Term of Award

Summer 2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Amy A. Hackney

Committee Member 1

Karen Z. Naufel

Committee Member 2

Michael Vitacco

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to employ implicit and explicit security priming in order to examine the relationship between attachment dimensions and expressed psychopathy; specifically, it was hypothesized that security priming would reduce levels of expressed psychopathy. A repeated measures design was also used to assess the association between state attachment variables and expressed psychopathy. The results showed that security priming was effective at reducing expressed psychopathy for individuals high in trait attachment anxiety. Security priming also caused changes in the associative relationships between attachment dimensions and expressed psychopathy. These findings increase our understanding of the relationships between attachment and psychopathy and have implications for clinicians treating psychopathy. Future research is needed to fully understand the relationships between attachment and expressed psychopathy. Future research should also attempt to replicate the current findings with methodological modifications to address the current study’s limitations.

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