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Psychopathic traits and theory of mind task performance: A Systematic review and meta-analysis

Song, Z, Jones, A, Corcoran, R, Daly, N, Abu-Akel, A and Gillespie, SM (2023) Psychopathic traits and theory of mind task performance: A Systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 151. ISSN 0149-7634

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This meta-analysis aims to examine the relationship between psychopathic traits and theory of mind (ToM), which is classically and broadly defined as competency in representing and attributing mental states such as emotions, intentions, and beliefs to others. Our search strategy gathered 142 effect sizes, from 42 studies, with a total sample size of 7463 participants. Random effects models were used to analyse the data. Our findings suggested that psychopathic traits are associated with impaired ToM task performance. This relationship was not moderated by age, population, psychopathy measurement (self-report versus clinical checklist) or conceptualization, or ToM task type (cognitive versus affective). The effect also remained significant after excluding tasks that did not require the participant to 1) mentalize or 2) differentiate self and other perspectives. However, interpersonal/affective traits were associated with a more pronounced impairment in ToM task performance compared to lifestyle/antisocial traits. Future research should investigate the effects of distinct psychopathy facets that will allow for a more precise understanding of the social-cognitive bases of relevant clinical presentations in psychopathy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Behavioral Science & Comparative Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 10:57
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2023 08:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2023.105231
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19498
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