Psychopathic Personality Traits Model (PPTM)

A new approach to defining psychopathy

Authored by: Daniel Boduszek , Agata Debowska , Dominic Willmott

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 Psychopathic Personality Traits Model (PPTM) offers an alternative psychopathy assessment based on personality traits that consists of four dimensions, including affective responsiveness, cognitive responsiveness, interpersonal manipulation, and egocentricity. It is also conceptualized that intelligence levels moderate that relationship between the aforementioned psychopathic traits and behavioral outcomes. Importantly, while antisocial/criminal tendencies/behaviors may constitute one possible expression of psychopathy, they are not treated as integral to psychopathy construct within the newly developed framework. Using this personality approach to psychopathy assessment, we demonstrated that the prevalence of psychopathy among individuals incarcerated in medium and maximum security prisons amounts to approximately 7 percent of the total prison population and hence is much lower than previously speculated, comparable with the prevalence found among non-forensic adult samples. It is recommended that both researchers and practitioners re-evaluate the previously utilized conceptualization of psychopathy and assessment methods. Additionally, psychopathy measures which index behavioral traits and rely on cut-off points for total scale ratings should be used with caution in clinical settings.

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