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Dangerously intelligent: A call for re-evaluating psychopathy using perceptions of intelligence.

Silverio, SA, Lyons, M and Burton, S (2023) Dangerously intelligent: A call for re-evaluating psychopathy using perceptions of intelligence. Journal of Intelligence, 11 (2).

Silverio et al., (2023) - Psychopathy and IQ - Journal of Intelligence.pdf - Published Version
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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11020025 (Published version)


Background: Primary psychopathy (i.e., unemotional and callous predisposition) is associated with career, educational, and general life success, whereas secondary psychopathy (i.e., impulsivity and risk-taking) relates to criminality, hedonistic lifestyles, and detrimental behaviours. Although psychopathy sub-types have differential relationships to career and life success, how these traits are perceived by others relating to intelligence has not previously been researched. It is also unclear what role an individual’s own psychopathy score plays in perceptions of intelligence. Methods: In an online experiment (N = 458), we investigated perceptions of intelligence (via a combined proxy of whether the rater thought the character in the vignettes had a high IQ and had attended university), using 12 vignettes of high and low primary and secondary psychopathic individuals. Results: High-secondary-psychopathy vignettes were perceived as least intelligent (in agreement with the literature which states people high in secondary psychopathy traits are usually involved in petty crimes, risk taking, and substance abuse, and therefore perceived as socially undesirable). Low-secondary-psychopathy vignettes were perceived significantly more intelligent than high-primary-psychopathy vignettes (in-line with the literature suggesting the placidity and kindness which comes with being low in psychopathic traits is an amenable quality in our society). There was evidence for assortative intelligence perceptions: those high-primary psychopathy self-scorers perceived primary psychopathy vignettes as intelligent (which could be evidence of a ‘likes attract’ phenomenon, whereby those high in primary psychopathy admire others who are similarly high in primary psychopathy). Conclusions: The results suggest individuals demonstrating risk-taking behaviours are perceived as least intelligent, supporting previous research associating secondary psychopathy with poor academic or career success.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1701 Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: MDPI
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2023 11:11
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2023 11:11
DOI or ID number: 10.3390/jintelligence11020025
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18719
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