s own values and those of various reference groups, the greater will be their levels of burnout, and (c) In combination, value dissonance and emotional labor should produce higher levels of burnout than either would independently produce. Results provide mixed support for these hypotheses suggesting that value dissonance only exhibits independent effects on burnout rooted in depersonalization, whereas effects of emotional dissonance vary depending on the type of burnout under consideration. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.
Article
It is argued from a psychiatric standpoint that persons who meet diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM‐IV), have a decreased likelihood of existing within the police population. It is claimed that through psychological testing and background checks, police departments are better able to filter out unsuitable applicants. However, the less‐than‐perfect reliability of such tests, as well as loose entrance requirements by individual police departments, present opportunities for applicants with Antisocial Personality Disorder to make their way into policing. Simply, there is no guarantee that these individuals do not or cannot exist within the police population. This research will suggest that police officers with traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder exist, that the types of behavior displayed have become increasingly violent, and the possibility that such traits may well have been acquired through the police subculture and its easy access to deviance. This insight is offered by the one of the authors who is retired from the New Orleans Police Department.
Article
In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
‘'The role of culture in determining police personality'’ was the primary research issue addressed in this cross cultural study of police personality. The 16PF along with a demographic questionnaire was administered to 619 police officers in Scotland, London, and the U.S. The results showed a significant and distinct personality pattern shared in all the cultures examined, but they also showed that the shared characteristics, as well as some that were not shared by all groups, varied by culture. Thus, police personality appears to have both fixed and malleable characteristics and to be partially determined by cultural roles.
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In this chapter we review the impetus for, and the development of, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991, 2003), discuss its psychometric properties, examine recent research on its structural characteristics, and suggest several directions and paradigms for new research. Reference also is made to direct derivatives of the PCLR (referred to here as the PCL scales): The Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV; Hart, Cox, & Hare, 1995) and the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV; Forth, Kosson, & Hare, 2003). These scales are described briefly below. Extensive discussions and reviews of the construct validity of these instruments are available in their respective manuals and elsewhere (e.g., this volume; Cooke, Forth, & Hare, 1998; Gacono, 2000). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examines 2 contrasting schools of thought in psychology: role theorists who attend to the constraining and molding effect of social roles (i.e., "malleable man") and those who focus on individual personality dynamics (i.e., "fixed quality man"). Some psychologists believe that certain people have an authoritarian personality characterized by a certain set of traits. Research on police authoritarianism is reviewed. It is concluded that police officers do experience both personality and attitudinal changes and that these changes are both necessary and useful. While most officers cope with the stresses and strains, there is a feeling that at some time police need to examine trends within their personalities and social attitudes. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Reports an error in "Two subtypes of psychopathic violent offenders that parallel primary and secondary variants" by Jennifer Skeem, Peter Johansson, Henrik Andershed, Margaret Kerr and Jennifer Eno Louden ( Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2007[May], Vol 116[2], 395-409). The headings "Primary (n = 74)" and "Secondary (n = 49)" should be reversed in Table 1 on p. 401. In addition, the means for the Psychic Anxiety scale of the Karolinska Scales of Personality should be 0.52 (rather than -0.52) and -0.34 (rather than 0.34). (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2007-06673-015.) Although psychopathy usually is treated as a unitary construct, a seminal theory posits that there are 2 variants: Primary psychopathy is underpinned by an inherited affective deficit, whereas secondary psychopathy reflects an acquired affective disturbance. The authors investigated whether psychopathy phenotypically may be disaggregated into such types in a sample of 367 prison inmates convicted of violent crimes. Model-based cluster analysis of the Revised Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R; R. D. Hare, 2003) and trait anxiety scores in the psychopathic subgroup (n = 123; PCL-R ≥ 29) revealed 2 clusters. Relative to primary psychopaths, secondary psychopaths had greater trait anxiety, fewer psychopathic traits, and comparable levels of antisocial behavior. Across validation variables, secondary psychopaths manifested more borderline personality features, poorer interpersonal functioning (e.g., irritability, withdrawal, poor assertiveness), and more symptoms of major mental disorder than primary psychopaths. When compared with the nonpsychopathic subgroup (n = 243), the 2 psychopathic variants manifested a theoretically coherent pattern of differences. Implications for etiological research and violence prevention are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
It is the author's thesis that conditions now grouped under the heading of psychopathy and psychopathic states can be divided into 2 distinct clinical groups each having its own particular etiologies and forms of expression. Symptomatic psychopathy includes "all those reactions that on the surface bear close resemblance to what we call psychopathic behavior, except that in these cases it is not difficult to elicit psychogenesis which is behind the psychopathic indulgence;" idiopathic psychopathy (anethopathy) includes psychopathic reactions for which it is impossible to find any psychogenic factors. 2 detailed case studies are presented to illustrate this distinction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
ABSTRACT Evidence has accrued to suggest that there are 2 distinct dimensions of narcissism, which are often labeled grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. Although individuals high on either of these dimensions interact with others in an antagonistic manner, they differ on other central constructs (e.g., Neuroticism, Extraversion). In the current study, we conducted an exploratory factor analysis of 3 prominent self-report measures of narcissism (N=858) to examine the convergent and discriminant validity of the resultant factors. A 2-factor structure was found, which supported the notion that these scales include content consistent with 2 relatively distinct constructs: grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. We then compared the similarity of the nomological networks of these dimensions in relation to indices of personality, interpersonal behavior, and psychopathology in a sample of undergraduates (n=238). Overall, the nomological networks of vulnerable and grandiose narcissism were unrelated. The current results support the need for a more explicit parsing of the narcissism construct at the level of conceptualization and assessment.
Article
Although psychopathic personality (psychopathy) is marked largely by maladaptive traits (e.g., poor impulse control, lack of guilt), some authors have conjectured that some features of this condition (e.g., fearlessness, interpersonal dominance) are adaptive in certain occupations, including leadership positions. We tested this hypothesis in the 42 U.S. presidents up to and including George W. Bush using (a) psychopathy trait estimates derived from personality data completed by historical experts on each president, (b) independent historical surveys of presidential leadership, and (c) largely or entirely objective indicators of presidential performance. Fearless Dominance, which reflects the boldness associated with psychopathy, was associated with better rated presidential performance, leadership, persuasiveness, crisis management, Congressional relations, and allied variables; it was also associated with several largely or entirely objective indicators of presidential performance, such as initiating new projects and being viewed as a world figure. Most of these associations survived statistical control for covariates, including intellectual brilliance, five factor model personality traits, and need for power. In contrast, Impulsive Antisociality and related traits of psychopathy were generally unassociated with rated presidential performance, although they were linked to some largely or entirely objective indicators of negative job performance, including Congressional impeachment resolutions, tolerating unethical behavior in subordinates, and negative character. These findings indicate that the boldness associated with psychopathy is an important but heretofore neglected predictor of presidential performance, and suggest that certain features of psychopathy are tied to successful interpersonal behavior.
Article
Much research has been undertaken to determine what characterizes the ‘police personality’, but so far the results have been ambiguous. We conducted a comprehensive nationwide questionnaire survey of 3272 Norwegian police personnel at all ranks, using a short form of the Basic Character Inventory, Job Stress Survey, and Coping Strategies Scale. We combined the three personality traits of Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness into eight personality types: the spectator, insecure, sceptic, brooder, hedonist, impulsive, entrepreneur, and complicated. The results showed that entrepreneur and hedonist personality types, characterized by a combination of high values on Extraversion and low values on Neuroticism, reported lower values on perceived stress compared to others, whereas the insecure and brooder types, which combine low Extraversion with high values on Neuroticism, reported higher levels on perceived stress. Further, the entrepreneur and complicated types reported higher values on active coping strategies, whereas those combining low Extraversion and low Conscientiousness reported either less control coping (the insecure type), or support coping (the spectator type) compared to others. The findings indicate that a typology approach may be fruitful in exploring how police personnel with different combinations of personality traits experience and cope with stress.
Article
The present study investigated the use of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)-2 L (Lie) scale in the preemployment selection of police officers. In a prior article, Weiss, Davis, Rostow, and Kinsman (2003) found that high L scale scores are associated with a number of performance problems in law enforcement officers. These investigators recommended a L scale raw score cutoff of 8 when making hiring decisions. The present study sought to explore the usefulness of this recommendation by analyzing data from 4348 officers who had taken the MMPI-2 as a condition of preemployment and had follow-up data on performance provided by their supervisors. Results indicated that officers with L scale raw scores of 8 or higher had significantly more performance problems than those who had scores of 7 or below. Similar results were obtained when cut points of 7 and 9 were used. These results were robust insofar as they remained significant when other factors potentially related to the L scale, particularly level of education, ethnicity, and scores on the 10 MMPI-2 Clinical Scales, were controlled for in the analyses. Implications of these findings for police psychological evaluations are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
This paper reports the results of four studies that investigate racial profiling as an attribution about police motives. Each study explores, first, the types of police behavior that heighten or lessen the occurrence of profiling attributions and, second, the consequences of such attributions. Results support prior studies in finding that judgments about whether the police are profiling are associated with the level of public support for the police. The studies then extend the analysis of subjective profiling judgments by examining their antecedents. The findings support the procedural justice hypothesis that the fairness with which the police exercise their authority influences whether members of the public view the police as profiling.
Article
This study compared authoritarian traits as determined by MMPI-2 scores between inexperienced versus experienced police officers. The purpose of this comparison was to investigate whether experienced police officers possessed higher levels of authoritarian traits which may be related to years on the job. Results found that inexperienced and experienced police officers tend to be psychologically healthy and do not possess high levels of authoritarian traits. Some specific differences emerged with inexperienced police officers demonstrating higher scores on ASP (antisocial practices) but lower scores on HY (emotional reactions to stress). Possible reasons for these results are discussed. KeywordsPolice-Authoritarianism-MMPI-2-Level of experience
Article
The “Rotten Apple” theory states that deviant police officers are those who psychological testing fails to screen out. This concept is favored by police administrators because it offers a quick and easy solution to police deviant behavior. However, there is a growing body of literature that suggests that it is the stressful occupation that is policing that is the fertile soil from which police deviant behavior springs otherwise known as the “Rotten Barrel” theory. This article shall explore police deviant behavior from the perspective that it is the “Rotten Barrel” that leads to police deviant behavior.
Article
A poverty of studies have addressed the relationship between psychopathic attributes and dispositions contributing to individual differences in achievement motivation. The current investigation focused on the relationships among these constructs in a noninstitutionalized population. Multiple regression analyses indicated that hypercompetition (+), personal development competition (−), and self-handicapping (−) were the strongest predictors of primary psychopathy. In contrast, self-handicapping (+), goal engagement (−), and cooperation (−) significantly predicted secondary psychopathy. These findings extend the distinction between primary and secondary psychopathy to achievement dispositions and contribute to an understanding of these attributes as representing dimensions related to successful and unsuccessful achievement outcomes.