Exploring the Relationship between Psychopathy and Helping Behaviors in Naturalistic Settings

Preliminary Findings

Mehmet K. Mahmut*, Louise Cridland, Richard J. Stevenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the helping behavior of participants with high (High-P; 15 males, 13 females) and low (Low-P; 14 males, 16 females) psychopathic traits without their awareness. In the first of three tests, we found Low-P participants offered more help to an apparently lost female confederate than High-P participants. In the second test, High-P compared to Low-P males offered more help to an “injured” female experimenter, the reverse was true for females. In the third test, High-P compared to Low-P females offered more help to a female confederate who had apparently dropped papers they were carrying; whereas the reverse was true for males. Our preliminary findings indicate that context, gender and psychopathic traits interact and impact helping behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-266
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of General Psychology
Volume143
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Individual differences
  • observational methods
  • personality
  • prosocial behaviour

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