Journal of behavioral assessment

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 77–88 | Cite as

Psychopathy and structure of primary mental abilities

  • Robert D. Hare
  • Janice Frazelle
  • Jutka Bus
  • Jeffrey W. Jutai


The Comprehensive Ability Battery (CAB) was used to assess 18 primary mental abilities in 53 white, male prison inmates for whom highly reliable ratings of psychopathy were available. None of the correlations between ratings of psychopathy and scores on the CAB tests was significant, and the overall pattern or structure of abilities was the same for inmates with low and high ratings of psychopathy. The possibility is raised that the personality characteristics of psychopaths make them appear to be brighter and more creative than they actually are. Compared with norms for male high school students, the inmates as a group generally performed well, falling near the 50th percentile on 11 of the tests. The inmates performed significantly better than the normative sample on tests of verbal ability, esthetic judgment, aiming, and representational drawing, and significantly worse on tests of ideational fluency, spontaneous flexibility, and word fluency.

Key words

psychopathy antisocial personality disorder intelligence primary mental abilities structure of intellectual functions 


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Reference notes

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Hare
    • 1
  • Janice Frazelle
    • 1
  • Jutka Bus
    • 2
  • Jeffrey W. Jutai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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