International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)

Psychopaths View Autobiographical Memories as Less Memorable, Important, and Emotional than Normal Individuals
Ashley N. Burrow, Nicole Currence, Diana Lemus, Amber E. DeBono, Matthew T. Crawford, W. Richard Walker

Abstract
Previous research indicates that psychopaths are prone to emotional detachment and that they are generally less responsive to emotional stimuli. The present study was conducted to determine if increased levels of psychopathy were associated with distortions in autobiographical memories. Participants (N=166) from two universities completed a self-report psychopathy scale. Participants also recalled 10 autobiographical memories, five positive and five negative events, and rated the events’ importance, memorability, and emotional content. A series of regression analyses suggested that higher psychopathy predicted poorer reported memory and emotional reactions overall, but more thinking about negative events (although considered less important). These findings suggest that the characteristics of autobiographical memories may be distorted by psychopathy.

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