Higher Levels of Psychopathy Predict Poorer Motor Control: Implications for Understanding the Psychopathy Construct

  • Michael D. Robinson
  • Konrad Bresin


A review of the literature suggests that higher levels of psychopathy may be linked to less effective behavioral control. However, several commentators have urged caution in making statements of this type in the absence of direct evidence. In two studies (total N = 142), moment-to-moment accuracy in a motor control task was examined as a function of dimensional variations in psychopathy in an undergraduate population. As hypothesized, motor control was distinctively worse at higher levels of psychopathy relative to lower levels, both as a function of primary and secondary psychopathy and particularly their shared variance. These novel findings provide support for the idea that motor control systematically varies by psychopathy, in a basic manner, consistent with views of psychopathy emphasizing lesser control.


Psychopathy Behavior Control Self-control Motor Executive 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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