ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 8, Issue 1, 2-12, 2017
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Psychopathic personality traits as a protective factor against the development of intrusive memories

  Caroline Moul - University of Sydney
  Angela Nickerson - University of New South Wales

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2017, Pages 2-12

Background: People with psychopathic personality traits have been shown to have low rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Contemporary theoretical models of PTSD and psychopathy converge to suggest that a bias in the type of information that is encoded into memory is a core component of both disorders. We tested the hypothesis that people with psychopathic personality traits have a reduced susceptibility to developing intrusion-related symptoms.Method: Participants completed self-report measures before watching a short video depicting the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident. The participants recorded their intrusive memories for seven days before returning for a follow-up assessment. Results: Psychopathic personality score was found to be a significant negative predictor of intrusion-related experiences at follow-up. This relationship was mediated by the vividness of intrusions.Conclusion: The results support the hypothesis that the balance between the encoding of perceptual versus conceptual properties is a core feature both in the aetiology of PTSD and in people with psychopathic personality traits.

Table of Contents

Correspondence to
Dr Caroline Moul

posttraumatic stress disorder, psychopathy, intrusion, encoding, memory

Received 4 Feb 2016; Revised 9 Aug 2016; Accepted 9 Aug 2016; In Press 19 Feb 2017

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