Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 273–283 | Cite as

Syntax of Emotional Narratives of Persons Diagnosed with Antisocial Personality

  • Barbara Gawda


The aim of this study was to show some specificity of syntax of narratives created by persons diagnosed with antisocial personality. The author attempted to verify and supplement information that persons with antisocial personality have an incapacity for emotional language. Scores of 60 prisoners with high antisocial tendencies, 40 prisoners with low antisocial tendencies, and 100 men without the antisocial tendencies, were analyzed. The participants had to describe the situations of love, hate and anxiety inspired by the photographs. The narrative discourse was analyzed. The research was concentrated on syntactic elements. Comparisons between the three groups were conducted. The results show the differences between the antisocial inmates, non-antisocial inmates, and controls. In their emotional narratives, the antisocial individuals used more repetitions, pauses and negations. These linguistic characteristics are attributed to high activity, psychopathy and emotionality of persons diagnosed with antisocial personality.


Syntax Emotional narratives Antisocial personality disorder 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMaria Curie-Sklodowska UniversityLublinPoland

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