Detecting Emotion in Psychopathic Language: Emotional Valence and Locus in Language Produced by Psychopathic Offenders

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This study examined the presence of emotional references in psychopathic communication. The analysis in this study is on secondary data, consisting of 54 interviews conducted with psychopathic and non-psychopathic offenders. It was hypothesized that emotional differences in psychopathic and non-psychopathic communication will be evident in terms of frequency, emotional locus, and emotional valence. The results supported these predictions. Overall, psychopaths produced fewer emotional references in their language use. Compared to non-psychopathic controls, psychopaths produced significantly fewer emotional references indicating empathy for others. Of all emotional terms produced by psychopaths, a significantly higher proportion of the emotional terms were negative. The results of this study indicate that emotional variations are evident in psychopathic language production.
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2008-07-07T16:08:51Z
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dissertation or thesis
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