Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fear and psychopathy

Children with psychopathic traits feel emotions less strongly and have less empathy for other people and recent research suggests that they may feel fear less than other people. A team of researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. investigated this issue in a study of 42 children aged between 10 and 17, 18 of whom had psychopathic traits. The children were asked to talk about how they felt during five recent 'emotionally evocative' events. The study found that psychopathy was associated with feeling less fear and fewer symptoms of sympathetic nervous system arousal such as a pounding heart or sweaty palms.

Marsh, Abigail A. ... [et al] - Adolescents with psychopathic traits report reductions in physiological responses to fear Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02353.x

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