Previous work has indicated dysfunctional affect-language interactions in individuals with psychopathy through use of the lexical decision task. However, it has been uncertain as to whether these deficits actually reflect impaired affect-language interactions or a more fundamental deficit in general semantic processing. In this study, we examined affective priming and semantic priming (dependent measures were reaction times and error rates) in individuals with psychopathy and comparison individuals, classified according to the psychopathy checklist revised (PCL-R) [Hare, R.D., 1991. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. Multi-Health Systems, Toronto, Ont.]. Individuals with psychopathy showed significantly less affective priming relative to comparison individuals. In contrast, the two groups showed comparable levels of semantic priming. The results are discussed with reference to current models of psychopathy.
- Affective priming
- Semantic priming
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology