The Elemental Psychopathy Assessment

Authored by: Brandon Weiss , Donald R. Lynam , Joshua D. Miller

Routledge International Handbook of Psychopathy and Crime

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085169
eBook ISBN: 9781315111476
Adobe ISBN:


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The current chapter reviewed the literature on the Elemental Psychopathy Assessment (EPA), a measure of psychopathy built upon a view of the construct through the lens of a general personality framework, in which psychopathy is seen as a collection of maladaptive personality traits with clear links to general or “normal” personality. For the development of the EPA, core traits were identified across multiple approaches and items were written to assess more extreme variants of the basic traits, consistent with the understanding of psychopathy as disordered personality. As described in the chapter, short- and super-short forms of the EPA have also been developed. The EPA has been shown to be reliable across multiple studies using samples of undergraduates, samples from the community, and samples from forensic settings. The 18 subscales of the original and short forms have been shown to be underlaid by four factors: Antagonism, disinhibition, Emotional Stability, and narcissism; only three subscales underlie the super-short version. The chapter reports on multiple studies attesting to the construct validity of the EPA, demonstrating that it relates to a variety of outcomes (e.g., other psychopathy scales, aggression, antisocial behavior, social cognition, and personality disorders) as predicted. Finally, the chapter discusses the advantages that come with thinking of psychopathy as a collection of traits from a general model of personality and of assessing it with the EPA.

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