Do Core Interpersonal and Affective Traits of PCL-R Psychopathy Interact With Antisocial Behavior and Disinhibition to Predict Violence?

The utility of psychopathy measures in predicting violence is largely explained by their assessment of social deviance (e.g., antisocial behavior; disinhibition). A key question is whether social deviance interacts with the core interpersonal-affective traits of psychopathy to predict violence. Do core psychopathic traits multiply the (already high) risk of violence among disinhibited individuals with a dense history of misbehavior? This meta-analysis of 32 effect sizes (N 10,555) tested whether an interaction between the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; R. D. Hare, 2003) Interpersonal- Affective and Social Deviance scales predicted violence beyond the simple additive effects of each scale. Results indicate that Social Deviance is more uniquely predictive of violence (d .40) than Interpersonal-Affective traits (d .11), and these two scales do not interact (d .00) to increase power in predicting violence. In fact, Social Deviance alone would predict better than the Interpersonal- Affective scale and any interaction in 81% and 96% of studies, respectively. These findings have fundamental practical implications for risk assessment and theoretical implications for some conceptualizations of psychopathy.